Since the passing of my dear friend Ibrahim I haven’t been able to articulate how I really feel, and I can’t write a proper tribute.
Instead, I will just share a selection of verses from a poem entitled The Beauty of Death by Gibran Khalil Gibran. When I re-read it three days ago, it reminded me of Ibrahim’s tireless attempts to break my fear of death, and he even asked me to find the beauty within it (I had previously told him that death is one of my fears).
Reading it, I feel that Ibrahim is speaking to us, minus the jokes and pranks of course.
Unfortunately, I can’t see or feel the”beauty” of death because all I feel is utter pain, grief, shock, anger and longing.
I want to tell you Ibrahim that you are wrong, there is nothing beautiful about it. Yet, I also know you are at peace now, and death is only hard for the living.
So for you, I will try to find the impossible, I will try to internalize these words, but it will surely take many many years.
The Beauty of Death
Let me sleep, for my soul is intoxicated with love and
Let me rest, for my spirit has had its bounty of days and nights;
Let me rest in the arms of Slumber, for my open eyes are tired;
Dry your tears, my friends, and raise your heads as the flowers
Raise their crowns to greet the dawn.
Come close and bid me farewell; touch my eyes with smiling lips.
I have passed a mountain peak and my soul is soaring in the
Firmament of complete and unbound freedom;
I am far, far away, my companions, and the clouds are
Hiding the hills from my eyes.
I am cloaked in full whiteness;
I am in comfort; I am in peace.
Lament me not, but sing songs of youth and joy;
Shed not tears upon me, but sing of harvest and the winepress;
Utter no sigh of agony, but draw upon my face with your
Finger the symbol of Love and Joy.
Talk not of my departure with sighs in your hearts; close
Your eyes and you will see me with you forevermore.
Go back to the joy of your dwellings and you will find there
That which Death cannot remove from you and me.