Visiting abbu’s grave

I’m visiting Lahore this week, for my nephew’s wedding. After 3 days of hectic festivities, we took a breath. My sister is getting ready to fly out to Australia tonight, so we visited abbu’s grave today.

People wax very philosophical about graves; they say “The departed are actually with you, they are not in the grave.” But visiting a loved one’s grave is a powerful experience.

Abbu’s presence is very strong here in ‘shaheedan da qabristan‘ (“cemetery of martyrs,” because many of those who fell in the 1965 war are buried here).

Abbu used to dote on my nephew (the bridegroom this week). So my sister brought petals from the wedding roses. We scattered them on his grave. I told abbu we missed him, and his beloved grandson’s wedding was beautiful.

Abbu had a hard life, I said. He worked hard all his life so he could give us wonderful and comfortable lives. He gave us so much love. We always knew he was in our court.

I said, we weren’t the best children to you, but thank you, abbu, for everything; we are so grateful for everything.

It was hard to get up from his side. There are fragrant chambeli shrubs all over the cemetery. My kid brought home a chambeli flower from the cemetery and gave it to ammi. We conveyed your salam, she told ammi, and we brought you a flower from there.

Under my breath, I told him sorry that it takes me so long for me to visit him. Sorry that I never gave back as much love as I received.

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