Life & Loss – A Letter to my Son

Dear Umar,

Oh dear boy, you must be doing amazingly fine, physically and mentally by Allah’s blessings when you’re reading this letter today. I am not a writer in order to write down all of my feelings and daily torments I faced during your childhood for you to read when you grow up separately, so I came to a conclusion of leaving you this letter behind, in order for you to find clear answers to all your questions and confusions regarding whom your actual father was and why we, I and your father got divorced when you were quite small. Well, it might all be a tad too much for you at once, but if you actually take the time to understand the reason behind your parent’s separation, you will have a bright future with your wife and children someday unlike your father and I. I highly guarantee that to you, dear son.

Things started getting a little rough while you were just 6 months in my tummy. Your father started acting so harsh- hitting me, kicking me and started abusing me verbally a lot as well when we used to have minor arguments. Apart from his high anger disorder and not willing to take a chance and understand my point of view and perception, he used to take the side of his mother and aunt (his mother’s sister) be it whatsoever. He never willed to give me a chance to speak what I wanted to and make them all understand about whatever the issue was. Since I had a lot of inconvenience living together with your father and his family, I asked him to get a separate house for the three of us to live and also made it a clear point about how both the side of our family members could visit us anytime when they wanted to so that I didn’t want his family to think that I’m actually taking him away from his family members and separating him forever. That wasn’t my intention at all. It’s just that your father’s parents, aunts and uncles were giving me a hard time by always interfering between the two of us regarding all our problems. 

Since your father took a long, very long time to come to a proper decision of whether he is going to take a house or at least an apartment separately for the three of us to live together peacefully, I went back to my parent’s place. I was waiting with the hope of your father calling me with his mind made up to get a house but unfortunately he never did. On the day of your birth, both of our families met and had a good time. That good time just lasted for a few months after which your father had problems with my family that I’d never understand why, the actual reasons to why he started becoming so against them. He started asking me to get back to his house with his parents along with you. He started coming up with a set of rules and regulations such as me not meeting my parents, my siblings, my cousins and all of my other extended family members. He said that my parents were injecting the toxic idea of separating him from his parents into me and they were the whole reason behind why I don’t listen to him at all. He started blaming and falsely accusing my parents after which it all shattered, my hopes of living together with a so called ‘husband’, a man I no longer knew. I couldn’t believe my eyes and ears for everything that he did and every single word that came out of his mouth. His disrespect towards my parents, false assumption about me wanting to separate him from his family, rules regarding my side of the family never associating with you often and many more things that I quite don’t know how to put into proper wordings just made me realize that I needed a break. I took my space from living with and talking to him. I lived with my parents who helped me to take good care of you. They got me everything I needed from diapers to creams and clothes needed to raise my little prince, the only hope and happiness left in my shattered life. 

Your great-grandmother loved you like you were her very own son. She made sure you were fed on time, dressed neatly, put to sleep on time and always took you around to places whenever she went out to the bank, market and even to the smallest places like the nearby reload centre. You might remember how attached you were to her because she always spoiled you with everything you asked for, you’d shed one drop of tear and she’d give you everything you wanted within just seconds. Your grandparents (my mother and father) on the other hand, although they used to live miles apart in another country, grandma used to come and visit you often. Especially after I started working, she used to stay with you and look after you along with your great-grandmother. Your grandpa used to send you so many things as well. He filled in the void of you not having a father since you were just 4 months old, since your actual father gave up on you in the process of being angry with me; your grandpa used to think and plan a lot about your future, wanting to give you the best of education, teaching you what’s right and wrong. Your aunts (My cousins and sisters) always bought you clothes, toys, chocolates and all sorts of other eatables you liked from Kuwait. You were treated with a lot of love, care and a lot of happiness by the same family your father was against with. None of your father’s family ever cared to visit you or even ask about how you were doing all those months I and your father lived separately. You were receiving a lot of things money couldn’t buy from your maternal side of the family whereas just a small amount of money for expenses per month from your paternal side of the family, dear son. 

After a year and half, in the process of forgiving and forgetting everything that happened trying to solve all the issues, going for multiple counseling sessions and trying to live together with your father for the sake of giving you a happy future even though we weren’t compatible to live together, things got even worse. Your father applied for a divorce and I stuck by that decision of yes, wanting to officially get separated. Son…, it wasn’t easy losing a life I thought I’d be happy with but that was the only way I could keep myself together, shaping your life and your future in the best way possible. This was the long story shortened as much as possible for you to understand all the 3000 things that happened within just 3 years of time. My only message from the lessons of your father and my very short life together for you is: 

-Money is not everything in life. There’s more to life than just money such as a happy family. Every stage of a married life is as equally important for a man as it is for a woman. The stage since your wife gives birth to your very first child till the child is fully grown up able to distinguish between what’s right and wrong. You owe an explanation to God regarding how good of a father you was just as much as your wife will be of being a good mother. 
-Marriage is more of merging, not taking over. You aren’t taking over the full ownership of a woman to rule her from seeing her side of the family. You two are going to merge together both sides of your families together as one. Hence, your family and her family are both important. You need to treat her family as your own and she, yours as her very own.
-Having arguments, minor or major is a very common thing with your wife in a married life. In fact, look deep into the fact about how you’ll argue one second and get back like nothing happened the next. That’s how you build a companionship, if it’s an arranged marriage especially. 
-When a woman is married and comes to live with you along with your family, it’ll be a little hard on her for the first few months. It’s your responsibility to understand that and adjust accordingly making sure you don’t bring her to such an extent of wanting to live alone with just you. That only happens when you don’t bring your personal problems and arguments out of your room. 
-A woman is a direct reflection of her man. Treat her the way you want her to behave, full of love and shower her with daily compliments instead of just criticizing her. Explain her why she’s wrong if at all she is in the best possible way, you will have an amazing life, dear son. 

These are some of the important things I want you to know as a man before you get married. I love you and hope to live until the day you’re settled happily with a good woman and children together in a home filled with nothing but love and a lot of laughter.  

Your loving mother,
~ Nusra Nasar.

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