The Assumption of Immortality

Last night I sat in a circle of souls gathered around a mother who had just lost her son, Feras. He was young. His passing was unexpected.

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This circle of companions grieved together through prayer, stories, and song. A lingering embrace now-and-then to express words of consolation in whispered tones.

And I listened as my friend (Feras’ uncle) offered his sincerest reflections, “if we could take this moment here, and place it on the shelf to access in the future,” and he went on articulating with eloquence the chaos that was brewing in my own mind.

We wander this plane of existence as if we are immortal. The greatest error humanity commits is to assume that tomorrow is guaranteed.

Tomorrow is not guaranteed.

And we nurture this assumption. We indulge it, in fact, by holding grudges; obsessing over our possessions; disputing over what is petty; chaining ourselves to uncertain narratives in hopes of uncertain outcomes; postponing what is essential.

Along the way, we forget each other and we forget ourselves. We forget what is meaningful.

To defy this assumption of immortality we are challenged to live meaningfully, while addressing day-to-day affairs that seem meaningless.

I sit here in my office cubicle 40 hours a week–writing reports, analyzing numbers, scribbling nonsense on small, square yellow leaves–because I love my family, because I want to have a home where hearts can come together to create a community, and because I want to bring warmth to a cold system.

I do that in a half open grey box by pressing down on these keys.

But I also do that by making an effort to be ever mindful of what is meaningful, and not forgetting that Feras was with us on Wednesday, and on Thursday he was gone.

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10 thoughts on “The Assumption of Immortality

  1. Beautifully articulated… There are some fundamental facts that we, as humans, either seem to forget about them or think that they’ll happen to others and not to us… Fares will always be in his family and friends hearts and forever alive among them by his pure soul.

  2. I got so shocked hearing the news, I’ve known and remembered Feras from a long time. Watching the news of him passing away just made me feel speechless. I give my condolences to his family and friends. May he RIP.

  3. Heart wrenching when a child takes his flight to the Abha Kingdom – the biggest test for any parent. Was deeply saddened and touched by the untimely passing of this dear youth. Prayers for his family and for his pure soul.

  4. Feras was one of my good friends actually one of my close friends before he left Dubai i told him to take care, he once messaged me and told me that he was coming back idk if he was just trying to make me happy or if her was joking but it worked i was extremely happy because i thought id finally see him. few days back i logged in facebook i saw many of his friends posting about his death i couldn’t believe it because he once told me that he was coming but then the post kept on increase thats when i realized i lost someone who was so important to me. im so sorry for ur loss , Always in my prayer – Farid Ali ( from – Dubai )

  5. Thank you Emad. Very moving. Your words is both carries sadness in them as well as encouragements. Sad is because of how our past/present has been. And encouraging, at the same time, a different fate. Certainly things changes in the way with see the reality around us when we stop banking on stuff. The stuff we posses!

  6. A very bold question, I know. Probably stuck out inappropriately like a sore thumb.I understand now.Thanks for your posting on this.It’s so true.We think we are immortal. We are, but not on this plane of existence.m

    1. Sorry, Maury! I wasn’t intentionally ignoring your question. Just a very busy week. Haven’t had a chance to respond to these.

      Feras died of malignant hyperthermia. A very rare disorder. In Feras’ case, it was inherited as a number of his other family members have also died from MH.

      All I can really speak to is that our life on this earth is an uncertain one, and that death is an inevitability. Perhaps our sentience is immortal in essence, but this truth is beyond my veil of perception. I worry that I may use my belief in an afterlife as licence to neglect relationships in this one. I’ve seen it done.

      I don’t know. I think, in the end, the conclusions we should draw from all this are the same regardless of what lens we use to look at it: be thankful and be connected.

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