Thursday, October 12, 2006

Al fatihah

About a month before Ramadhan, I received an email from a stranger. He must have done a bit of search on the net and somehow the outcome landed him on my blog. It was a short email, asking whether I know if Seha has children living overseas. And it ended with a simple statement, ‘I think Seha is my mom’.

I seldom read newspapers. I especially don’t read the entertainment section. I know almost nothing about Seha. And being the private person that she was, if ever she appeared on the newspaper it was always about Seha the entertainer, never Seha the person. I know she was married and left the country. And then I know that she came back, and cut a few albums. But I didn’t know anything about her personal life. Divorced? Kids? I had no idea.

I replied in all my honesty saying that all I know of Seha is her songs and dance steps. But I assured him that I would try to find out.

And then I got busy. Went overseas for two weeks and came back only to be buried under tonnes of work. I did not ‘try to find out’ anything about Seha at all. And this delay would be a regret that I will have to live with.

On the first day of Ramadhan, I went kampong to buka puasa with my family. After the meal, I saw that there was an article on Seha on the first page of Berita Minggu. She had cancer. And she was looking for her long lost son. It was pure coincidence that I even read that article. Like I said, I don’t read newspapers. If I buy at all, it would be NST or Star for the job advertisements.

The moment we reached KL, I opened up my email inbox and looked for the email I received a month ago. True enough, it was signed by the same name as Seha’s son. I immediately wrote to him with the little news I had and spent the whole night worrying that he would not be contactable anymore. I was also worried on how I should deal with the matter. I wanted to seek Kak Teh’s help but she was too far away and then I thought of contacting Maya and hoped that through her connections, she could help reunite mother and son without the press knowing. Seha was sick and the son still a kid. But Maya is busy enough as it is.

Morning came and with that the realisation that the easiest way to do it is to contact Berita Minggu itself. The writers of the article had visited Seha at her place. This would definitely be faster than if I were to search for Seha myself.

And I called BM and asked for Suzan, the reporter. I told her that I might have the son’s email address.

I soon received a reply from Misha. He sounded shaken. And he told me that the situation was somewhat delicate and he didn’t want the father to find out.

The next day, Suzan came to my house with Roslen, her boss. They probably wanted to check whether I was genuine or not. They were Seha’s friends. They didn’t want to give her false hopes. And they told me that Seha was very sick but she was fighting the cancer stoically.

On the 5th Ramadhan, Seha called me. We talked about her health and her children. As promised to Misha, I gave Seha his address. She told me that she knew all along that Misha would be looking for her. And how now she could see the rahmat behind her years of cancer. She walked me through her memories of Misha and how she lost him and how the thoughts of him gave her the spirit to fight cancer. Somewhere along the conversation, to me, Seha ceased being Seha-of-Freedom. She became simply kak-Seha-a-mother because that was what she really was, first and foremost – a mother. At that point too, I became convinced that the path was perfectly laden that son and mother would be reunited.

I wrote to her the next day, I said, ‘I think God wanted you two to meet. Everything seems so beautifully orchestrated that the only possible outcome is your reunion with him. Looks like you have no choice kak Seha, but to get better. I suggest you DO IT NOW!’.

She updated me of her emails/chats with Misha. She told me her surprise when at one time during a chat, Misha cut it short because it was time for prayer. A heavy burden was lifted from her chest when she discovered that Misha has retained his faith.

And she also remarked how well-mannered Misha seems to be and for that she was able to forgive her ex.

Her last sms to me was a hopeful one, ‘Misha said he wanted to come visit soon’.

Like kak Seha, I was hopeful too.

On 18th Ramadhan, at about 9.30am I received sms from Suzan that kak Seha had passed away. My immediate response was, no way. I called Suzan and she confirmed it. Let’s just say that the day passed by in bluriness. I wasn’t able to get leave because kak Seha was not exactly family. And I wasn’t exactly a friend either. I had no inkling at all that her days were that limited. She sounded absolutely fine over the phone. She was just a bit breathless.

I am crying as I write this. Not so much for kak Seha, because I believe that in the other world, you will only long to meet God. If there are any regrets, it is only for the ones left behind. My grief is for her children. For Misha, to have finally found her after all these years, only to have the final 14 days of her life. For Karissa, to be orphaned at such young age. We don’t always see the rahmat behind anything that we feel is bad that happens. My hope is one day, the kids will be able to look at today and know in their hearts that God knows what is best, and so this must be best.

Al fatehah untuk kak Seha. Semoga kak Seha berada di tempat yang jauh lebih baik dari sini. Semoga kak Seha aman dan berada didalam rahmatNya.


Blogger anasalwa said...

thank for sharing this beautiful piece. how amazing sometimes events and things turn out. I'd just learned about Seha's death when I visited Pak Idrus's blog. Pray and al fatihah for Seha.

8:18 PM  
Blogger Nazrah said...

kuasa Allah...

i am so humbled.

hang in there, ood...this must be very hard for you...


9:35 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

beautifully ochestrated by GOD kan? so only GOD knows how to beautifully end it.

fatihah to arwah

2:21 AM  
Blogger shidah said...

i'm crying as well, apa lagi kat tempat you. AL-fatihah

4:05 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am not into being a fan of many singers but seha & the freedom to me is an exception!I am a year younger than arwah seha but I used to enjoy watching her performances with the band!I just read the news about her passing from the internet!Its very sad that she was not able to see her son for the last time!its unimaginable how she must had felt,the longing and missing her first born...Im sadden by her sudden demise and my heart goes to both her children especially her daughter...
Semoga Allah mencucuri rahmat ke atas rohnya,alfatihah

12:01 PM  
Blogger Kak Teh said...

ood, i read that she wanted to meet up with the son. Had you contacted me, i would have directed you to BM as well. Itnever ceased to amaze me how things happened/
Al Fatehah to Seha.

6:00 AM  
Blogger MA said...

Ood :

I knew from many years about Seha and her quest to look for Misha. As a matter of fact, I knew she had cancer a few weeks before it was in the papers and that there was an email seeking information on the whereabouts of Misha.

I felt bad for not using the blog as a medium to seek information as I did forward the email to a few friends.

Alhamdulillah, Allah chose you to bridge that distance between mother and child.

My heart goes out to Misha and Seha. May Allah retain her in His Jannah and the time will come when mother and son will be reuntited in the gardens of Paradise.


2:40 AM  
Blogger Nae said...

Isn't it amazing....
You did a great job!

6:59 PM  
Blogger AuntieYan. said...

Semoga Allah Mencucuri rahmat ke atas rohnya.
...tak sangka Maria yang disebut dalam paper itu adalah you...anyway you've done agood job.

1:17 AM  
Blogger sya said...

Thanks for sharing.. and Al Fatehah to Kak Seha

1:30 AM  
Anonymous ikelah said...


innalillahi wa inna ilaihirojiun.

seha was my junior, 1 yr my junior at SEMSAS kuantan. it was a fully resedential and the students knew each othe quite well.

the last time i saw he was earlier this year during our ex-SAS AGM where she was elected as a committee member. i knew baout her illness when our exSAS president informed me about majlis doa selamat and solat hajat about a month ago at damansara.

i could not make it, but the ex-SAS was very supportive, trying their best to help her until her last day.

as for us, may Allah give us strength and Guidance to make us a better person.

al fatihah..wassalam.

3:43 AM  
Blogger OOD said...

Dear all,

thank you.

It was after her passing that i discovered that aruah's brother-in-law is one of my bosses here. To think of all the 'what ifs', the 'could haves'... Regrets and guilts.

But i was finally comforted when aruah's husband called. He told me what i needed to hear and what i think you would all be glad to hear too.

That aruah left peacefully. She actually died happy.

She told the husband that she got more than what she hoped for. When she first sent an email to Misha, she said, a reply of two lines would make her blissfully happy. Misha did much more than that. He sent her many lengthy emails.

There was no regret on her part, no ghalat, no terkilan. Just happiness, syukur and relief.

And who am i to think that i could have helped her get more days with the son? It was never up to me in the first place.

To think a simple syukur is something that i have yet to learn from her!

7:35 PM  
Blogger mommy@lif said...

very sad & touching entry .

betapa keciknyaa dunia & how you've helped arwah, such a noble deed.

al fatihah to arwah

1:17 AM  
Blogger JoKontan said...

Allah Maha Besar !
Allah Maha Mengetahui !


I was @ her Funeral.
She was my Senior @ School.
and so was Ikelah.


It is Great (!) to read Again.

Kemanakah di Kau ? :-)

1:52 AM  
Anonymous atenah said...

selamat hari raya, oody

al-fatihah to seha

5:59 PM  
Blogger Ely said...

oh wow. i only read this today. this is a very sad story esp after my son has decided to live in singapore instead of being with me.

5:48 PM  
Blogger Queen Of The House said...

Ood, you brought them together, even if it was just for a short while. That's good enough ... don't beat yourself over what and how you could have done better. Just imagine, if you had not acted at all .... that would have been worse.

Al fatihah to those who have left us...

7:21 PM  
Blogger OOD said...

indeed the world IS very small. the internet only makes the world even smaller.

like nazrah, i am humbled to be picked up by Him for whatever reasons to be that final last brick of the bridge.

i just hope that i havent failed Him.

Jo brudder!

you are so right, thank you for reminding me that Dia Maha Mengetahui.

for not writing? hehe.. sejak Thailand takde PM ni, sejak jadi stand-in ni memang lah busy sikit...

selamat hari raya to you too. And thank you.

ely love,
i tried msn-ing you a number of times but went unanswered. Will email you.

i am okay now. More or less, have recovered. Admittedly, i can be forgetful. I am reminded of a lot of things here by you and everyone. Thanks.

12:17 AM  
Blogger rob said...

I am truly amazed with the sheer coincidence or is there a more powerful and significance force at work?

I read about how you connected Misha with the late Seha.

I knew both of them as well as Chris whom I shared many happy and sad moments.

There was a trip that Chris, Mish and couple of more of us made a long long time ago. I would place it as the begin of the end of the marriage. But Mish was then 4 and such as mischievous boy. Reminded me of Mowgli in the jungle book.

Mish - if you are reading this, get in touch.

Ood - if you are still in contact with Mish, let him know someone who knows him is asking for him.

Peace on earth ..

5:46 AM  

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