Life Goes On With or Without Us

An Essay by Murtaza Hussaini

Life goes on with or without us.

I was reminded of this truth once again on July 13, 2018. It was a dark night, midnight without moon to reflect light. My dad and I knocked on our door and my mom opened it. I went directly to my room and my bed after quickly greeting my grandfather who was sitting in the yard. It was clear that he had been worried about us since we had come home so late from a wedding in an insecure area of Kabul.

It was hard for me to fall asleep and I lay in bed with the quiet night all around me. Soon, the quiet was disrupted with noises and there were lights outside. I wasn’t sure what I should do, so I stayed in bed for a few minutes, but then I got up and checked all the rooms and all were empty. Everyone was gone. I walked across the yard and found that the family was all in my grandfather’s room.

I went inside and found my mother and asked her that what was going on.

“Your grandfather is in a bad way,” she said. “Go see if you can help your father.”

I went near and found that my father was trying to help my grandfather walk outside to breathe fresh air, but my grandfather couldn’t stand to walk by himself. My father went to the hospital to get the doctor because my grandfather had high blood pressure in the past and he thought that might be the problem. He was worried that his father would have another nosebleed from this too.

My father came back without a doctor, so we put my grandfather in a cart to go to our nearest hospital. In front of the hospital, we requested help to get my grandfather into the hospital. The doctor came down before we went inside. He checked my grandfather in the cart and after the checkup he looked at us and said they could not treat him there and we should take him to ALI-ABAD hospital. My father went back home to get a vehicle and his stepmother, my grandfather’s wife. After some minutes my father’s stepmother arrived but it was almost half an hour before my father came back with a car. He and his stepmother took my grandfather to the next hospital and sent me back home to stay with my small brother and sister.

After an hour or more we called my father and asked him about my grandfather. He said that our grandfather had, had a stroke. When we didn’t hear from my father after some time we called him again to ask about the health of my grandfather. My father said that he had died. The hospital couldn’t do anything for him. The reason he couldn’t walk was because the stroke had paralyzed him on one side and by the time he was admitted to the hospital he was in a coma, which he was in up to the end. After all we had been through, we lost him after two days on July15, 2018 at 4:20pm.

Life goes on.

About the author: Murtaza Hussaini was born to Afghan refugees in Tehran, Iran on a cold winter day at the beginning of 2001. He was lucky because from the beginning moments of his life, he was in the embrace of his parents. When he was three and half years old he left Tehran with his parents and grandparents to start a new life in their own country, the country that had recently ended several years of war. His new house was more like a caravan than a home.

In 2007, his educational journey began at Marefat High school, but after two years, because of the bankruptcy of his father, he had to transfer to another school. He studied there for 5 years, then re-entered Marefat High School when he was in the 8th grade.

During this time, he lost his grandmother on his father’s side and after a year he lost his aunt and her new born baby. He also lost several friends who immigrated from Afghanistan. When he was in the 11th grade he lost his grandmother on his mother’s side. When he was preparing to graduate after the 12th grade, he lost the man he was closest too, his beloved grandfather on his father’s side. Soon after, an angiogram showed that his father needed heart surgery. His father went to India for treatment. While he was worried about the fate of his father, there was a suicide bombing at an educational center in Afghanistan that killed many, including several of his close friends.

Despite these sad, heartbreaking events he graduated in 2018, because nothing could stop him from reaching his goals. He has participated in many extra-curricular activities including debates, forums, Model UN and training classes.