In Loving Memory of my beloved Khaled; “Letting go”


Letting go 


You were there in front of me…

And I was missing you already

I was gazing at you

Couldn’t keep my eyes off you

Going to your shirts, you hang up

At the back of the door

Smelling them

Holding your jumper in my arms

Covering my face with, and sobbing

Trying hard

Not to show you my anguish and distress


I didn’t want to wash your clothes

I wanted to keep your scent… around

Holding on to your glasses

Kissing them… looking through them

Longing to see your eyes… behind


People kept telling me

“Don’t worry

It’s a routine operation”

We’d come through it

Seventeen years before, I know

But deep… deep down

In the bottom of my soul

I knew…

I used to pray, pleading

“Please God let my feelings be wrong”


One week before surgery

We went to hospital for final tests

When we came back

I burst into tears

Couldn’t stop

Time was getting closer

And I couldn’t face what was to come

Losing you was more than I could bear


You didn’t know what was the matter

Nobody knew… but me

But I couldn’t say anything

I cried all afternoon

You followed me

Trying to comfort me

You held me in your arms

Until I fell asleep

Do you remember?



One night before the operation

You were admitted

But you didn’t know

I’d set my mind on

Staying with you tonight


When I packed your bag

I put the little book I wrote for you

A collection of my letters,

Cards and poems

Gathered over the years

You’d never seen the book before


When the surgeon came

He talked of many things

He wanted to explain details of what’s to come

And to answer our questions

“Can I stay here tonight?” I asked

He didn’t expect that

He hesitated…

“I’ll ask the sister in-charge”…

“It’s against the regulations

But we’ll let you off tonight

Don’t ever ask for another”

“I won’t… I promise” I said


That night, we shared our last meal together

We sat and talked

Trying to encourage each other

We both put on a brave face

We prayed together

We read some Qur’an together


Then, I gave you the little book

Holding hands

We read our last memories together

Everything I wanted to say to you

Was there, Habibi

In those modest words

We relived our life that night

We relived our love that night

Habibi… do you remember?


Hand in hand

We fell asleep

You on a hospital bed

And me on an arm chair

Next to you


We surrendered to what was to come

Most beautiful night

Most peaceful night

Most tranquil night

I think we were surrounded

By angels that night



We woke up next day

Prayed together

And got ready

When they came to take you

I walked alongside your hospital bed

Towards the operation room

And there at the door

And for the last time

We looked into each others’ eyes

Into each others’ souls


Holding our breath

Our eyes mesmerized

Our bodies frozen

Until the big white door

Separated us


Then came the waiting

Hours of agonizing pain

It felt eternal

I wanted to know what was happening

But I dreaded the phone

The surgeon had said

“Don’t worry if we don’t ring

It’s most likely good news

Only worry if we do ring you”


The phone rang

My heart stopped

“The surgeon encountered some problems”

The shaky voice from the other end announced

“He needs to see you”

Collapsing… I rushed to the car

Expecting to hear what I most feared


“Complications… beyond our expectations

I’ve done this operation thousands of times

Never seen anything like

What I’ve seen today

I’ve tried my best

We are only humans

It’s all in the hands of God now”


Two days later

They rushed you again

For an emergency surgery

That day was sooo long

Longer than my life

At night we received a phone call

The surgery was successful

But you’re still critical

Day after day

Night after night

I waited… for a miracle

That you’d pull through


Our friend Tareq

Kept ringing me

“Dear sister

Kneel down and pray

Beg for Khaled to survive

Plead for his life

Say to God

‘For the sake of all the orphans

Khaled sponsors, looks after

And supports

Don’t let his children become orphans’ “


I tried to do just that

But couldn’t

I felt embarrassed

To ask for something

When I knew God wanted something else

I felt it was greedy to ask for more

People get a one month honeymoon

One year, two years, five years honeymoon,

I got 23 years, 6 months, and 9 days

How can I want more?


All through my life

I was constantly surrounded by love

Some people don’t experience

A fraction of the joy

That always immersed me

It was time to give back now

And I knew it…

“You will not attain virtue

Unless you’re able to give

Of what you love most”


I surrendered…

I can’t show misery now

How can I?

When I was given so generously


Grant me patience

Grant me grace

Grant me dignity

Grant me serenity

Grant me ability to let go


As tender as you were

Your departure was as tender and gentle

And I was given two weeks

To help me let go… of you… Habibi

DSCF0148.JPG small 



© Copyright 2006 Nahida Izzat -PoetryforPalestine – All Rights Reserved

10 Responses

  1. nice and too long  i wish that it is not your hand writing


  2. lol very crazy think is there not all some works in there


  3. It put tears to my eyes! I can feel the pain, the agony …. sending you a big, comforting hug! Would you please get in touch?
    BTW … I hope you don’t mind I crossposted your article about Muslim women on my blog … we belong to the same wonderful religion!


  4. إِنَّا لِلّهِ وَإِنَّـا إِلَيْهِ رَاجِعونَ


    This is my first time visiting your site, and reading this poem shook me. Thank you for upkeeping such a precious treasure chest of your life, thoughts and feelings.

    My sincerest Du’as toward you and your family, beloved sister.


  5. BEAUTIFUL! rest in peace amo khalid ❤


  6. I was highly impressed with your tender, sweet, true, emotional description of what you have been exposed to. May God bless his soul and grant you always the power to write more on Palestine.


  7. Beautiful,, this site is my favourite. I wish i could be a wife and mother like you one day. My first daughter’s name will be Nahida. I love you.


  8. beautuful.. I wish i could be a wife and mother like you one day. My first daughter’s name will be Nahida. I love you.


  9. Allah yerhamo


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