Hello, it sure has been a while. I have had brain block for quite sometime, not knowing what to pour some soul into for a while. So I took to instagram and asked you what you wanted to know sure enough the majority voted for ‘estrangement’.
This isn’t an easy topic to talk about, for me it has become my biggest burden and continues to be my biggest heart ache. But it is a reality for so many people and so many converts and I hope that by sharing my story I can help others feel less alone.
I have been married now for almost 7 years and identified as a muslim since I was 23, almost 10 years now. It was no surprise to me that converting wouldn’t be taken lightly by my family thus I lived in secret for over 2 years. When I met my husband it was time to “come out” – I felt I had the support I needed and that living in secret was no longer necessary. Of course my parents didn’t take to that news lightly and here we are. Over 7 years on, I can count on one hand how many times I have spoken to my mother or seen her.
It isn’t easy. This post isn’t going to be about me telling you that it’s ok and that time will eventually heal all wounds, because there is a reality that time might not heal those wounds. She may never accept my choice of becoming a muslim and I may never have a civil relationship with her ever again.
There is always going to be a feeling of overwhelming guilt that I feel for having hurt her. None of us want to disappoint our parents; many of us just want to feel like we have made them proud. I know deep down in my heart that if my mum allowed herself the chance to see the life am living and the person that I’ve become that she would be so proud. She would love and embrace my children, she would love her son-in-law and they would adore her, I know it!
I mention her to them and I show them photos of her so that they know they have another grandmother who loves them. I don’t think I will ever tell them about these hard years, about these years apart, about these years where we have become like strangers to one another. I don’t want them to know that.
From an islamic perspective I fear I may not be doing enough; Heaven lies at her feet and right now there are days when I feel hopeless. If paradise relied on my mothers forgiveness, if I died tomorrow I may not see its doors. These are the heavy thoughts that keep me awake at night. I make dua for her and I pray and I wait. Patiently I wait.
“We have enjoined on man kindness to his parents; in pain did his mother bear him, and in pain did she give him birth” (46:15).