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Untraveled Paths: The Journey We Dreamed...



2019

Me: "Lilly..."

Lilly: "Hmm....."

Me: "Let's take a trip"

Lilly: "Where"

Me: "I want to take you to India"

Lilly: "Hell NO!!! Been there. Seen it once. No thanks"

Me: "Lalla, it's not that kind of trip. I want to go to Kedarnath with you"

Lilly: "What's that"

Me: "It's a spiritual place. Not religious - Spiritual. It's said to be a place of spiritual healing. You like trekking, you love adventure, and you're interested in the spiritual side of life"

Lilly: "Hmm.....Let me think about it"


Kedarnath holds immense significance for Hindus. Kedarnath represents a pillar of celestial light emanating from Lord Shiva. Visiting this holy site is believed to bring immense spiritual benefits, healing, and liberation. The belief is that you can only go to this place if you are worthy of Lord Shiva's blessing. Everything will work out if HE deems you're deserving. Even though I'm an Ismaili Muslim, I believe in the power of Shiva. I believe in the power of this holy place.


I always wanted to take this trip with Lilly. There was something about the idea of it that filled me with hope. I believed that somehow, in the midst of the adventure, she would find the peace of mind she was so desperately seeking. I imagined the journey as a balm, a miraculous healer that would soothe her troubled spirit.


Lilly had always been a vibrant soul, full of life and curiosity. But as she grew older, the weight of the world seemed to settle on her shoulders. She struggled with depression, anxiety, addiction, and no matter how much I tried to help, there was always a part of her that seemed out of reach. I hoped that this trip would be the answer, the key to unlocking the joy and serenity she deserved.


Lilly agreed to come with me on this journey. Her tentative yes was a beacon of hope, a promise that she, too, believed in the possibility of finding peace. Together, we envisioned the paths we would walk, the mountains we would climb, and the quiet moments of reflection we would share. Unfortunately we were never able to take this trip.


July 11th, 2024 will mark four years since Lilly left me physically. For the past year, I’ve had a nagging urge to take this trip. I find myself struggling with questions like: Why do I want to go on this journey? Am I deserving of such an immense blessing? What are my true intentions behind embarking on this adventure?


Everyday, I struggle with forgiving myself. I struggle with making peace with the fact that Lilly is not with me physically. The same questions haunt me: How could I have changed the outcome, what else could I have done, where did I go wrong, am I a good parent, am I a good person. The guilt gnaws at my core.


What am I seeking?


I'm seeking forgiveness. I'm seeking peace. I want to happily let Lilly go onwards to her 'real' home. I want to let go and Let GOD in. I want to believe that letting go does not mean that I don't love and cherish her. She'll always be my child. I want to except the fact that she's my child in the most purest form that can be. I'm seeking her forgiveness, her blessing, her permission to move forward in life, to rediscover happiness once more.


Am I deserving of such an immense blessing? The easy part has been done. Dates have been finalized, tickets have been booked, the journey has been planed out, and I'm working to get in shape to make the physical trek. We have our plan, but as I've learnt time and time again - God has his own plan. Anything can happen between now and the actual journey. So many variables, so many unknowns. Yet, despite the uncertainties, there is a quiet reassurance in the depths of my soul. A belief that whatever lays ahead is meant to be.


As I'm reading the ancient texts and modern travel guides, I can't help but feel a deep reverence for the journey that lays ahead. The rugged terrain, the towering peaks, the sacred shrines nestled amidst the mountains – each detail has filled me with awe and wonder. But amidst the excitement and anticipation, there is also a profound sense of humility. Who am I to decide on embarking on such a sacred journey? Who am I to tread the sacred ground that has been sanctified by the prayers and penances of countless deserving souls?


Yet, even as I grapple with these questions, I can't shake the feeling that I'm being called to take this Journey. I know in my heart and soul that Lilly will be with me every step of the way. It's like she's saying: "mum I've found peace, it's your turn to find peace and healing".


My heart is filled with gratitude and humiIity, as I set out to plan my pilgrimage to Kedarnath. I know that this journey will not only take me to the highest peaks of the Himalayas, but it will also take me to the deepest recesses of my own soul. With each step, I am ready to embrace the challenges and revelations that await, praying that in the end, I will emerge transformed, enriched by the wisdom of the mountains and the journey within.



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