One day over a year later my husband told me that we had been invited to a wedding. I hate Algerian weddings for all sorts of reasons which I will write about another time, so with dread I asked whose and he told me it was Aisha’s husband. At first I was so chuffed and happy that he had invited Aisha’s old friends, but as the day wore on I became estimably sad, and then…. I felt guilty for feeling sad at what was, news of a happy occasion. I had such mixed emotions that it was difficult to say exactly what I felt. On the one hand I was very happy that Aisha’s husband was getting married again. Both he and she were younger than my husband and I, and I thought it only right and fitting that he marry again. Nobody could accuse him of marrying in haste as it had been a decent enough time since Aisha had passed away, and it was nice thinking that both he and their son would have a woman in their lives again to take care of them. But I felt sad….. for her. I know…. It doesn’t make sense really. I kept thinking that this woman would have an Algerian style wedding where she would be made a fuss of, in comparison to Aisha’s which, like most of us married in Europe, was a small, quiet affair. And… at the same time, I knew that Aisha, inshallah, was in a better place, and not a bit concerned with what kind of wedding her husband’s second wife would have. I prayed a lot that day… for Aisha, and also for her husband and his new wife, that they would be blessed with a long and happy marriage.
The day of the walimah came and I couldn’t eat or drink anything, I was such a bag of nerves. It was to be held in Aisha’s husband’s family home and I hoped and prayed that it wouldn’t be in the apartment where I had last seen Aisha. I had this awful premonition that I would enter the room, dissolve into a blubbering mess, embarrass everyone around me and make a total show of myself.... again. When we arrived I was surprised to see that there were no cars outside and that the light outside the door was off. When Aisha’s husband answered the door it turned out that there was no walimah that night…. He had told my husband that it probably would be that night but that he would contact him to confirm. My husband just assumed he had forgotten to ring him! Algerians! And this was with them both speaking to each other in derja! So it was agreed that while the boys and my husband went into the house for a while, my daughter and I would go and visit a friend who lived nearby. I was absolutely dying for the toilet so I rang my friend and asked if I could use hers (you can always tell whom your good friends are by the ones you don’t mind asking to use their toilet at a moment’s notice… and especially by those who are happy to oblige.). He did get married finally but we didn’t attend, much to my relief, and he is now the happy dad of a little girl, and his son is thrilled with his new sister.
May Allah have mercy on Aisha's soul, forgive her all her sins, make her grave wide and spacious and light, grant her Al Firdous..... and make it possible for me to meet her there. Ameen.