There are certain people we will always remember. People we may have never really known. People we may have known. Nevertheless, there is something about them, which has left their mark on our Spirits. Whether its their personality. Their style of dress. A way in which they expressed themselves. Their popularity with others. OR Something as simple as. . .a smile. Its essence is beautiful, nutritious, caring, and devoted, as a smile.
For this particular person, it was a gentle, and affectionate grimace, across her face, which captivated my attention. I had been on campus, that day. Coming in the morning, with my camera, in hand, to see if there were any exciting scenes on campus. My footsteps stopped in silence upon coming across Moataz Al Alfi Hall. There was a tranquil aura about the spacing. It seemed solemn. Periods of stillness and calm blanketed the spacing. Entering in I saw two large photos on either side of the stage. There they were. Bright, bold, and illuminating as ever, were pictures of her smile. Looking at those images, it was as if I was given the go ahead to, enter.
I did not know her. And, I had never met her. Maybe, there was a time when we had crossed paths, or bypassed each other on campus, without giving a second glance. Nevertheless, her smile had been captured in stillness‘ gaze, for many to see. Those who had come to see clearly had been enchanted by her presence on campus. Looking around to observe the audience, their facial expressions told different stories. Certain eyes revealed being traumatized by her passing. Others reflected gazes of memory. Images of wonder, happy times, and friendships having been made. Nevertheless, she was missed.
The name identifying her on the large posters was, Noushi. I often reflect upon the meaning of her name, the people who gave it to her, and why it was given. It was Tuesday, May 17, 2017, when this memorial took place. A tragic car accident, where she was with her friends, is what ended her Earthly journey. She was taken too soon. She was too young to go. And, throughout the spaces, faces displayed the question of. . .why? That is a beautiful question, is it not? Why must the innocent always go? Its a mystery we have yet to cope with. Nevertheless, it happened and loved ones are left to deal with the painful aftermath. That doesn’t mean that their work does not continue. On the contrary, sometimes the transitioned can have the most powerful impact when they are no longer here. Its their memory, which allows their Spirit to linger on. Keeping a vigilant aura of their presence. Giving us a moment of reflection on life’s true meaning and purpose. It was her smile, that reminded the audience of life’s endless beauty. That a person’s presence, after their living, breathing flesh, can be beautiful.
Looking around the spacing, one observes breaths of purple across the room. Glitters of her Spirit had been placed on chairs, in Moataz Alfi Hall. Purple does not sway for everyone. Clearly, Noushi was a special Being. The way in which the purple ribbons had been carefully placed on each chair, was as if her Soul had come down to paint traces of her heavenly perfumes. Clearly, Noushi’s smile had been enchanting many Beings, who found healing in AUC’s gardens. Brief moments in her memorial showed that her life also brought humor to any space where her footsteps took reach. It was part of the nurture of how kindness (even to those we do not know) can go a long way.
Running tears were evident. It was clear that some had grown attached to her. The difficulty in letting go. That’s always the painful step, when a loved one has transitioned on. Acceptance. Accepting they are gone. That, in the flesh, they can’t be touched, held, kissed. Difficult for her mother to grasp the harsh reality, that she will no longer be able to comb her daughter’s hair. Or cook her a meal. That’s the painful reality!
This reality of a loved one leaving is why we hold onto memories and images. Photographing memories of their existence, while they were alive. Recording their sound. Their voices and ways of speech. Hanging on to their clothes and belongings. These are the treasures, which maintains their essence, here. So powerful, that it feels as if they have never left. Recording and keeping pieces of their aura gives us the spiritual nutrition, needed in keeping them, near.
I did not know her, and yet, her smile welcomed me in. Who could ever think of doing harm to a precious Being, as she? A smile radiating gentility, affection, warmth, love, and compassion. So much can be done, with just one pleasant grimace.
I left Moataz Alfi Hall quietly that day. Clearly, I was supposed to be on campus for a reason. I would not know until I had arrived. Yet, it was obvious, the reason for my presence there. I was meant to be there for Noushi. Capturing one lasting honor of her footsteps at AUC’s domains. From one maiden to another. After all, it is custom for maidens to honor each other, when in the garden. In addition to her smile, that brightly colored ensemble of yellow, illuminated the inner coloring of her Spirit. Adding more sunlight to flowery blooms of, her smile.
Every so often we run into those special Spirits. Those loving Beings, whom we do not know. Yet, their very presence, alone, captures our Spirits. They have the power to turn bad days around. From unpleasant grimaces, while rotating them upside down. Though one angel was taken, muting traces of her sound, remember lasting memories of her smile, will always, be around.