As rahmet* always reminded me of rain and abundance, I would think that what I wish was wealth. When I said “Allah rahmet eylesin”** after the deaths, I imagined someone who joined to the earth, to the abundance again. Also the phrase “Hakkın rahmetine kavuştu.” (“They reunited with the “rahmet” of God.”) always brought the earth to my mind, I remembered that we came from the earth and we will return.
Nowadays, four of my friends, unaware of each other, told me about their mourning processes. Yesterday I realized that this is a process that we are going through as humanity, independent of age, place and people. I woke up this morning wishing “Allah rahmet eylesin”***. I slept back, woke up, and I was still praying when I got out of bed. When I sat at the table to write, I looked at the origin of the word “rahmet”. “Rahim”, one of its roots; uterus of the mother. It means compassion, like the combination of the last two “acts” of the book “Forgiveness and Other Acts of Love”, tolerance and forgiveness.
Looking at it like this, I felt like this prayer is not for those who are gone, but for those who remained. Like saying: May God tenderly embrace you, may angels hug you, may your body be filled with the light of the universe… It was not enough. I did not feel satisfied, so I checked also the roots of the word “eylemek”. It comes from an Arabic word, which comes from another word, meaning “full” in Aramaic/ Syriac. Yani “eylemek” is to fill in. Now I’m OK:
May God fill (your heart) with compassion.
My wish for anyone who is mourning or passing through the dark nights of the soul at these days:
May our nights be full with the light that illuminates our souls,
May our days be full with compassion that surrounds our bodies.
For everything that won’t exist in the new world,
Allah rahmet eylesin.
For this prayer, I chose the colors and the pattern of the Turkish coffee serving tray from my grandmother.
* Rahmet may be translated as “mercy”.
** Original Turkish phrase for the prayer at the title.
*** “May God fill it with compassion” is my translation after writing about this phrase in Turkish and meditating with it. A more common translation is “Rest in peace.”