Remembering Reyhaneh, seven days after becoming eternal
(Note by Shole Pakravan, Reyhaneh’s mother)
According to the judiciary’s documents, Reyhaneh was hanged at 6 am on October 25, 2014. But my brain had frozen before that. I call the freezing of my brain the cutting of the invisible umbilical cord of my past.
To remember the saddest moment of my life, I post this letter at 6.
I cannot sleep…
My dear child, strong as a cedar, is relieved of Sarbandi and his friends. The child is calm now. Morteza Sarbandi, I will never forgive you for emptying my arms and for causing your children so much agony, so much pain and disgrace. Shame on you for being so merciless to all.
The secret to the beauty of the tragedy is in the death of the hero. A death which is life itself. The continuation of the desire to live.
The restlessness I felt last week will not strike me down because Reyhaneh has become part of my heart and soul. She awakes me but does not appear in my dreams. I miss her. I am full of emotion. Bitter and longing. It is a mixture of moments of tragedy being recalled and giving it meaning. Tears that have fallen and those still waiting to fall by which seeds are watered with. It is a seed that will become a tree one day. It is a tree which its roots are in heaven and provides shade on the earth.
At this hour, the heroin of my life’s tragedy, stood calm and dignified, at the gallows at such an hour, to take her story to the end.
Our destiny is in God’s hands. He is the one who grants honor or shame. He is the one who can engrave someone’s love in people’s hearts even when there is no support from the authorities. God is the one who makes one pay for his actions, even if one is a saint, is influential and has the support of lawmakers and authorities. Everything is in God’s hands.
Daddy’s daughter! Seven days have passed since the day I was unable to drive to Shahre Rey. Since the day that my eyes became teary after remembering the last time I met with you. On our Friday afternoon visit, you whispered in my ear that I will never see you again. That your accusers do not believe in forgiveness. You told me to take care of your grand-mother and the kids.
My daughter! Now you are within god’s hands who has given you fame. He has placed your love in people’s hearts. My young daughter! They love you like their own daughter. People who do not know me, but they swear in your name and spirit.
Dear Reyhaneh! At the funeral, which was another beginning of your life, a woman presented your mother with a flower plant. Every day I watch the plant and I am drowned in your memory. I weep for myself because I will not be able to hold you anymore. I weep for your mother, whose anger mixed with grief gives me shivers. I feel grief for my other children who take refuge in my arms and whisper your name in my ears… Reyhan, Reyhan! My dear daughter! Forgive me for not being able to sustain your heart beats. Forgive me for not being able to stop your execution. I was helpless. I was powerless. You were in heavens. Gold almighty stretched his hands and carried you up. To a place, where I could not reach.
Seven days ago, we were waiting at the prison doors of Rajai-Shahr prison, shivering. Inside that prison, our Reyhaneh, was creating the last chapter of her life story. A camera was set up by the gallows to force her to confess to a lie that had brought her misery for the past 7 years. Reyhaneh said she stabbed Morteza (Sarbandi), her attacker, only once, in his right shoulder, in self-defense, against rape. There were only three members of the Sarbandi family there. Jalal and two other women, one, the mother, an elderly and a middle age one, Jalal’s spouse. But in legal papers the names of each of Sarbandi’s children have been mentioned as being present (during the execution). String of lies and dishonesty, shameful lies.
My Reyhaneh, died with her head straight. She died brave and strong, on behalf of all the girls in this country who have endured aggressors. God bless you my daughter. Your mother and father are happy with you and proud of you. Because of your heroism, I forget all my sufferings, all my sleepless nights, all my vain pledges to the accuser family, all my tears.
Oh, Reyhaneh! What did you see and what did you hear? Whatever it was, you maintained your dignity and your innocence. You were hanged while being brave, proud and graceful. According to their report, they kept you on noose for about an hour before bringing you down.
Oh, my eternal love! After that, they started throwing mud at you and writing lies about everything you had denied in those last minutes and in front of the camera.
My sleeping beauty! It is now my turn to tell others what you said and was not heard. To say what you said but was ignored. It is my turn to reveal the truth about Morteza Sarbolandi and his intentions. It is my turn to tell others what you endured in all these years. I will publish what you have written, although it might be repetitive and many have cried them before I did.
Forgive me that I did not publish them in recent months. Forgive me for interrogating you. Forgive me if I did not believe you for months. Forgive me. I had not yet discovered your glorious mystery, your glorious perseverance, your glorious stance for truth even at the cost of your life, the glory to consign yourself to the wind. The glory of screaming in silence. The glory of your immortality.
What happened to your beautiful face and your majestic presence? Today, before my trip to the cemetery, so many had visited your grave and had presented you with beautiful flowers that it looked like a flower garden. After an hour of whispering on your grave, I decided to go back home. I had to come back and visit you many more times. You want to know why? Because every time I got into the car, I saw a few more people came to visit you, the love bird. I could not convince myself not to be with you while others keep coming to you. How splendid and wonderful, my daughter’s grave has transformed to a place for people to whisper love and tears. It is a very strange feeling to be the mother of a girl who everybody else regards her as a family member. I think I should take some photos to be able to express the large number of people who love to see you.
Some people write their feelings on paper and discretely hand them to me. This is such a true contrast to the tale of hollow drums that the media is trying to play and ignore all these.
Oh, am I blessed!