My flash forward

A flash forward is a fictitious phenomena conceived by Robert J. Sawyer in his novel Flash Forward; he tells a story where the whole population in the world lost consciousness at the same time for about 2 minutes and 27 seconds. Those who survived the event had a chance to see a glimpse of their future, 20 years ahead. The book talks about a “mosaic” of all the “visions” the people of the world had and how it might change their present, and the decisions they might need to take. It was later adapted into a TV series with the same name.

When I first saw the series, I loved it of course, this type of science fiction fascinates me, where the story is set in the current day world, then they change just one aspect — in this case the flash forward- and leave the rest the same, then take us into how people and the world react to this new aspect.

Years come by and I decide to start reading the book. And of course, the story told by the book is way more interesting and fascinating than the usual Hollywood dramatization!

Anyway, reading through the scientific explanations, quantum physics the horrifying visions and the sweet ones, the loss of loved ones during the blackout…, a huge insight came to me from my own recent past… my own flash forward!

Don’t get excited, it was a horrifying one that I am still living to date…

It happened sometime at the end of October 2013, when I first realized dad might have an advanced stage of Cancer, that mom had a pre Alzheimer’s condition (MCI) along with the existing vicious brain atrophy condition my sister had.

The vision I had for myself was the darkest I could ever imagine…

My horrific vision consisted of seeing myself loosing all of them, one by one… then having to bear the biggest role in taking care of the three of them until they perish, that it would consume 10 years of my life at least. I saw the darkness coming to eat me up inside out, the tough times that are waiting for me, the loss, the sorrow, the amount of grief, the burden. I froze. I cried for days. I felt so sorry for them and so sorry for myself and for my brothers. For months on, that was all I could see. Darkness coming. And darkness came. On one hot May day, while my dad was dying slowly in his bed few weeks away from his last day on earth, came the news that mom’s condition has deteriorated and thus Alzheimer’s is here. I called my brothers, I cried hard and thought this was it. Its here, its happening and its all on me. I picked up the phone and booked an appointment with a therapist. I wanted to survive, not only for me, but for the family that needs me to be sane, strong and ready to support.

Dad passed away a few weeks later, mom and sister became my responsibility until one of my brothers could move here to help me. A year and few months later, I lost my only sister. Till date, Mom’s illness is progressing and at every setback, tears come down, I take a long breath and try my best to adapt.

Now thinking back, that flash forward -however terrifying- shocked my very existence, yet my ability to see forward, kept me aware and in fight mode, was a harsh reminder of how much life can be short, of how much it’s insane, dead unfair and though seems so pointless; it’s all I have. And I need to survive it.

I am surviving it, this experience is helping me see beyond the fog, the noise t0 seek the lighthouse, the signal in everything around me. Pushing me not to waste any energy on useless endeavors and to focus on ones that are worthy of my effort, to bring me joy and fulfillment. An attempt to fill in a gap deepened by all that anguish and loss. I am thus hungry.

Razan Khatib

Razan Khatib

Playing at the intersection of culture, technology, and values. Trying to structure my thoughts and share experiences, learnings, and insights. Co-founder of @spring_apps
Amman, Jordan