Looking back

Today will forever be etched in my history as the worst day as my Abaaji (grandad) passed away. Towards the end it was heart wrenching watching him trying to battle his metastatic cancer which had started its war on his kidneys and by his death had reached his throat. Then there was his dementia which had grabbed his life and left nothing behind but his shrivelled frame, but still he did not complain of his ills.

I know the only guarantee in life is that of death, but I know it’s not the end and hope that you are at peace and that I am lucky enough to meet with you once more. I promise this time I will never let you go as the world without you is not the same anymore.

When I was growing up he was always there whether it be walking me to school, taking me to Woolworths or the Library and Tooting Bec Common in the summer. I never thought I would be with out you in my life. I remember when I was in hospital at the age of 11 after having my appendicitis and you came to see me the next day and you bought me a mini Spirograph (which was all the rave back then). Everything you did had so much thought as I forgot my operation and played with the present.

I just regret not spending more time with you, especially towards the end when you really needed it and I got busy with having my own life and falling pregnant. I wanted you so badly to meet my children so that they would be able to feel the joy you bought!

At your funeral I realised it was not just the family that felt a sense of devastation, but every person you had come across had their own moment of kindness that you had shown them. Whether it be at a brothers dying moments, to the committee’s that you were involved which started our first local mosque in Balham, then there was the open door policy at Childebert Road that gave any one from the subcontinent that he was made aware of who needed help to stay there till they could support themselves and afford housing a roof over their heads.

Being in the army never left him and that standard of perfection he lived his life with. Which I admired and tried to emulate, but never quite attained but still he was always proud of everything I did. I am so grateful that you were and always will be part of life till my last breath. You taught me so much and nothing quite compares to a hug from you.

I know death is not the end of the story  but just the full stop at the end of paragraph for our lives to process our presence and be surrounded by the good In Shah Allah.

My Abaaji

Everything about you shone, 

Like a beacon 

Whether it be your kindness, 

Or the love you showered us with.

Everyone felt they belonged to you,

And that you belonged to us.

You left a hole in my heart bigger than any disaster. 

I try not to cry, instead I smile from the pride that fills my stomach.

I know we will meet again,

My Abaaji




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