Hello. I know I keep disappearing from the blog due to a number of reasons but behind the scenes I had managed to write quite a few new posts – nine in fact. I say ‘had’ because they still remain unpublished as I never thought for a second I would find myself writing something very personal instead.
Last month my dad sadly and suddenly passed away. It was from a heart attack and his last few hours will stay with me forever. I purposely avoided saying anything on social media (I don’t know why, I just didn’t feel comfortable doing it) but I now I can write about it.
I don’t think there is ever a right way to deal with bereavement; people handle it in their own way. The first week was tough but it was also busy. I was distracted with friends and family rallying around to console and support and I organised a funeral, which was dignified and beautifully done. The number of people phoning and walking through the door hasn’t stopped and there is a queue of more wishing to visit. It’s precisely this gesture that has given my family and I strength to deal with the loss. There aren’t enough words to express how thankful I am to everybody who’s called, texted, sent flowers, sent food and turned up on the doorstep. Friends and family are everything – even work colleagues past and present have been wonderful.
I am very fortunate to have had Mohammad Shaikh as my dad and as my friend too. The relationship I had with him was extraordinarily special. He taught me so much from DIY to writing letters (even swear words in Urdu!) and had a wicked sense of humour. He was also an exceptional cook with patience in everything he made. He called me his son (‘beta’ in Urdu), in fact it was dad (or ‘abba’ as I called him) who came up with the nickname ‘Sheenie’. (My name is Afsheen.) Because of how much he did for me, how much he sacrificed for me and the love and support he gave, I was adamant I would never break his heart and I stuck to that promise. It still doesn’t feel real that he’s gone and I am beginning to realise how true it is that you never get over the death of a loved one, you just learn to live with it. I do know life without him will never be the same, I just hope he was proud of me and I miss him so, so much.
I will be back on the blogging front very soon. I just wanted to share this post with you. Thank you to everyone who’s been there for me during this difficult time – you know who you are. I couldn’t have coped without your love and support.