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The loss of time

(Published 23rd March 2023)

The calendars around our house are all stuck in December 2022. The first of many wall clocks stopped at 6:30 a few days ago. A sight you'll be familiar with if you've ever come to my house. My Dad absolutely loved sticking clocks at every corner of the house which lead me to develop a hypersensitive reaction to ticking noises. Especially when I'm trying to sleep (fun fact - I don't have a clock in my room)

Punctuality was important to my dad, as it was to my Dadi too (paternal grandmother). She had a tiny bedside clock that had been at her side for over 30 years. They've changed over the years as we've had various alarm clocks that do different things. For a while, we even had a clock that played the Adhan (Muslim call for prayer) during every prayer time. We ended up having to take the batteries out as her room was near our neighbours and we feared waking people up next door.

My Dad was meticulous with his time keeping and jotting things down in calendars; to the point where he'd ceremoniously flip a sheet over on every calendar in the house at midnight on the last day of the month. In recent years, he'd get me to climb up to do it as they were a little high up and he didn't want to climb on top of any chairs.

I lost my Father a few months ago (just two months after losing my grandmother). It's been a challenging time coming to terms with so much loss in a short amount of time.

It has been numbing living in a house that once was warm which now has the absence of light. My dad was larger than life in everything that he did and you'd know it when you met him. He never woke up grumpy and always reconciled his differences before turning in for the night; always the first to apologise (no matter who it was he had a disagreement with)

He dedicated his life to the service of others. We're only just learning how much time he spent in looking after those who had fallen on difficult times.

Today marks the first day of the Muslim month of Ramadan. It also coincides with Marie Curie's National Day of Reflection where we have an opportunity to remember our loved ones who’ve died, support people who are grieving, and connect with each other. Marie Curie signpost a number of incredible resources to support people going through bereavement (Check them out here).

I have many memories as a child of staying up with my parents as they cooked throughout the night so we can deliver iftar packages to my family and to my local mosque where it would be distributed to the community.

Ramadan was a special month in our family and I have many fond memories of going to the mosque to do the night prayers with him. It would often end with him buying me a slushie on the way back (no matter the weather might I add)

For those of my friends observing Ramadan, I'd like to request you remember him and my family in your prayers. Even more importantly, I'd like to remind you to cherish the time you have with the closest people around you. Give when you have the opportunity and remember that each day we rise every morning is an opportunity for us to make a difference to someone in this world.

I'd like to end this by saying this poem my dad would always say to me and my mum (to this day I still don't entirely know where he got it from, no matter how much I've googled it) -

The loss of gold is much

The loss of love is more

The loss of time is such a loss,

that no-one can restore


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