Why You Should Still Be Alive

I try not to let myself miss you so much these days, I make an effort to stop myself from thinking about you too often. Because I know that once I start, it’s like being sucked into an endless whirlpool which doesn’t ever stop spinning and leaves me disoriented and unable to cope with what’s around me. I’ve been avoiding writing about you as well, because even though it’s like my therapy, it’s still a trigger for the whirlpool.

It’s been almost 9 months since you died. That’s a lot of days, it’s almost a year. In my mind there is this idea that once a year passes, it’s officially going to be REAL that you’re gone, even though I know I am just foolish myself and your death has been real the moment your heart stopped beating. I look at pictures of you, watch videos of you singing, and my biggest regret is always that I wished we’d bee able to spend more time together the past few years. And now, more than ever, I wish that you were still alive because…

1) I’m doing better and you need to see it. I don’t cringe every time my literature professor talks about death, I don’t hurry off to my dorm room early to sulk and mope and inevitably cry. I don’t keep away from my noisy, crazy but well-meaning group of friends. I don’t spend hours turning over in bed, wondering why you’re not still with us. I don’t skip classes or lose sight of priorities. I no longer want to be self-destructive. I started my own clothing brand and it’s doing well, I’m writing a novel this year, I’m making plans for grad school and throughout it all, I really miss your advice.

2) Tim Hortons is opening in Dubai. We all loved the Canadian coffee-joint back in Toronto, but you always seemed to love it more than the rest of us. You would order boxes of it’s French Vanilla blend every time someone would come to Dubai from Canada, and you even wrote about it in a few pieces of writing. I remember how every car wash or gas re-fill with you was incomplete if we didn’t pick up an Iced Cap or a box of Timbits first. And now that Tim Horton’s is finally opening up in Dubai, we all wish you were alive to see it.

3) Ayana started school today. Can you believe it? Two-and-a-half years old, and she talks like a chatterbox about anything and everything. Her favourite question is ‘Why?’ and her favorite answer to the question is ‘Because the sky is high’, and I wonder if you taught her that because I only remember you saying something as cheeky as that. She’s extraordinarily smart for her age, and she looks more and more like you the older she gets. Do you remember how well you did in school, with the debating competitions, Quran recitation, prefect duties, and straight A’s? So many of your old friends and acquaintances remember you now because they can so easily recall how well-liked you were at school. We all hope Ayana does even better, and I think she will, she has your smart genes.

Ayana and her Baba

I know these seem like really silly reasons for why you should still be alive. I mean, most people would wonder why there need to be any reasons at all in the first place and just you being alive should be the main concern. But I know you can’t be alive again, I know that death is ultimate and final. All I’m trying to do with words like these is chronicle things you’d always wanted to see but now no longer can, I’m doing it to keep the flame of your life burning bright. You may be gone, but that doesn’t mean you’ll ever be dead in our hearts or minds.



  1. Ayana is lucky to have a phuppi with a beautiful soul.
    mashaAllah. School? Wow.
    I hope she does do even better than Jawad.
    I also hope she doesnt have his very hoarse, manly voice.

    may Allah bless him and his family


  2. I did not know your brother personally but his kindness and generousity changed my life. I can not forget how he helped a stranger like me. I can not ever thank him enough. All I can do now is pray for him and his family. His death hurt me and made me question life. It did affirm my belief in the fact that good people do die young. But now when I think about it, your brother touched lives in such a short timespan something which rarely anyone is able to do.


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