Thirty days ago I said goodbye. Thirty one days ago you took your last breath. Just like that I lost one of my best friends and chosen sister to Cancer. If I said my heart is broken, that would be an understatement. Now I place events into two categories, before February 9th, 2018 and after February 9th, 2018. She fought hard, and I try to find comfort in believing that she is no longer in pain.
I’ve experienced loss before, but this one feels different. I’ve lost both my paternal grandparents who were in every way my “mom and dad”. Those were terrible loses and even though they’ve been gone 20 and almost 13 years ago, I still have moments of great sadness, and loneliness knowing they are no longer in this physical world with me. I was young when they both passed and even though it was hard, I understood that they were in their eighties and people in their eighties pass away. It made sense. It hurt, but it made sense.
No one could’ve prepared me for losing someone who’s my peer. Someone I thought I would still have by my side at eighty. I never thought in a million years this would happen in my world. I know, I know, I was clearly living in my created bubble, because I know that young people die every day, but I guess it’s hard to really grasp until it directly affects you.
My friend is…was (I still have a hard time with that past tense) amazing. She was a beautiful person inside and out. I met her on my second day at the University of Windsor. When I got to my dorm room the first day, it had my name and a girl named “Shannon” ( I think) on the door. I spent all day unpacking and meeting new people checking out my new surroundings, and “Shannon” never showed up. I was really disappointed. Everyone had roommates and I thought, this is not a good start to my freshman year. Then on the second day my darling Saira came, and she was lovely. Right away we connected and were inseparable. It’s a rare thing to find a person you connect with on such a deep level, especially coming from very different backgrounds, her Pakistani, me Jamaican, but we just clicked. She had these cushions in her room our second year and I would sit on them and we would talk for hours, and laugh our heads off. It was magical.
I am so thankful that I had her in my life, even though it was for a short time. I am thankful for her unconditional, non-judgemental love, and support. My heart aches, but even through the tears I can find memories to make me smile, because all of our memories are happy ones. Even in her difficult times, and being sick, she was always upbeat and optimistic. That is how I will always remember my Jani.
Light, Laughter & Love