I don’t even know where to start with this blog. I don’t know how to start. I still find it really difficult to talk about it without getting upset. Well here goes… Last Saturday (4th Feb) I received a phone call whilst I was at the International Students’ social. It was my friend informing me that my friend had died. Coming from a South Asian origin and a rather tight-knit community back home I have been going to funerals since I was little but to be honest they never effected me as I didn’t know the person who died. This time it was totally different. This time a close friend of mine had passed. The news hit me like a ton of bricks and even a week later I am still in shock and still having a good cry. We have a tendency to assume that events like these only happen to other people and so when they happen to us we are so ill-prepared for them.
My friend will never be forgotten. To say he was a lovely guy is a massive understatement. I genuinely cannot think of a bad thing to say about him. We have certainly lost one of the good ones. I don’t even know where to start when recalling our memories. I have to say that the most memoral thing about him was his compassion and consideration for other people. He was so selfless which is enviable. He had been there for me so many times especially in the early hours of the morning helping me with my problems or concerns that I had. One of the things that I am most thankful for is that he made me comfortable to be myself. He really has no idea just how much his words of kindness, encouragement and belief in me helped. I have no hesitation or doubt in my mind that he was one of the people that very literally, in an indirect way, saved my life. I’m just sorry that I never told him.
I remember one night that I was practically having an emotional breakdown about the prospect of coming-out to my mum. I was so scared but he kept reassuring me that everything was going to be okay and that of course she wasn’t going to disown me because she’s my mum and she loves me. Almost everyone was certain that she’d react really negatively and yet he was one of the few people that who genuinely believed, gave me hope and ultimately was right. Everytime I had a problem he always knew what to say to comfort me and to make me feel better. He would never say something he didn’t actually believe himself which I loved even if sometimes it was hard to hear. He was genuine and honest.
It took me ages to write a letter for him last night because I couldn’t stop crying. I know he would have hated to see his friends so upset but I couldn’t help it. The world has lost one of the good ones. I am debted to him and to be honest I have no idea how I’m going to repay him. He had so much faith in me and my abilityes to help people and make the world around me a better place even if that was only by changing a few people’s views and opinions. When I doubted myself he was always there to give me a good talking to and restored my confidence. He would build me up when I got shot down. I do have an idea how to repay him but I’m worried that if I don’t get it I would have let him down. After writing that I know exactly what he would have said – “All you can do is try you best because then at least you can walk away knowing that you gave it your all.” He would of course be right. I’ll share it… I want to run for a full-time position in my Students’ Union and have been wanting to do so for a while now but now it’s different, now, I will run in his memory. He really has no idea just how much he helped me. I love him so much.
On a rather random note, I’m really going to miss our truly intellectually stimulating debates. To be perfectly honest, in the beginning, I was unsure as to whether they were his views or not but I suspect that a lot of the time he was playing devil’s advocate. He certainly knew how to get under skin in debates which is impressive because not a lot of people can! Some of the debates really used to piss me off (please excuse my French) especially the one on the Israel/Palestine conflict. The most impressive thing was that his views or arguments were never ignortant or ill-informed. I loved that! He was an intellectual and truly listened to people’s views whilst also putting forward his own in a respectful and mindful way.
His friends have taken this so hard and I can only imagine how his family are taking it. He was loved by so many! When we talk to each other we can see the glint of sadness in each others’ eyes. We are still in shock but alas you have gone to a better place. May Allah (swt) grant you a well deserved place in jannah (heaven) inshallh (God willing).
“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness, that frightens us most.
We ask oursleves, ‘Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, and famous?’ Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that people won’t feel insecure around you.
We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It’s not just in some of us; it’s in all of us. And when we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.”
My friend honestly helped so much to liberate me from my fears. I will not let him down. I will never forget him. I will always love you Peter Warwick. May your grace, love, kindness and compassion live on in all those whom you graces with your presence.
Rest in peace.