Eulogy by his brother, Shakil.
To many of you he was your brother and your son. To my parents he was their first
son and to me he was my older and only brother.
This is the hardest thing our family has had to do in our lives. No parent expects to
bury their child no sibling expects to bury their brother.
Abu was the kindest, most big hearted, selfless person I have ever known. Any one
that he touched knew this about him. While he didn’t have many material
possessions, he gave much to help those that were less fortunate.
If you had the pleasure of meeting him, your life was better off.
I am not the fighter my brother Abu was. He fought the cancer battle for 2 years and
finally succumbed to it as our close family watched him take his last breath on
January 13, 2009. His middle name is Sohrab, meaning warrior, fighter. And that
is precisely what he was. My brother was the unique combination of being a great
fighter, protector and with a great heart.
He protected me all my life and was always there for me in the most crucial of
moments. He pulled my tricycle from the center of the street to the side. He took
hits for me in neighborhood football and he even fought my fights for me on the
playground when he knew I was wrong. He never stopped protecting me. As we
grew older, he shielded me from hurtful people when I got a divorce.
His heart knew no boundaries. He was a man with the purest heart in the world.
Anyone he touched knew this about him. In college he was a guardian angel and
fed the homeless. In 1998 my brother was in a bus accident in which he saw a 5
year old girl become newly orphaned. As one of 6 to survive he protected her from
the chaos that encompassed the accident, getting her to safety first before saving
his own life.
To the community and friends, you were his family that he loved. Thank you for your
outpouring of love and sincerity. Please protect my parents in this most delicate of
times. It is what Abu would have wanted.
To my parents, do not worry about me. Do not fear for me because, I am not alone.
Both Abu and I know this. I am a strong man with a loving wife and son,
surrounded by everyone you see in this room.
To my son, your uncle’s life will live inside your heart and mine. I hope you gain
your uncle’s fighting spirit, his compassion he has had for others and his big heart
he took so quickly to heaven. You are a better person for having met him.
And to my brother, I love you and will love you forever. There will not be a day we will
not think of you for the rest of my life. I hope you watch over my son Khalil,
protecting him as you did me all my life. Khalil, one more thing, this is the best
Goddamn uncle you never got to know.