Sunday, March 28, 2021

I see you, Daddy!


Dad’s one-month prayer was held today, on his birthday. It was hard observing it virtually but I'm still grateful that I could be part of it.

Battling to sleep.
Went out on to the balcony.

I see you, Daddy! 🌕❤️🙏🏼🎂

Goodnight...I love you 😘

 

Saturday, March 27, 2021

I still feel numb


This is a difficult weekend for our family.

Today marks one month for our Dad.
Tomorrow is his birthday.

To be honest, I still feel numb.
Grief was something I'd heard others talk about, but never thought I'd experience it myself so soon.

I've learned that grief can be calm...and without warning, it feels like a knife piercing your heart. Going through this without physically being with my mum and brother is probably the hardest.

Never before have I had consistent dreams as I have these past few weeks. I wake up remembering them vividly - with our Dad - always smiling.
Love forever.❤️ 

Friday, March 19, 2021

Daddy's Girl

I still find it hard to use the words “passed away” when speaking about my dad. Instead, I refer to it by the date it happened or say “when my dad left”.

The most challenging question to answer these days is, “How are you doing/feeling?”

I wondered - in our culture, especially - when faced with death, after the funeral and 12-day prayer...does one start to find acceptance and peace?

The answer: There is no deadline when one will start to feel “normal”.

Tomorrow marks 3 weeks. My heart feels heavy and empty at the same. It’s confusing & painful. While death itself is difficult, I have learned that losing a parent is like losing a part of you. 

Those who were close to my dad have reached out to me and shared how he openly expressed how proud he was of me. Regardless of my age, that will always be music to my ears. 🥰

This photo was taken about 13 years ago just before returning to my crazy adventure in South Korea. I’ve been told that my dad was especially proud of how independent I was. 

Despite that, I know that deep down I was always “Daddy’s Girl” and this photo reminds me of that. 💕

Thursday, March 11, 2021

uBarry made a choice and he lived to leave a mark

 

Dear Daddy,

“You either leave a mark on the world or the world leaves a mark on you. uBarry made a choice and he lived to leave a mark”

This is just one of the many incredible tributes that I heard at your memorial today. 

Your comrades spoke of you as someone with strong ethics. You were known throughout the city and beyond as a man of integrity, who never thought twice when it came to helping people.

There are moments when I feel like my heart ‘should’ be healing, yet it feels like it’s breaking into smaller pieces. Time heals, I know. But as I heard, “what you call as a parent is the basis of this body, there is a very deep memory connection between the two.”

Mummy wishes that you were just on a business trip and that you’d be back soon. Don’t worry - we’re taking care of her (me too, from a distance!)

Darmesh performed every step of your baarmu yesterday with the utmost grace. We see you in him more than EVER in the past few days. He is being told that he has big shoes to fill, but he’s already keeping the Makhan flag flying! Keep guiding him, please.

I love you.

Your baby,
Sheetal


Tuesday, March 9, 2021

There is a greater plan for all of us


Dear Daddy,

I opened my laptop now to write to you. It's helping me work through my emotions, and it feels like you're listening.

As I started typing, I heard music playing from one of the tabs on my browser - only to realize that it was the streaming playback of your funeral. (I couldn't get myself to close that tab last week) 

Our Wi-Fi cut in the first ten minutes of the broadcast, so I missed when you'd just arrived at the crematorium, until right now. 😔

It was/is heartbreaking seeing Mummy & Darmesh on the screen. Watching your family, friends & comrades put roses (your favourite) in your coffin, I can't imagine that you were in there because I couldn't see your face.  

Not once did we give up hope on you, but there is a greater plan for all of us.

It's your baarmu tomorrow - I'll be there virtually and spiritually. My tears are flowing now, but what gives me peace is having faith that your beautiful and selfless soul is going to be free and at peace. 

I love you. Forever!

Your baby,
Sheetal

 

Sunday, March 7, 2021

Darmesh and I seem to have the same feeling today


Dear Daddy,

We may be oceans apart, but Darmesh and I seem to have the same feeling today. We're both quiet. A little numb. Emotional. 

Last night when chatting with Mummy, we talked about a time I was visiting East London - during winter. You didn't have an electric blanket back then, but after I heard you say how cold the bedsheets were when you got into bed, I made a plan for you!

I knew your bedtime routine, so I sneakily watched you in the lounge from the kitchen - trying to time when you'd make your way down the passage to your room.

I heated three hot water bottles for you and put them on your side of the bed - one at your feet, one in the middle, and one on your continental pillow so that your back would be warm when you'd be sitting in bed with your iPad. 

I remember how happy you were when I did that for you. And you made sure I’d briefed mummy on “the process” before I left back to Cape Town!

Daddy, it's minute for all the sacrifices you’ve made for us. I know I speak for Darmesh too - we're grateful for any little acts of service we could have done for you.

Thinking of you and feeling you in our hearts.

I love you. 

Your baby,
Sheetal 

Friday, March 5, 2021

...because I’m Barry Makhan’s daughter


Dear Daddy,

I was supposed to write an exam on Monday, but it was moved to yesterday for me. I kept a photo of you in my bag and while it took a few minutes for me to focus before I started writing, I imagined you saying “Nah man, don’t worry - you’ll be fine.”

Daddy, my teacher just let me know that I PASSED!
 
I know that you were giving me all the inspiration for my essay because I scored full marks for my ideas & arguments. 

There were many instances in the past few weeks that I wanted to quit. But I pushed through - because I’m Barry Makhan’s daughter. 🥰

I missed your text “Jumah Mubarak” this morning. Few know that for the past ten years (after learning it from my students) you’ve said this to me every Friday during our morning texts.

I turned to you for so much - from career to financial advice. If I was unsure of anything, you’d respond: “Don’t worry. I’ll sort it out.”

Mummy & Darmesh are doing as well as can be - we all have little triggers throughout the day. We try to stay connected, though. We’re preparing for your baarmu on Wednesday and Mummy is ensuring that she gives you nothing but the best.

I love you.

Your baby,
Sheetal

 

Wednesday, March 3, 2021

You finally get to travel the world!

 

Dear Daddy,

I watched Darmesh gracefully place your ashes into the water this morning. You finally get to travel the world!

I told Mummy that you’re on your way to me. ❤️

Scrolling through my gallery last night, I found a treasure of photos & videos from my trips to East London. They were mostly of you and Benjamin! He misses you and apparently went to all the rooms looking for you.

Daddy, we’re making a memory book so that we can look back on all your stories for years to come. Your friends and work associates are sharing their special moments with you.

My days are filled with waves of emotions. I know it will get better, but I’m also not going to rush this process. I have peace in my heart because I have zero regrets. I never held back in expressing my love and gratitude for you.

I love you. 

Your baby,
Sheetal

    




Tuesday, March 2, 2021

I woke up crying again this morning

 


Dear Daddy,

I woke up crying again this morning.

After a year of not seeing you, I can’t fathom that you won’t be there the next time I come home. Sitting in your lazy boy - asking me to bring you snacks or telling me about a documentary that you’ve watched.

I spoke to Darmesh this morning. He stepped into your shoes a while back, but I have to say: he is remarkable. He’s sharp and compassionate - like you!

I was so honoured that you left this physical world yesterday wearing the suit that you had on for our wedding.

💕  I’ve been inspired to do something to commemorate your life and I will soon share it with ALL who knew you.

Daddy, look - I made sojji for you today!

I love you. Forever.

Your baby,
Sheetal

Eulogy for my Dad


My Dad wasn't only my hero. He was my SUPERhero.

In my mind, he was immortal.
He could fight anything - even cancer, round 1. 

Daddy, it would take a long time to list all the lessons I’ve learned from you. But here are a few...

Lesson 1
Treat everyone with respect - whether they’re a CEO or a street sweeper.

Lesson 2
Give openly without expecting anything in return.

Lesson 3
Life will throw you curveballs. Learn from them and try to do better next time.

Lesson 4
Be independent. Figure it out on your own.

Lesson 5
Rising with the sun is a sacred time.

Daddy, for the past 72 hours I’ve been talking about you in the past tense.

My Dad loved music.
My Dad used to watch that show.
My Dad was so generous.

It feels unnatural to speak about you in the past tense. 

What cannot be past tense is my LOVE for you. I will always love you, Daddy. You have my respect and admiration and I promise I will keep saying it with pride: ”I’m Barry Makhan’s daughter.”

They say that daughters often choose husbands with the same qualities as their father. I just wish you could have spent more time with Tom. He is kind and gives unconditionally - just like you. 

And do you remember at our wedding you said, ”Tom, look after my child.”
He is, Daddy! You’d be proud of what a humble person I chose as my partner.

You lived humbly and quietly - the same manner in which you left. No drama or fuss.

————————

Mummy, I’ve told you before. If I could be half the wife you are, I’d consider myself pretty awesome. You will always be Daddy’s angel.

Bhai (Darmesh) also known as my Dad no2. We see Daddy in you. Your walk, your talk, your expressions. Your kindness, your love for people.

Daddy, Mummy, Bhai - I once captioned our family photo: “The Awesome Foursome.”  That is us!

I love you with all my heart.
Always and forever.

From across the ocean,
Sheetal

Monday, March 1, 2021

“Are we ready to rock & roll?”

 


Dear Daddy,

As we wait for the procession to start, I can almost hear your voice: “Are we ready to rock & roll?”

My stomach is in a knot right now. 

I wish I could be there holding Mummy & Darmesh as we say “till we meet again” to you.
 
Daddy, it brought me such joy when I was home and you’d ask me to make coffee for you, which you enjoyed with a few biscuits.

Look at what we’ve set out for you today...Some of your favorites: Marie biscuits (European version) and Bounty chocolate.

We chose yellow tulips because this colour represents enlightenment, remembrance, honour, loyalty and happiness.

Daddy, SO many people are celebrating you today! 

I love you. ❤️ 

Your baby,
Sheetal

We can’t help but feel sadness today


Dear Daddy,

It’s Mummy’s birthday today. 

It’s going to be a tough day for her...for us all, as we pay tribute to your extraordinary life.

Today I’m going to live through one of my biggest fears. Attending your funeral. And virtually, too. 

You never wanted tears shed over you, but do you realize how gigantic your presence was? I’m overwhelmed by the number of stories shared about you. 

We can’t help but feel sadness today. My heart has never felt this heavy. 💔

Daddy, I love you.  Fiercely!

Your baby,
Sheetal