Sudden death leaves loved ones pummeled by shock and often sorrowful about the things they did not do or say to the newly deceased. However, with cancer death, which often transpires over years, there is time to connect and fill in empty spaces in relationships. But the long, often painful goodbye takes a devastating toll on caregivers and loved ones. A father fulfilled the last wish of his daughter Fatima who died of cancer.
Dr. Asad Imtiaz, from Gujranwala, may have been known to a few people in his hometown until two years ago. But now, thanks to his daughter, Fatima, his life has changed, as he is now known by thousands.
Speaking to BBC Urdu, Dr. Asad said, “I don’t cry because if I start crying, who will fulfill Fatima’s mission? If I start crying, my attention will be distracted and the promises made between father and daughter will not be fulfilled. So instead of crying, I focus on fulfilling the promises I made to Fatima.”
In addition to this, Dr. Asad said, “My eldest daughter Fatima was the apple of our eye. Two years ago, she died of cancer. She was a ninth-grader at the time. Now I had only two options: either I would wash my tears in the traditional way for a few days and get back to work. But I chose the other way, which is difficult, but it will make me happy in front of my daughter on the Day of Judgment.”
Father recalls the painful memories
He recalls that “Fatima once told her mother that she wanted me to do charity work and put up my billboards in the city.”
So the mother replied with a laugh that for this there has to be a memorial… And then it happened. After Fatima’s death, billboards were put all over the city under the name of Fatima Asad Welfare Clinic. This way the father started to fulfill the last wish of Fatima who died of cancer.
“When she was ill and she was admitted to CMH Rawalpindi, I told her I wanted to buy an iPhone for you, so she texted me not to buy an iPhone,” he said. “Do it, take rations to someone, pay someone’s house rent…I said that I am already doing all this.” To which she replied, “Do more. Many people here are poor.”.
Watch the interview here
Dr. Asad said when Fatima’s hair was removed during the treatment, he also got bald. It made Fatima very happy. “My wife and I vowed not to cry in front of Fatima, but one day my patience ran out and I cried. So Fatima put my head on her lap and comforted me. She was lying on her death bed and was urging me to be patient.”
Today, keeping Fatima’s mission alive, food parcels are sent daily to more than 200 deserving families, food is provided in the Civil Hospital, and rents for the houses of the poor are paid. And much more.
Indeed, death does not diminish love. Rather, it grows.
Story Courtesy: BBC Urdu
What do you think of this story? Let us know in the comments section below.