Tuesday, March 19, 2013


Late Saturday evening I got a phone call informing me that my 92 years old sister, who lives in California, had passed away about two hours back.

This loss has been difficult for me to bear.

I lost my mother when I was 10 and my father when I was 12. After the death of my mother, my sister became my mother too and looked after me till my adulthood. She then turned into my friend in whom I could confide. This continued till she left to live in her husband’s house.

I have so many endearing memories of her. Now she is gone. So have my father, mother and elder brother.

The pain in losing my sister is specially sharp because, though we spoke on the phone, we did not spend any time with each other for the last 6 years or more. Worse, I was not able to fly out to California to see her one last time, pay my respects and take part in the burial rituals.

For the last few days I have been going about with a mask so as to spare my family and friends, already coping with their own burdens, having to put up with my pain too. But I hurt inside. 

Each message of sympathy or condolence received by me during this period, slight in itself, contributed towards lessening the burden of grief and pain crushing me, and, collectively they make the unbearable bearable.

Each and every message that I received has been a great help and is precious to me.

I take this opportunity to offer my sincere appreciation and heartfelt thanks to all those who sent them.

I also beg to be forgiven by those whom I may have missed thanking individually.

Gulamhusein Abba


  1. I am very sorry for your loss. I too have lost my sister; only 3 years older than myself. She was only 62, and ill with autoimmune diseases. I had not seen her for 3 years. We all knew she was ill, just not how ill. I still can't believe i will never see her or hear her voice again.

    Losing my parents was one kind of loss; losing my sister affected me even more profoundly. There is a hole that will never be filled. I think I understand your pain, the loss you feel. Thank you for writing about her and about your grief. I have been unable to write mine except in a poem, but I miss her every day.

  2. Please forgive me for publishing your comment so late. Somehow, I did not see it till today.

    You have not indicated when you lost your sister. It seems it was quite recently.

    I can quite understand the loss of a sister affecting you more profoundly than the loss of your parents. Of course we all love our parents, respect them and are grateful to them. But they are always older than us and are not as close to us as our siblings. The interaction between siblings is greater and the loss of any of them leaves a big hole
    specially if the difference in age is just three years.

    I wrote about my dear departed sister because I felt she deserved to be noticed, even if it was only by her brother in his blog.

    I found writing about my grief to be therapeutic. It made my grief more bearable.

    I went to your blog, hoping to read the poem you have mentioned. Unfortunately I did not see it there. I would very much like to read it and will appreciate it if you make it available to me.

    Please accept my sincere condolences. I know how difficult it must be for you to deal with this loss. May you have the strength and patience to go through this difficult period.

    I am curious. How did you come to know of my post?