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A Life Well Lived

Two weeks ago, my closest and dearest Aunt passed away. I was incredibly close and connected with her in a truly profound and unexplainable way.

As I remembered her life and who she was, I thought about who I was. I thought about what I had accomplished, who I had inspired or motivated, if I had made an impact on this world thus far....

Of course it's impossible to compare ourselves to one another, I get that. We are all different, all unique. But, we can choose to live our lives well when we see what others have done to do so.

My Auntie's life of love and selflessness was simple and unconditional. For her, it was not about what she could gain by her actions, she just gave. Her career as a nurse and caregiver was exemplary. It was never about financial gain, and that is true of all caregivers everywhere. Auntie gave to her work, to her family, to her community. The way she lived, her giving nature is not how most of us live in this world today...but it should be.

As I think of her, of the wonderful, beautiful, gentle soul she was, I am inspired by her to do better, to do more, not for me, but for others. To love, simply. She is my motivation...

Finally, I would like to share the eulogy I wrote for her that my lovely cousin Surayya read at her funeral.....

"Nasira was not just my Aunt, she was more like my mother.

Actually, she was like everyone’s mother.

She and I had a deep and profound connection and attachment, not just because she was my Auntie, but because of our love for one another.

As the only sister to my late father, she was in my life for as long as I can remember.

Even during my rebellious teen years, when I wanted nothing to do with family, she was there.

She never gave up on me, she never gave up on anyone.

Her compassion, selflessness and love for others was who she was. She never cared about herself, it was always about others.

That love for others made her life as a nurse the perfect fit. She could have chosen no other profession, she was destined to help.

Even after all the years, her friendships and ties to the people she loved and worked with were fresh in her mind, embedded in her heart.

Although these past years were difficult with family tragedy, Covid isolation and her declining health, Auntie still always asked how everybody else was doing.

Hilcia, my wife, and I were so incredibly lucky to have been able to spend quality time with her during these last two years.

The few weeks we had with her, were enjoyable for us all. It brought us even closer together.

I remember one evening I looked on while Hilcia lovingly brushed her hair and tucked her in at night, quietly chatting, both caught in a moment of bonding. It filled me with a sense of fullness, of light and love.

Or another time when we woke early in the morning, only to find that her favorite chocolate croissants had gone missing. Then discovering that Auntie would sneak out and eat them in the middle of the night like a naughty child. I don’t know if we’ve ever laughed so hard.

I have so many wonderful, funny stories that I play within my mind and treasure as a smile finds its way across my lips.

I know that she was one of a kind.

I know that you all have your own memories and stories and that those pieces of her will keep her with us always.

She was light.

She was love.

She was compassion.

She had a life that was full.

Auntie, you are remembered.

You are treasured.

You are loved.

I love you..."

Thank you Auntie for a life well lived...


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