Ali - big-hearted, fun-loving, extraordinary, wacky, sometimes cocky, always inspirational. Regarded as a true friend by so many.
"You alone are the judge of your worth and your
goal is to discover infinite worth in yourself,
no matter what anyone else thinks"
- Deepak Chopra.
Ali lived by this statement. He had unwavering self-belief and he encouraged others to believe in their own strengths and values.
As a family we found ourselves broken by the sudden and unexpected loss of our boy. For myself, I can only describe a heavy weight upon my chest, all of the time. Sometimes it is so oppressive, I can't breath. There are moments when I forget about the weight, mostly when someone makes me laugh. But it always returns. And I know that if this means I never forget him or the impact his leaving has had on us, I will willingly carry this weight forever.
Friends have offered the gift of words. One friend told me, 'you don't have to get over it or be healed from it.....you just have to learn to walk alongside it'.
We have taken so much comfort and inspiration from Ali's friends too. They have relayed and sent 'stories of Ali' - which we will never tire of and will always delight in hearing.
Between us, we knew instinctively that we could not allow any single one of us to diminish in any way over his death. We know he would not have wanted that. So as a family (and we are an unusual extended family), we have looked around and been aware of each other. We have ensured that when one of us is overwhelmed or incapacitated by the cruelty of grief, which always seems to be lurking, we stop and wait, until we can all move forward again.
And we have chosen to look for meaning. If this had never happened, if he were still here, if we hadn't experienced this crushing loss, we might never have considered the true meaning to our lives or what it means for our future lives. Are we happy? What were/are our dreams? What really matters to us most? What do we want for our future selves? Are our loved ones happy? Is our society thriving? Are we hopeful about the future?
Finding meaning after loss, is a tribute we can offer to our loved one. And it in turn it becomes a life-changing gift to ourselves.
Ali was a physicist. He questioned, absorbed and pondered. When he left, it seemed like it was impossible to find him anywhere. His presence, energy, ability to infuriate in seconds, kindness - extinguished in a moment. And then we realised, he's everywhere! He's languishing in a calm sea, he's screaming 'woo hoo' over the waves crashing on Southbourne beach. He's in the air we breath. He's whizzing around the cosmos and finally understands everything he ever wanted to know about the stars, other galaxies and infinity.
You our friends, can't fix this for any of us. We don't expect you to. But any one of us might say to you....If I am quiet, just be comfortable in the silence. If I cry in front of you, just wait, it will pass. And in the moment that you waited, you lifted a little piece of sadness from me, because you shared it with me.
Stand tall for Ali. x
Events in memory
The Great North Run £420.00