Image source:
Image source:

Some news begins to settle,
in the places where disbelief has left its footprint


you’ve gone, but in leaving you’ve taken me
one, maybe two steps further along in this life

i think i understand why they say,



i knew you, once upon a time,
or at least,
i thought i knew you a little bit

and now,
but now,

i understand there is little that was what it seemed


it’s like a single thread unravelling from a sweater;
one minute, it’s fine, and the next, there’s a gaping hole

except that the hole i feel isn’t in me,
it’s in the fabric of life itself
and life is coursing through,
pulling me upwards in its path

one thing comes over and again to mind:

koi aapse agar kuch maange,
to usse dedo,
aakhir, yehi to hai zindagi

if someone asks you for something,
then give it,
after all, this. is. life.

this is life,
this is life,

the one time we can love, and breathe, and aspire

the one time we can rise above our human selves
to fulfil the hopes and desires of another being

the one time we can ourselves be
compassionate; merciful


what did i give you,
you, who suffered
unknown to me?

what did i shower on you then,
that i now deserve to pick like fruit
the truth of your hard-lived example?


someone suffered, deeply, quietly,
but we did not know his mind

someone struggled, beautifully,
and we are uplifted with admiration
that we thought we knew him, even for a day.

* * *

A childhood friend has passed away. This piece is a reflection on life, death, and everything in between. Shukhar (among other things) is often said upon a person’s death, by those who follow the Shia Imami Nizari Ismaili tariqa (interpretation) of Islam (and by others Muslims well).

3 thoughts on “shukhar”

  1. Very touching, just, very touching !!!! Our own life is seen the best, through the prism, focused on the lives around us. Giving love, compassion, care, support or just a caring smile, fulfills the meaning of living. Very thoughtful and thought inspiring. SHUKAR. Love Dad

  2. Thank you for giving us the words that we need to express: what we also feel; such a deep sadness, a constriction in the chest making it so hard to breathe, its like if I say too much i wont be able to contain it within and it will all burst forth; yet there is an awe and admiration for the one who is no longer with us – and who suffered and endured unknown to us; we may all wish we could have been of some help, but now our giving will be in another form – we will want to pray for his dear departed soul that he may rest in peace, and his dear ones to have the courage to face this adversity with love and humility, Ameen. Shukar
    Love Mom

  3. Dear Sara: today I needed a good cry and the notes you left really helped. Some days are incredibly hard. Today is one of them. Thanks for the note.

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