Dedicated To Afzal

My heart is heavy today. This morning I received news of the passing of an old and dear friend, Afzal. We met through mutual friends about 10 years ago, and never really talked much other than online chats and social networking. In December of 2011, I finally started talking to him more; I realized then what a kind, smart, funny, and full-of-life guy he really was. That month, we talked everyday, about anything and everything, and I considered him a good friend of mine.

One day, that same month, he stopped responding to my text in the middle of a conversation and did not return any of my calls. I was angry with him then, and left him a voicemail asking him where he was and what was going on. I found out that he had been in a horrible car wreck; his mother had died instantaneously, and he went into a coma. Since then, I have prayed every single day for God to help him get better. Today, my prayers were answered, although in a much different way than I had expected (as often happens in matters of prayer).

Afzal was young and had a whole life ahead of him. There was so much he wanted to do and see, he told me. He has a loving family and so many good friends that have been praying for his recovery as well. It hurts me to know that we will never get to finish our conversation and he will never get to do any of the things he always talked about wanting to do. Although I regret taking so much time before giving him a chance, I am grateful to have talked to him every day for last few weeks of his life before the accident. I can’t imagine what his family and best friends must be going through, but I also don’t think that anyone can ever really understand what I am going through either.

I will always miss Afzal and keep his family and friends in my thoughts and prayers, but I am happy to know that after 2 years of being in a coma, he is finally at peace in a much better place. I am also very aware that this could have easily been me, or worse, someone of my family or best friends. And I remember again just how blessed I am to be living a healthy life and to have love and support from such wonderful family, friends, and communities. As with all things in life, I know that my faith will get me through anything. Life is crazy, but it is short, and it goes on no matter what.

Inna lillahi wa inna ilayhi raji’un
(We belong to God & to Him we shall return)
May your soul rest in peace, my dear friend. 

Paul Walker
Nelson Mandela 

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