H is for Heydar #atozchallenge

H.jpgDear grandpa,

May you rest in peace.

You always lived up to your name Heydar – a lion. You were fierce and ruthless, strong and scary. I used to try so hard to get your approval. To see you standing tall and proud of me at school or at my music concerts meant the world to me. Occasionally you cuddled me or pecked me on a forehead but that was rare, and frankly I didn’t know what to do with myself in those moments. In fact, when you spoke to me, I listened, but I couldn’t hear you. My stress was so strong that words jumbled up in my head. It wasn’t only me though. The same happened to my uncles and mum.

I remember standing on the street with my uncle Jahangir. He was smoking. He must have been in a good mood because he was blowing out smoke rings to entertain me. Needless to say, I was very impressed. Suddenly, he seemed flustered and shoved his cigarette in his pocket. A moment later your car pulled by the gates.

‘Why are you on fire?’ You asked my uncle whose pocket was starting to burn.

Loving you meant respecting you without any reservations. It was never cuddly, warm and fluffy.

Life was tough for me when you got ill. I was looking after you along with the rest of the family. I brought you a bucket to spit blood, and sat for hours on end by your bed to entertain you. Seeing you shrivel up in front of my very eyes was heart-breaking. Watching you to take your last breath was traumatising. I was in such a state of shock, I couldn’t cry when you died. In fact, I was unable to cry for several years after. Maybe it was a shock? Or perhaps I was in denial? Or maybe it was a relief. I don’t know. I was 14 at the time.

I’m writing this to say I love you, grandpa. Thank you for bringing me up as your own child. Thank you for driving me to school and music lessons. Thank you for taking pride in my achievements.

I hope I was able to make you proud. I’ve achieved a lot in this life – personally and professionally. But more importantly, grandpa, I’m a good person.

May you rest in peace.

With much love

Gulush xx

Thank you for reading. This post is a part of the April A to Z Blogging Challenge. My theme is ‘love letters’. And while you are here, let’s connect on Facebook and Twitter too.

40 thoughts on “H is for Heydar #atozchallenge

  1. Grampa must be smiling down at you Gulara! So funny about him asking your uncle why he was on fire! The love between the two of you is clear … his death was clearly a great shock. How lovely to remember and honour him here.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you, Susan. It’s as if it was all only yesterday. The memories are so strong and fresh. Yes, of course, I loved him, but we often have an ‘idea’ of what love should look like and judge ourselves if it doesn’t fit the picture… Because I couldn’t cry when he died, I questioned whether I loved him enough. Writing about him crystalised that love was there, but perhaps not as fluffy as I would have liked 🙂

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  2. Gulara, I think from our grandparents’ generation too many were taught to not express emotion and love. I know their growing up was difficult and possibly abusive, as I believe my grandfather’s life was. I KNOW your grandfather loves you and I’m betting that up in the heavens he has learned his lesson. I’m sure he is applauding you!

    Wonderful story! I’m SO glad you are getting these stories out of your system. Congratulations! I’m PROUD of you… you are an inspiration to me! Thanks and Hugs!

    Liked by 1 person

    • I think culturally men were not meant to show feelings. His life circumstances hardened him – so the combination of two made it difficult for him to be loving in the way I imagined love should be manifested. Thank you very much for reading.

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  3. I never knew either grandparent both of whom died in their 50s of injuries inflicted in WW1. One was my all accounts like your lion and then other more puppy dog. Even in absentia the tales I was told about them influenced me deeply. But only now as I understand better his circumstances can create people do their histories better explain the new I learnt about. Lovely letter. Have I said that before?!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I can’t miss a single letter of yours, Gulara. This one has something to inspire, something that touches, just like the others. Since he raised you as a father, I can imagine how special and important he must be for you. Sorry to know you lost him at the tender age of 14!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Aw, thank you for your kind words! I’m so glad you liked it. Yes, he was a very special man, and only after writing this I realised what a big loss it was for me back then. Many thanks for reading.

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  5. The line, ‘when you spoke to me, I listened, but I couldn’t hear you’, shows how terrified you were of him. He sounds very frightening! When someone strikes fear in people, it’s a shame for them, too, as they must know people are doing what they want out of fear and not out of love.

    Liked by 1 person

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