A Letter to My Dying Best Friend

by Tahira Rifath

To the spark that lights my life, my best friend, my sister,


I’ve been dancing around it ever since you were diagnosed as stage four. Not the kind of happy dance you do letting go of the steering wheel when your favourite song plays on the radio. Instead this awful verbal two-stepping I’ve done around what you’ve never been afraid to face. Like you always tell me, I’ve been ‘emotionally constipated’. And the last few weeks were the hardest, I think that’s why I decided to adopt a puppy to distract myself from thinking about you. Still searching for one.

As lame as this sounds, I don’t know what i would do without you. I know, asking you to fight this because I’ll miss you would be very selfish of me. I would never want you to do that, nor would I want you to fight it for the people you love and care for, not even for Mohab. No, I want you to fight this because the world needs a beautiful soul like you. A beautiful selfless soul that could light up anyone’s day with something as simple as a smile. I know how exhausting fighting this battle could be, you’ve seen me and you stood by me through it all. Remember when i had my surgery you wouldn’t let me use the bathroom alone because you thought that something bad would happen and I would die. 😛 I know, sometimes the pain is just unbearable and all you want to do is pray to God to take you away. It’s okay. I would, all of us would understand if you choose to stop treatment regardless of the fact that it will be very hard to deal for the rest of us. It’s not selfish, no matter what people say or make you believe, it’s not. What matters right now is you, and it’s your decision alone. But, I don’t want you to give up just yet. You’re a fighter and that’s what you’ve been doing your entire life, and I know there’s enough strength in you to kick cancer in its ass.

I don’t know what to say. You of all people know how hard it is for me to put my thoughts into words. Painting would have been a lot easier, but you insist I write this and post this. I figured out why you’re making me write this, it’s not that you want to know what my feelings or thoughts are, you already know that. It’s because you think that writing all this down would help me to deal with it better. You’ve always looked out for me. Still doing it when it should be the other way around. Remember the time when we were on our way back home on a tuk, you started screaming at the driver and then managed to stop the vehicle and give him a good thundering slap, while I just stood there wondering what on earth was going on. I was completely unaware of the fact that he was making racist comments at me because i was so engrossed in my phone. Hahaha

I look like a little boy in this one

I look like a little boy in this one

We’ve been best friends for 22 years. It’s not enough. I want more. It’s not fair. We made a deal, I was supposed to go first, not you. Moron. I’ll always be mad at you for this. But I’m still hoping and praying that I’ll be the first to go. Death is uncertain. Call me a coward. That’s okay.

I got myself a puppy today and I’ll be seeing you in a few days. Can’t wait to see you. Shame on me noh? I started to write this letter a month ago, and I’m still writing it. It’s hard. Dumbass -.-

I will miss you. I don’t want you to go. I’ll be a wreck. I can’t deal with another death. That rhymed. I’ll crack. They’ll probably go lock me up in Angoda. Why can’t you just gather all the strength and hope in the world and fight this? walk your talk man. You can’t give up. Why can’t you have the same determination you had when you first started treatment? It’s exhausting. EVERYTHING IS EXHAUSTING! BLOODY FIGHT IT YOU ASS!!! Coming to think of this whole situation, I don’t think I’m dealing with it very well. I don’t even have any emotions stirred up inside me. Still emotionally constipated. I’ll always be emotionally constipated. Or I am in denial. I’m not sure which one it is. More towards the emotionally constipated side. I don’t care about my grammar or punctuation. Stop complaining about it now.

You’re the only person that I jabber all my problems to. Only you. And you know that. There’ll be no one to give me a good slap when I can’t get my shit together. I’ll be all alone now. Thanks. I know it’s not your fault. But, it wasn’t supposed to be this way. I’m pretty sure I’ll need psychiatric help. Or I’ll run away, into the wild. Get eaten up by a leopard. And die. I’ve lost my appetite already. There’s cheese kottu, and I don’t want to eat it. Every other year someone has to bloody die. And it’s just not fair. And you sit and wonder after making it through the deaths of all these people, it will be easier to deal with the next one. No. The bloody heart just keeps getting weaker, not stronger. If I end up being an inconsiderate, selfish, coldhearted moron, it will all be because of you guys! You’ll had to go and die. What if I become a drunkard again? Do drugs again just to numb the pain? All because you’ll had to go die. All of you’ll are cows. Plain cows.

I can’t continue writing this anymore. You wanted a letter, and this is the best I can do. I wanted to make this beautiful. The letter I mean. But I’m stubborn and child like and I failed at it miserably. I’m sorry. I love you. But, you already know that.