At Eunice’s Funeral.

Losing any one you know, is always painful. But losing one of the dearest friends, and one of the most beautiful ladies that graced this earth, is heart wrenching and a loss difficult to bear. Eunice John MD was such friend. She passed away last week, and yesterday I attended her funeral in Chicago. I was honored to pay a tribute to her with this poem and some words at the service yesterday.

“Eunice was a role model for me, not just at CMC Vellore, South India, where she was my senior by two years, but also here in the US. She had such a brilliant career at the University of Illinois, as the director of Pediatric Nephrology and Transplant program. There isn’t enough space on these pages to recount all that she did. A great and humble Key-Note-speaker all over the world, establishing the transplant and pediatric nephrology departments in different countries, she was recognized all over the world.

Her simplicity, her compassion and her generosity were her hallmarks. What impact she had on all of us, is hard to say or describe. One had to just be in her presence and feel the selflessness flow out of her and envelope you.
We are so poor without your love and guidance Eunice.We loved you, your sincerity, and your hospitality—your UNENDING hospitality!”

Here is a poem I have dedicated to her.


You–dear heart, blessed us with your simplicity
Your humility, we wore around our hearts.

You showed us what selflessness meant
and you defined the word ‘sacrifice’ to us

I can weep that you are gone, but instead
I will smile and be grateful that you lived

I will remember you in the thousand winds that blow
I will remember you in the diamond glint of every snow

I am glad your soul is set free today, so Eunice
I shall not cry at the freedom you have gained.

There is a verse from The Holy Quran, “enna lil laahi, wa enna ilayhi raji’oon”. (We belong to Allah {GOD}, and to Allah we will return)

Farewell my friend. Your smiles, your dimples, your dignity will always, always be with us. May the God of Noah, Abraham, Moses, Jesus and Mohammed hold your hand and take care of you until we meet at another time, in another setting with a different time zone. “©

Zakiah Sayeed Ali.
June 2019.

Image may contain: 3 people, including Zakiah Ali, people smiling, people standing and indoor
Eunice and me at our Medical School reunion in Ontario CA in June of 2016. That December she felt the tumor in her abdomen and went to see a gastro enterologist.
Image may contain: 3 people, including Zakiah Ali, people smiling, people standing and indoor
With a dear friend from Toronto Canada. She was Eunice’s room mate one year. She is a physician in Toronto.
Image may contain: 6 people, including Zakiah Ali, people smiling, indoor
The people here were Eunice’s classmates. We were all so close to each other in college.
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About Zakiah

I write poetry and some fiction, have a book that was published in 2012. . . Stray Thoughts/Winged Words. I have four grandchildren, ages 16 and half to almost 16 months. I love the ocean, and grew up along the Indian Ocean in South India. I am a retired physician. Don't know much else to say. Thanks for reading. That has been my profile for so many years. My daughter Saadia a great poet and story teller, has two sons; the oldest grandson is now 21 years old, doing architectural engineering at Missouri S&T in Rolla MO. His younger brother is almost 16 and taking driving lessons seriously and is in High School. The other two grandsons, children of my son Sayeed, are 9 and 5. I have recently published another book titled Gulistan, A home of Flowers. It has stories and memories of my childhood and of a distant land which I still consider as my HOME., even though I have lived here in the US for more than fifty years. Hope to see you on my blog.
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12 Responses to At Eunice’s Funeral.

  1. slmret says:

    I’m so sorry that you have lost Eunice — she was a great friend to you. But I’m happy that you were able to read these words at the funeral — they will have given great comfort to many.

  2. A vibrant tribute to your friend, Zakiah. I share your emotion.
    Michel ❤

  3. whyzat says:

    I’m so sorry for the loss of your wonderful friend. It sounds like she helped many people.

  4. mrswrangler says:

    Once again sorry for your loss. Hope the good memories you have of her comfort you. What a wonder tribute to her

  5. murisopsis says:

    The eulogy was wonderful. She must have meant the world to so many – and for them there will be a gaping hole in their hearts. Hugs and prayers for peace for you.

  6. Such a beautiful tribute and eulogy! I imagine Eunice smiling on you, SweetZ, and always being with you (and many other people) in heart and mind. Again, I am so sorry for this great loss for you and so many friends and family. She lives on in the world through all of you.

  7. I can only imagine your loss and love for such a wonderful friend! Was shocked to read this post today. I thought, “Not Eunice!” because I had read of so many adventures the two of you had together. Your words of tribute at the eulogy are just perfect. Sending you a cyber hug with a tight comforting embrace.

  8. A wonderful tribute and Eunice left a wonderful legacy. She impacted and inspired so many. I am so sorry for your loss and grief. Hugs and prayers.

  9. I’m so sorry for your loss. She seemed like a truly beautiful person.

  10. r_hsw says:

    that is a beautiful poem, zakiah. i’m sorry for the passing of your friend. my condolences.

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