Friday, 5 February 2010

Remembering Bashir Ahmad MSP

I am feeling very quiet tonight. Different to BEING quiet. Inside I feel quiet. I'm remembering Friday night this time last year. It's funny but I was in the office in Glasgow till about 7 tonight, achieving nothing much but feeling out of sorts - you know the way it is when you're faffing about and you don't know why you don't just go home.

My friend Mhairi reminded me that I was in the office at 7 on Friday night this time last year when I heard that Bashir Ahmad had died. I was working for Bob Doris MSP at the time and our office was in the same unit as Bashir's. I was working late because I was due to go to Dublin for 4 days the following morning.

Bashir's light was still on and I made a note to go in and tell him it was hometime and to go home and rest. As I was about to do that, I got a text saying "Bashir is dead". I really didn't think it was real partly because it was a text message and partly because his light was on! So I went in to make sure it wasn't true. And there was Humza who worked for Bashir and it was obvious from the state he was in that it was true.

I didn't realise it at the time but my life was about to change dramatically as a result. At that moment though, all I could do was try to get my head round the fact that this lovely kind man with the most amazing generosity of spirit had gone. You often hear people talking about how someone's death has left a gap that can't be filled. It's true of Bashir. There is not a single day I don't think about him and when I do I have a little smile to myself. Tonight, remembering that Friday night a year ago, I'm not smiling, I'm just remembering and wishing.

I know I won't be the only one. He made a huge impact on so many people and I know they'll all be thinking of him on the actual anniversary which is tomorrow, 6th February.

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