On a Friday morning in October, I woke up with a strange feeling. The presence of my cousin, Shaireen, who had passed away when we were 26, hung over me like a shawl. It felt as though she was physically close to me, just behind my shoulder and I was flooded with memories of us as innocent kids playing at school or having lunch at her grandmother’s house. I carried on my typical morning activities with this awareness of Shaireen’s presence, though it faded the more involved I became in my day.
And then I got a call from my good friend, Salma. She was devastated at the news that her dear friend in Toronto had taken a turn for the worse in her battle against cancer and was not expected to live much longer. With my heart heavy, I listened to Salma describe this beautiful soul: the contributions she made to naturopathy, her joy in being a mom, the kind of friend she was to so many people. As Salma spoke, pieces of a puzzle began falling into place. I asked her for her friend’s name and when she said, “Mubina Jiwa” I muttered, “Oh my God.”
Mubina and Shaireen were also cousins but on another side of the family from me. So I knew Mubina through this connection. I also knew Mubina was exactly my age and my last memory of her was when I bumped into her in Hawaii one New Year’s Eve. I can still see her dancing and laughing in my mind as I type this. It’s how so many people remember her.
Because, unfortunately, Mubina passed away just days after Salma called me. She left behind a little girl, loving husband and her parents. But she also left behind much more.
Salma and Rahima have decided to honour Mubina by sharing #100HappyDaysMJ on their social media feeds (Facebook, Instagram and Twitter) because this is something Mubina herself completed while she was battling ovarian cancer. Each day Mubina found something that brought her joy and shared it with the world. We can choose to do that, too, for the next 100 days, to honour Mubina, and to remember those who left us who want us to see the beautiful parts of our day. This will officially start tomorrow (December 1, 2015). If you knew Mubina, you can include pictures of things that remind you of her and make you smile.
I’ll be joining the girls and everyone else taking part by posting pictures to my Facebook, Instagram and Twitter with the hashtag #100HappyDaysMJ. I’ll be looking for everyone else’s posts too. Because happiness is shared and inspired and given and received. It’s part of the legacy we leave behind.
RIP Mubina and give our cousin, Shaireen, a big hug from me!