A tribute to Simran Bhachu (16 Sept 1994–5 July 2019)
Question: Are there Angels, and how do you know them?
Answer: Yes, there are, and of course you know them.
Question: Do I really, then name me one.
Answer: Well that’s so easy…remember Simran
Question: Of course, now that you tell me. How did you know?
Answer: We all know, just need to close our eyes and picture Simran. Simran was born in September 1994 and a few years later, diagnosed with MPS, a progressive disease that causes damage throughout the body, and leads to a shortened lifespan. Her situation mobilized her caring parents Dewinder and Sukhi to work towards supporting all kinds of efforts to find a cure; engaging at the highest levels of government to fund the necessary research and to make very expensive enzyme replacement therapy available. Their sacrifices are a story on their own. Suffice to say that they left no stone unturned to do right for their beloved Simran, and their efforts not only helped Simran, but so many other families under similar circumstances.
But let’s get back to our angel Simran. Born a fighter, she remained a fighter. Never being limited by her condition, she did not sit around and seek sympathy, but rather became a fierce and independent being, living the most normal life, graduating from Middlesex University and then getting her first job at the MPS Society where she continued to volunteer, looking after children with MPS and their siblings during various conferences. To her, this was a true sense of belonging. She was so proud to have kept the family tradition of getting a university degree. This meant a lot to her. You might say, that doesn’t make her an angel. Of course not, it was everything else about her. She saw everyone she met as a friend; there were no strangers in her life. Always engaging, she put you at ease with her bubbliness, laughter, positivity, curiosity, an unsatiated appetite to learn, and she had a wit, always getting in the last word. Our personal interactions with her were few, but more than enough to learn that if everyone had the attitude that she had, the world would be such a better place. Her kindness had no bounds, her smile lit up the room, and her eyes making direct contact with yours made you aware that she was engaging with you with confidence and utmost respect. These are not typical characteristics of someone so young, but rather of a mature, sophisticated, understanding, and caring person. Simran accomplished more in her short 25 years than all of us combined can ever hope to achieve.
The unimaginable emptiness that her untimely demise has left for her mom and dad, Sukhi and Dewinder, her brother Rikki and everyone whose life she touched cannot be filled by any animate object in this world, but knowing Simran she would be comforting you all with these words, originally written by David Romano:
When tomorrow starts without me, and I am not there to see,
If the sun should rise and find your eyes, filled with tears for me.
I wish so much you wouldn’t cry, the way you did today,
While thinking of the many things, we didn’t get to say.
I know how much you love me, as much as I love you,
And each time you think of me, I know you’ll miss me too.
When tomorrow starts without me, don’t think we are far apart,
For every time you think of me, I’m right there in your heart.
by Narinder and Gulkamal Shargill
If you are dealing with grief and would like to talk to someone confidentially for as long as you need, you can call our helpline or access specially trained bereavement counsellors via GriefChat. Our support and advocacy team understand how hard it can be to talk about what you are going through and are patient and empathetic.
You can also create your own special remembrance website in tribute to your loved one, where you can share memories, thoughts and stories with family and friends as well as light candles, add music, photos and videos. By creating a remembrance tribute you can also collect donations in your loved one's name, organise events and celebrate anniversaries.
More information and support about the help MPS Society can offer after a bereavement is available online.