Vale, Sayyad

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Yesterday an old friend passed away.  Sayyad was too young to suffer a heart attack, but he did.

Sayyad and I had only seen each other a few times over the last couple of years, mostly at friend functions.  However, once upon a time we spent time together daily.  We went to the same high school and lived in the same suburb about 15 minutes from the school.  We were somewhat isolated from the rest of the Gap State High School community.

So we built a friendship.  We both had a love for fantasy novels (think JRR Tolkien: The Hobbit, Lord of the Rings), computer games and music.  Not the same music mind you, Sayyad was heavy into Van Halen and I just couldn’t bring myself to listen to it, something about Eddie’s face just turned me off.  He never seemed to pick up on the grunge I was into, nor wear the gothic black I was into.

We went to the same university, Queensland University of Technology.  He did Engineering, and I did Computer Science.  We’d catch up, but not as regularly.  Mostly it was when I’d get a guernsey for drinks with the Engineers at the Campus Club.  I’d not usually hang out with the computer geeks – they weren’t my people.

I can remember one particular night at the Campus Club where Sayyad invited me along to join his mates.  It was the end of the year and exams were all over.  Sayyad and I were in a great mood, and three jugs later (each!!) things got a little hazy, in fact next thing I know I was on the receiving end of some well deserved abuse because my girlfriend and I we were supposed to go out for dinner with another couple.  Whatever, I’d not take back that night at the club.

One of my lasting memories of Sayyad was during schoolies.  We were with our schoolies group at the beach having a swim.  We were out deep, catching the waves on a sand bar.  This sand bar started to disappear.  A sweep was coming through and soon enough we were stranded out deep in a current.  We had to swim back.  Sayyad was struggling (never quite the athlete, Sayyad), so I got him to hold my shoulders and we slowly dog paddled the couple of hundred metres into shore.  It felt like it took half an hour, but we got back, exhausted but alive.  Two minutes later, barely escaping death, Sayyad is cracking jokes.  I don’t think he ever forgot that moment.

Sayyad was always quick with a quip.  Happy to put you in your place, to help you to see yourself how you really are.  Sayyad was a firm but loving father, a devoted husband and one of those friends who you can lose contact with, and when you meet again that time disappears.

I still don’t think I’ve digested this.  I think the usual about how young he was, how his kids will grow up, how his wife and family must be feeling.  I’m not sure how I feel.

I’m still thinking that we’ll meet again, and all lost time will disappear.

Vale, Sayyad

Sayyad Yunus

Sayyad Yunus

Assumption, Accusation and Being Wrong

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