You haven’t lost a boss; you’ve lost a human being.
You’re sitting there, amidst the sobs of your colleagues, aware that grief is a manifestation of love. It rules every sigh, every palm pressed against a forehead, every downcast gaze, every lean against a chair. A dear friend of hers walks into the room and braces herself.
You think of all your contradictions, past and present.
You used to feign indifference, but you beamed like a schoolgirl when you pleased her. You used to admire her, how she spoke, how she walked, but you were just a little bit afraid when she did.
You thought she was on another level — God, did she ever sleep? — but she was human.
She asked you once where you had the sushi you were raving about. She retweeted your tweets, even the one about you being broke. She told you to go speak to that cute street artist. “You don’t want to be a spinster like me,” she said. But you weren’t bold. She was bold.
She told you once that she used to be shy like you, so you had hope. She told you once that you reminded her of herself, so you had goals.
She walked in like a tornado sometimes, turning things over, but she walked in like a breeze too, showering solutions.
She criticized you, and you took it personally. She told you that you were meant for great things, and you forgot.
She made you work a few weekends. You were on the edge. She sent you a box of cupcakes. She sent your mom flowers.
You thought you were stuck, but you always had a choice. She told you to stay. You stayed, and you went places.
When you flew with her, she called to check if you had reached home. She made you blow-dry your hair in a Dorchester salon so you wouldn’t get sick on a cold London morning.
You asked her once if the steak on the menu was halal. She looked around and told you the hotel was owned by Qataris. You laughed and you ordered vegetarian instead.
She wanted to buy pleats for herself (you wonder if you wore them all), and a piano for a friend (you wonder if she heard him play).
She was unique and she was like every other person. She was a contradiction, just as you are, just as everyone is. She took on roles and she played them differently, just as you do.
So remember this now that you have seen life’s promise. Take a look at all your constants and see them as moving parts. Take a look at all those roles and see the body and soul behind them. They might disappear. Cherish them. Let love rule from the beginning.
A tribute to H.E Ameera Binkaram. May her soul rest in peace.