Heart-warming story of loss shared by thousands all over the world
Updated: Oct 5, 2021
As Natasha Salman was preparing for her first birthday without her Dad, Salman Waheed, who passed away in April 2020 after living for five years with motor neurone disease (ALS), a progressive neurological disease that affects the brain and nerves, a glance at an old email inbox led to thousands of people all over the world sharing their stories of loss and compassion.
In her inbox, was a message from her father which she almost deleted until she saw the word "baba" - a Persian term for dad. It read: "Happy birthday Dr Natasha, baba loves you, always."
Salman set the email reminder up in July 2017, two years after he was diagnosed with ALS and scheduled the message to be sent automatically on Natasha's birthday.
Natasha's tweet and the tale of her "perfect baba" has so far been liked more than 373,000 times and had 1,100 comments with people sharing their own stories of grief and comfort.
"The email made me so happy. I got my sisters to check their accounts and they've been getting them too. My friends told me that my dad's email was amazing and so I put it on Twitter and the reaction to the tweet has been insane."
In response to messages that Natasha received, she opened her direct messages and started offering advice and support to those who said they had lost close relatives too.
Natasha said, "I wanted to respond to people who had lost their Dads right away because I thought they might get lost in the comments. "Hearing people's stories has really helped me. My friends are the best but I can't talk to them because they don't know what I'm going through. People have messaged to say they have just had their first Father's Day without their dad and I could say, 'Me too'.
"It's been heart-warming hearing all the stories."
You can read the full story on the BBC World News website here where I was privileged to be asked to provide comment on this touching story that has been shared by so many people, both emotionally and online.
BBC World News (US/Canada) - https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-us-canada-53263220 (Journalist Kris Bramwell)