From a posting on Facebook that has drawn more than 75,000 "likes."
My dear friends, forgive me if I am lost. My heart has been broken. My beautiful dad, Farhang Frank Ghomeshi, died at 6:23 p.m., Oct. 2, at Sunnybrook Hospital in Toronto. My mom, my sister and I (along with my cousin) were at his bedside all day, as we had been for much of the last two weeks.
I cannot stop the tears. He was my hero. I have a tattoo of his name – his signature in Farsi, in fact – on my right arm. People have asked me why. He was not a celebrity, or an Olympic athlete, or a business magnate, but he was, quite simply, the greatest man I've ever known.
If you had the chance to meet my dad then you will know the beauty and dignity and power of his presence. If you didn't, perhaps you've heard me talking about him over the years. He was a sage. He was a charmer. He was a thinker. And his laugh was so infectious that you could not escape its embrace … you would have no choice but to join in.
His life, in three acts, was a remarkable and inspiring tale. His first act, in Iran, was an extraordinary story of loss and resilience. He lost his dad at 15, and became the de facto father and breadwinner of a family of seven children (he was the oldest). He assumed responsibility for the business, helped his mother, took care of his siblings and put himself through university.
His second act, beginning in his mid-30s, was a pioneering migration to the West. He and my mother left Iran, first for England, and then Canada at a time when few other families were doing so (pre-Iranian Revolution). He was seeking to build a prosperous and safe life for his new young family. He did so – eventually working for Ontario Hydro as a well-respected engineer.
He believed in Canada long before we came here and became a great patriot after we arrived, deeply loving what he saw as a progressive new world. He profoundly cared about the direction of this country.
His third act was a transformation into a gentle and wise soul who was the finest role model in the world. No one had more integrity. No one carried himself with more dignity in his decisions and his selflessness. No one gave more of himself to his family and his loved ones.
You may know that my dad's mantra to me was, "please work harder." He fuelled my ambitions. But his greatest quality was his ability to inspire others with his compassion and support. He was often formal in his dealings, but always kind.
And he was terribly loving in a very modest way. One of his last conscious acts was to repeatedly thank the hospital staff for the work they were doing. He hated the idea of people making a fuss about him. Even when he was in terrible pain in his final weeks, he would insist that we all go about our lives and not be burdened by his sickness.
I miss him so much it's hard to breathe. His sparkling eyes. His radiant smile. His sage words. His joyous laugh. His selflessness.
I am grateful to have had this beautiful man in my life into my forties. In the end, I suppose, he has taught me what love really is. Because I love him so much that I will never let him go.
Reprinted with permission of the author.