Ernest Hemingway once wrote, “Anyone can give up, it’s the easiest thing in the world to do. But to hold it together when everyone else would understand if you fell apart, that’s true strength.” This quote embodies everything that my beloved friend, Kirran Shoaib, believed, felt, and lived for. She fought a war that each person on this earth fears to encounter and unfortunately lost. Many assume that as time draws closer, a person gets weaker, as the sickness grows; a person dwindles into depression and heartache. However, this was not the case for her. Kirran fought this hardship silently, only to make sounds of happiness, enjoyment, and hope. Around family and friends, she was always known as the giggly girl, smiling at every opportunity. Her chubby cheeks and contagious smile brought bliss to every person surrounded in her loving and gleeful atmosphere. Along with her warm and affectionate personality, Kirran was also a flourishing student in her year at UTM, with titles such as “winner of the annual Institute of Chartered Accountants of Ontario competition”. Kirran Shoaib was a true star and role model for all. My favourite memory was watching her rummage through my closet, trying on multiple dresses as she found the perfect one. As I look back, I realize that we don’t recognize the most significant moments of our lives while they are happening. Kirran was a significant part of my life and always will be. I love and miss you. Rest in peace.
It took me a while to get these words on paper, maybe because it’s finally accepting that Kirran is not here anymore. I met Kirran last year and we instantly connected. We began planning our breaks together, taking a million pictures (she LOVED her camera), and somehow became really close in the time we spent with each other. I think the best quality about her was even if you knew her five years ago or five minutes ago, you felt her positive energy and it was so easy to be her friend. I feel proud when friends say we were similar in personalities. Whenever I was worried, she always had the right words to comfort me. Kirran was a true optimist and a sweetheart. In her last days, Kirran promised all her girlfriends that when she would get better, she would take everyone out. I admire the hope that she had till her last moments and dream of becoming as positive as her.
Kirran, I miss you, and there isn’t one day that I don’t hope I’ll run into you in the UTM hallways.
Kirran Shoaib. This name will be stuck in my heart forever. January 12, 2011 was one of the hardest days in my life. I worked alongside Kirran throughout the year as she was the manager of corporate relations under the UCS External team. She was a great friend and a model individual. Optimism and joy were the basis of every word Kirran spoke. I only wish I could possess even a fraction of her strength and ability to touch people’s hearts. Kirran was able to conquer mountains while never letting her smile falter. Her potential was limitless and she was a star in the making. I am grateful to meet such a positive individual that has changed my life and made me a better person.
“If tears could build a stairway, and memories a lane, I’d walk right up to Heaven and bring you home again.”
I want to thank the UTM community for being there for the Shoaib family to remember the life of our dear friend.
Even though Kirran was diagnosed with cancer at the age of 17, it never stopped her from achieving what she set her mind to. Her determination to live life to the fullest inspired those around her to strive for more, rather than settle.
Being a UTMSU orientation leader is no easy task—it takes a toll on you both physically and mentally. However, that did not stop Kirran from wanting to experience guiding first-year students as a mentor. Your fellow leaders and froshies will forever cherish you, Kirran, as one of the most energetic and responsible leaders. Her strength never wavered; she was not only a leader during orientation week but a leader at UTM. Kirran was not just a dreamer but someone who achieved what she wanted. Aside from all the prizes and experience, Kirran touched everyone she met. She made a mark on those that had only spoken to her once. Kirran always defined the role that cancer played in her life. She was never a victim or a patient; she was exactly who she wanted to be. That is what I have learnt from her.
We cannot always control what happens to us during our lives but we can control how we let it affect us.
Remembrance is a golden chain
death tries to break, but all in vain.
To have, to love, and then to part
is the greatest sorrow of one’s heart.
The years may wipe out many things
but some they wipe out never,
like memories of those happy times
when we were all together.
With love and respect,