Uzma was laid to rest on February 3, 2019 in ceremony attended by close and extended family, old friends, new friends, former coworkers and many people who had never met Uzma but only knew her through her writing. Everyone who loved Uzma, everyone who attended the services, and especially everyone who gave a eulogy made her final services serene and beautiful. Thank you.
Uzma was laid to rest following Muslim tradition because she was born a Muslim. However, she in her life and death she transcended all divides, whether of faith, creed or national origin.
The following text is from the concluding paragraphs of my prepared remarks for her eulogy:
“My Uzma wrote and through her writing touched many lives around the world. Her blog has been read by 300,000 readers in 170 countries. What draws people to her blog and now to her book is not just her simple, unpretentious way with words, but also the way the writing conveys her acceptance of uncertainty and fearlessness in the face of the death. When her cancer recurred and became stage 4, she knew that it would take her. She started to take more of life in, love more deeply, play with more abandon and give of herself more freely. When people reached out to her after reading her blog, she took time to speak to them and sometimes counsel and coach them as a friend. I knew this, but I didn’t know the extent of it until she died and people from around the country and around the world started messaging me saying how she had helped them through 1:1 interaction. And that tells me that she is no longer just mine. Through her writing my Uzma became your Uzma, our Uzma, the world’s Uzma.
David Eagleman, in the book Sum: Forty Tales from the Afterlives says, “There are three deaths. The first is when the body ceases to function. The second is when the body is consigned to the grave. The third is that moment, sometime in the future, when your name is spoken for the last time.” Uzma died 4 days ago. Today we consign her to her second death and mourn again. But I am confident that through her writing and by becoming the world’s Uzma, the third death will be a long time coming, perhaps even after most of us gathered here today are long gone. Therefore, I say, let’s continue to celebrate our Uzma after we have mourned her today.”