The Grief that was His

Updated on March 23, 2019
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Sara believes Patience, Hope, and Trust in Allah Almighty give us the strength to face the challenges and hardships coming in our way.

It was September’ 2010 and his 24th birthday, he found his mother on a hospital bed in a coma, battling with blood cancer. Miracles happened during her two and half year’s illness period. In every chemotherapy session, he felt she was fading away. His mother fought that battle with courage and strength. He was never hopeless. She was his entire world. But, we are helpless in the matter of life and death. Finally, the day came in when her soul flew towards heaven in Sep ’2012. The young boy was spending dark, lonely, and sleepless nights. He went to his mother’s room, hugged her pillow and was inconsolable. There he found a diary on her side table. He opened up the first page. It was titled “My Dear Fakhar”.

Capt. Fakhar-ul-Haq
Capt. Fakhar-ul-Haq

Number: PA 18506, Rank: Captain, Unit: Army School of Mountain Warfare and Physical Training, Kakul, Regd: 29th Battalion the Punjab Regiment (JANBAZ), 58 PMA Long Course. A devoted, determined and courageous Janbaz of Pakistan Army named Captain Muhammad FAKHAR-UL-HAQ was the one who voluntarily chooses the profession of mountaineering. Capt. Fakhar promoted to the rank of Captain In 1981, a promising professional officer who has the ability to withstand his conviction and expresses his opinion logically and confidently. He was an avid reader and loves to play Hockey and Football. He was always ready on call of supreme sacrifices for his nation. He was aware of the danger of the inclement weather at every footstep but was passionate to mark the highest peaks in the world.

It was July 1987, while on his way to scale Gasherbrum-I (8068 M), 11th highest peak on earth, he was busy in writing a postcard to his wife Rubina (Ruby) when his fellow mate interrupted him; Fakhar, now it is the time to move on, weather seems to be little favorable.

“My dearest Ruby, I hope you are doing well. How is our little boy? Now he is 10 months old. Did he start to take a few steps? Take good care of our little one. In the case of flu and fever, go immediately to the nearest hospital. Send kind regards to my parents. Don’t worry; I will be back soon Insha’Allah. Ever Yours; Fakhar” She read the postcard 100 times and prayed for the safe arrival of her husband. She knew his next postcard will be received after summiting the peak.

The team comprised of seven climbers including Capt. Muhammad Fakhar-ul-Haq. The crew successfully crossed the stubborn obstacles and established the camp at 7,300 M. The four expediters named Maj. Fayyaz Hussain Shah, Capt. Muhammad Fakhar-ul-Haq, Capt. Muhammad Khalid Khan and Lt. Mohsin Abbas was selected for the summit climb. Before making a final assault to the peak, Lt. Mohsin got severely ill and all his fellow mates decided to evacuate him to the Basecamp. On their way back, they all hit by the gigantic avalanche.

“COWARDS DIE MANY TIMES BEFORE THEIR DEATH; THE VALIANT NEVER TASTES OF DEATH BUT ONCE. OF ALL THE WONDERS THAT I YET HAVE HEARD, IT SEEMS TO ME MOST STRANG THAT MEN SHOULD FEAR, SEEING THAT DEATH, A NECESSARY END, WILL COME WHEN IT WILL COME.” By William Shakespeare.

Mrs. Fakhar didn’t receive any information regarding his safe arrival back to base camp. But soon she got shattered when she heard the tragic news of her beloved husband. The avalanche hit all four mountaineers, and they all died at the spot. He left this world at the age of 28 leaving behind his mother, father, a widowed wife and 10 months old son.

A gloomy silence…Did time heal everything? No, the loss of your loved ones remains the same. He mumbles.

He looked at his father’s medals hanging on the wall and remembered his achievements. He served as an Instructor in Army School of Mountain Warfare and Physical Training (ASMW&PT) Kakul.
Capt, Fakhar, a member of the offr’s Expedition to Rakaposhi confidently handled the difficult situations. He successfully completed the Pak Army Broad Peak (8047 M) Expedition in 1985 with his fellow summiteers. He was meticulous in his research and always volunteered himself to be in the lead.
As the member of Gasherbrum II (8035 M) located in the Karakorum successfully completed the expedition on 3rd August 1986 within a period of one and a half month and hoisting the summit with the flags of Pakistan and Pak Army. The award of “TAMGHA-i-BASALAT” has been conferred on him on 23rd March 1987 for his tremendous performance.

The boy flipped the page and saw the last sentence written by his mother.“August 2009, today our son has completed his engineering degree. I missed you Fakhar in all these 22 years. Ruby.”

He closed his eyes, tears slipped down from his eyes. Yes, my father was a man of great personality. He was unique and undefeated in his field. The pain of loneliness is miserable.

He told me now it's been six years; my Mother is not with me. She struggled hard throughout her life just to give me all the comforts and happiness. She was brave like my father. To live without your parents is so painful.’ I survived because I believe Allah is the Perfect Planner. “Faith”, “Trust” both worked together to bring back strength and peace in the time of sorrow. I believe after death there is eternal life, and it gives me hope that we all will meet there inshaAllah. He added I can see the reflection of my mother in my daughter and wanted my son to be just like my father.

Who am I? I am the proud daughter-in-law of Mr. and Mrs. Capt. Fakhar-ul-Haq (late). This is the story of my husband "BILAL FAKHAR.”I am sure this story gives new hope to those who are struggling through their hard times. What you are not expecting can happen to you and that's Life.


Sara Shahid.

Civil Engineer.

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