A widowed father has launched an appeal to seek financial assistance with his relocation costs, as he and his four children seek to start a new life.
Nadir Suluki, who lives in Durham County in the United Kingdom, has been left to rebuild his life after his partner, Emma, died after losing a short battle with cancer on May 19 last year at the age of 42.
They have two children together, four-year-old Zak, and two-year-old Ziva.
He is trying to move to another part of the United Kingdom so that he can be near family where support will be available for them.
Nadir shares his emotional journey with SheHub.
“In October 2017, Emma started to experience excruciating pain in her stomach. She had been constipated for a week. She went to the doctor but several days later, when her pain did not subside, an ambulance was called, and she was taken to the hospital. Scans revealed a blockage and it was discovered that the part of her colon that was attached to her appendix was swollen to the size of a football. As a result, surgery was performed, and she was given a colonoscopy bag.”
Two weeks later, test results revealed that Emma was suffering from stage four cancer, which was inoperable. She was given between six months and three years to live.
Nadir reflects on that unforgettable day: “We were prepared for a worse-case scenario. When the doctor said stage four, I don’t think it registered with me. Emma’s eyes welled up, but she held her composure. I then started to ask a number of questions pertaining to her surgery. I don’t even know why.
“We were then introduced to a support worker and it was then that we broke down in the hospital.”
As he drove home, he says that he could barely hold it together, as painful memories from a few years earlier came flooding back.
“I started to think of our late daughter Kitara, who passed away in 2012 at the age of seven months. This was the same route that we were driving after leaving the hospital when she died. I could feel the emotions brewing and started to slow down because I felt so weak that I didn’t think that I would be able to control the car.
“Emma sensed how I was feeling, and she just rubbed my thigh and told me that everything was going to be fine.”
Telling Emma’s three children from a previous relationship, Connor, 22, Morgan, 19 and Maddi, 16, about her prognosis was hard as their father died unexpectedly just a few days prior and they were still reeling from the news.
As the family dealt with Emma’s health crisis, Nadir chose not to share their experience on social media. He was known on Facebook for being open with whatever was on his mind.
“With the exception of telling close relatives and friends, I didn’t make what we were going through public. While Emma was active on social media, she shared mostly political things, not personal matters. Because this was happening to her, I didn’t feel at liberty to share what was going on in our lives.
“One day I asked her if I could do a Facebook live and she agreed, wondering why I hadn’t done one already. I had always done lives on things that I was feeling, but this time I wanted to receive prayers and positive vibes.”
During the broadcast, he sat in the parking lot of the hospital and expressed his sadness regarding her impending death and his hopelessness with the situation. He bared his soul as tears flowed uncontrollably.
Emma and Nadir had been partners for nine years before she took ill and on April 5, 2018, in her hospital room, they exchanged vows, becoming husband and wife.
Nadir says that it was a day he had been anticipating for five years: “I proposed to Emma in 2013, and we were trying to save up to do it. Life got busy and we never got around to it, but as her health declined her doctor advised us it would be best to do it sooner than later.
“We already had a wedding in the works, which was being organised by the Solan Connor Fawcett Family Cancer Trust but we moved up the date. The doctors submitted letters on our behalf in order for an emergency wedding licence to be obtained.”
Sadly, Emma passed away on May 19, 2018; just two days earlier, she sent Nadir a text saying, ‘Happy original anniversary’.”
Nadir reflects on what it felt like as it was clear that Emma’s death was near.
“I was in a state of worry. My biggest fear was that I was not going to balance as a father. She was my balance. I did not know my own strength. I didn’t even know how I was going to explain to Zak that Emma had passed. During her last moments I had an overwhelming desire to know that she was pleased with me.
“I knew she loved me unconditionally. I just needed to know that she was pleased with me. She assured me that she was.”
In the eight months since Emma’s passing, Nadir says that Zak has asked for her a number of times, however the moments have been fleeting.
“Once he asked but then went on to talk about something else. Another time, we were in line at KFC, so it wasn’t the appropriate time to discuss it.”
He continues: “Sometimes he just hugs me and tells me that everything will be okay.”
Nadir admits it has been a struggle trying to figure out how to explain that Emma is not coming back but just last week, Zak enlightened him in a way he never imagined.
“I decided it was time to bring up the subject properly and I told him that Emma was gone and not coming back. He looked at me and said, ‘But daddy, you’re not dead. Maddie and Connor not dead, Ziva not dead,’ then he hugged me. So, with tears in my eyes and a cracked voice, I said, ‘Mom is not going to be here anymore, you know.’
“He then replies, ‘But I have you and Maddie and Connor and Ziva and uncle and my sister Zainab.’ I had to stop him before he ran off the whole family tree! He then hugged me again and said, ‘We alright daddy’. Turns out all this time I had to tell him for me.”
Nadir says his wife’s older children are coping with their mother’s death. Two continue to live with Nadir while one is currently exploring the feasibility of relocating to Canada.
“They want to be with me, and I will never turn my back on them. My upbringing and faith would not allow me to do that.”
When asked what Emma would say to him today, if she could, Nadir begins to cry.
“She would be very upset with me with procrastinating on some things.”
Then he pauses.
“I’m always so hard on myself and Emma never was. If Emma could speak to me right now, she would grab me by the chin and say, ‘See, I told you, you didn’t have to worry. I told you everything will be okay’.”
If you would like to assist Nadir and his children with relocation costs, you can do so by clicking here: