Why my father died

Günel Mövlud

Günel Mövlud

Günel Mövlud - Banner

Günel Mövlud - Banner

My father passed away this morning. He had been struggling with cancer for the past four years. He was examined four times, and was constantly in the doctor’s office. His only possibility to treat himself in Israel - I even telephoned an Israeli clinic one time. But the needed sum was had neither by me, nor by our family as a whole. But we tried to make the needed sums. 

Of course, in these four years, I could have asked a few people. I could have collected enough money for treating my father. As a writer, I could have used my reputation. And I know personally the people that could have helped. But I didn’t do this. Not because I didn’t consider it proper. No. But because I didn’t consider this a reasonable solution. It’s not right for citizens to address one another in the hopes of gathering money for the treatment of illnesses. 

There’s the State for that. 

My father was a citizen of Azerbaijan. He worked more than 35 years. He payed his taxes. He never protested against government plans. But that shouldn’t have changed anything anyway. My father believed so much in his State that when his two sons were arrested, he didn’t protest. And he rejected his own daughter when she was in similar trouble. He should have been treated and cared for by a state to which he gave his allegiance. But instead of being treated for cancer, my father and his relatives were fired from their work place. 

The arrest of my brothers threw my father into a great depression. He rejected chemotherapy and other procedures. 

And finally, he lay down in bed, and died today.  

Should I regret my father’s death? of course. But this isn’t the loss of a father. This isn’t the loss of not being able to go to my father’s funeral because I’m in exile. This isn’t the loss of not being able to comfort my mother, because she can’t be here next to me now. It’s not even personal. Because the biological wires that have connected me to my family have been broken for a while now. 

But it is nonetheless an enormous sorrow. It is an enormous sorrow for those in our country who are unemployed, sick, not looked after and without any outside help. It is a sorrow of inevitability, of helplessness. But this should not be a helpless situation, even though my mother is awaiting a similar situation, as are many others. This is the sorrow of knowing that hundreds, thousands of other elderly and helpless fathers and mothers will also fall victim to a system that cannot provide neither insurance nor decent medical care.

May you rest in peace, father. I was never the child you desired. We never had shared ideas or thoughts, values or principles. We were simply a biological father and daughter. We never accepted the lifestyle or thoughts of one another. And now, after 35 years of a relationship, on the day of your death, even if it’s late, I want to thank you for two things: that you acquainted me with difficulty in my early ages, and that you filled our house with books. 

Thank you, father. How good it is that you redirected my upbringing to books. I will be grateful for you forever. 


Gunel Movlud is a regular columnist for Meydan TV. She was born in 1981 on October 9th in Mehdili, Karabakh. She graduated in 2003 from the Azerbaijani University of Dramatic Arts. 

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