‘He died of a broken heart’: Brother pays tribute to Qasim Shah

Qasim Shah
Qasim Shah
  • Friends say he told them he ‘couldn’t live without his mother’
  • Brother says he was ‘such a kind and caring person’
  • Laid to rest in a traditional Muslim ceremony at Aylesbury Cemetery

The younger brother of a 27-year-old man who died in his sleep believes his death was caused by a ‘broken heart’.

Waseem Shah, 26, said his older brother Qasim always kept photographs of their mother Abida, who had passed away aged just 29 when they were toddlers, by his bedside and looked at them every night.

Qasim died suddenly in his sleep in the bedroom he shared with Waseem on Saturday, February 21.

Paramedics rushed to the scene but were unable to save him.

Waseem, of New Street, Aylesbury, said: “Nothing could replace our mother, and I honestly believe he died of a broken heart.

“His friends have told us that he would always talk about his mother and how much he missed her, and they told us that there was no chance that he could live without her.

“Since his passing, one of Qasim’s friends came round and told us about how Qasim helped him out. He was such a kind and caring person.

“This person was homeless and Qasim gave him plenty of money to help him sort himself out. Thanks to my brother’s support, this person is now living under a roof and is now working.

Waseem, who lost his sight at the age of 14. went on: “Qasim had such a love for children. I am absolutely certain that he wanted to be a father one day, but that wasn’t to be for him.

“We have a lot of relatives with children and he used to bring them and their friends to our house and entertain them. They loved him.”

Waseem said that Qasim too had recently lost his sight and suffered with cataracts, but doctors were unable to pin down the cause. He was also deaf in one ear and had just 40% hearing in the other.

But despite his own disabilities, Qasim continued to care for his younger brother.

Waseem said: “If I dropped something in the room, he would pick it up for me without saying anything at all. He never complained. He didn’t want to bother anyone.

“Before he lost his sight, he used to train at the local gym and he used to box too. He was squatting with 150kg and that was very impressive, seeing as he was only 12 or 13 stone. He loved keeping fit.”

After their mother died at the age of 29, her three young boys were brought up by their grandparents who are ‘devastated’ at Qasim’s death.

But it wasn’t until their grandson’s funeral that they and the rest of the family realised just how well-loved he was, as Waseem said there were hundreds of people who turned up to pay their respects.

The former Elmhurst and Quarrendon school pupil was laid to rest in Aylesbury Cemetery on the Tring Road in a traditional Muslim ceremony.

The cause of Qasim’s death is not yet known and his family are still awaiting to hear the results of a post mortem examination.

Waseem, who also has an older brother Imran, 29, said: “I believe my brother’s death was a peaceful one which took place in his sleep. He is not in pain any more.

“I have had people spending the night with me in the bedroom I used to share with Qasim so I am not alone, but the room still feels empty because the one person I want to be there isn’t there.”