- Hashim family/Metropolitan Police
The family of a six-year-old boy who died in the huge fire which consumed the Grenfell Tower apartment building has released a letter commemorating his life.
Yaqub Hashim was one of around 80 people who died when the west London tower block was destroyed by a fire on June 14. His older brother Yahya and older sister Firdaws were also killed.
His identity was confirmed on Wednesday in a police statement. In place of a formal statement to the media, the Hashim family provided a 600-word letter addressed directly to the “happy and joyous” boy they knew.
Here is the letter in full:
Our energetic, sporty, funny, smart and cute boy
You were the first one that came to my mind when I heard about the fire. Remembering your energy and your instant reaction to everything, I was worried that you may fall and break something while trying to go down all the stairs from the 22nd floor. I was worried for your parents how they were going to be able to hold you all the stairs from the 22nd floor. That you will be taken from us like this and so soon; it has never crossed my mind….
- Met Police
The energy you had, oh my! A minute at your presence wouldn’t pass without laughing; just following your movement was enough. You were in a rush all the time. Thinking about it now; it feels like you were trying to use all the energy you had and you didn’t want to waste a second of your unfairly short lifetime.
We went to visit your school: funny, hilarious, honey with a big smile, a great boy and a kind friend were some of the words that your friends used to describe you. We all could feel how much they miss you from the touching hugs we received from them. One of the girls even remembered the names of your nieces; she said that you used to talk a lot about them. The whole family misses you terribly our sweet and lively boy Yaqub.
I remember how exciting it was for everyone when you came into the world. Your older siblings Firdaws and Yahya would both have a little brother – me and my sister too. It makes me smile when I think about how much energy you had, even from the very beginning.
Even before you could walk, you would crawl around on the floor so fast that we could barely keep up. And as you grew older, the crawling turned into walking, running and constant jumping and dancing. You had so much energy, and so much excitement. I remember how eager you were to play in the snow when you visited us in Norway last winter. The freezing cold weather didn’t stop you. I miss those days of playing in the snow, dancing to your favourite music and laughing at your jokes. When the fun came to an end, we said our goodbyes and you, your sister, your brother and your parents went back to London. My sister and I were always so disappointed when you had to leave – but we knew that we would meet again next year, so it was alright. This year we even made plans to go on vacation together in Italy or Turkey. It was meant to be a surprise, so our parents hadn’t told us…….
I’m still so shocked that something this horrible could happen to someone so precious and someone so innocent. I think of you and the memories we shared together every single day. And I’m so incredibly grateful that out of the unfairly little time you had in this world, I got to spend some of it with you. Thank you for filling my life and so many others with joy and laughter.
I will always love you Yaqub.
I hope and pray you were asleep and having a sweet dream in that horrible night and you haven’t seen a second of those terrorizing moments. I hope and pray you left us happy and joyous as you always have been.
Move On? to “move on” is to put something behind you forget about it … and never look back
Go on…. to “go on” is to forever carry it forward with you and never forget
Yaqubye, my dear: we promise never to move on But we will try to go on…
Hashim is the latest of around 60 victims to be formally identified.
The total death toll is around 80. Police continue to investigate the wreckage of the tower.
In an update on their investigation yesterday, officers said individuals could be charged with manslaughter over the fire, and end up serving lengthy jail terms.