Juhi A. Dasrath
If you’re reading this then, unfortunately, I’m dead and you’ve recycled this obituary from the Journalism 300 class I took as a junior at UMass. Since you’re all here my ghost hopes to see 50 shades of red because A) my favorite color is red and B) what’s a celebration of my life if you’re all sporting sad black and white garments?
I was given the name Juhi Anushka Dasrath by my grandmother on April 20th, 1996. Throughout my life, my family often referred to me as Julz, Jub, Jub-Jub, Jubaliee or Juhicular. At work, I was known as Jay, frankly because my two-syllable name was hard for people to pronounce.
I moved around a bit when I was a kid but I had some of the best days attending P.S. 131 Abigal Adams Elementary school. From there I attended sixth grade at M.S. 216 Ryan Middle school in Queens, New York. I then scooted on over to Windsor Locks Middle school in Connecticut. After my not so pleasant time there I continued at Windsor Locks High School and then graduated high school a year early, in 2013, when I moved back to Guyana with my family. After taking a year off to figure out what I was going to do with the rest of my life, collectively my family moved back to the US where I graduated with an Associates degree from Springfield Technical Community College and transferred to UMass. My time in college were some of the hardest years of my life as I worked nights and weekends waitressing and bartending at some crummy restaurants while attending school full-time. Trying to maintain an internship, extra-curricular activities, school and work were the cause of 90% of my mental breakdowns.
Honestly, some of my great accomplishments, I feel, happened by chance. I served as Student Body President during my time at STCC. This opportunity opened many doors for me boosting my confidence as a student and a person. My proudest achievement in life was becoming the class speaker at my graduation from STCC. I can pin this as one of my happiest memories. Honestly, there was much I worked hard to accomplish in my life and I did, but the two years spent at STCC were my most accomplished.
To all the people I’m leaving behind, I do not envy you because one of the best things about being dead is never having to wake up, again. No more Mondays and no more homework. Best of all, no more serving jobs. This being said I have a message for some of you because you were the people nearest and dearest to my heart. To my fantastic mom, Rosanna Greening, I’d like to start by apologizing for the tattoo I got when I was 16 that you may only now be finding out about. I waited until now so I wouldn’t get in trouble. Anyway, I was in class one day and for some reason, I was thinking about food (big surprise), I had a wave of appreciation come over me. I was thinking about how when dad was alive he used to make vermicelli and after he passed you learned how to make this dessert for me because you knew I liked it and you didn’t want me to have to go without because he wasn’t around anymore. You were always so selfless in your actions and thoughts. Not a day went by without me truly appreciating this when I moved away. To my amazing step-dad (whom I consider my second father) you came into the picture a little later. Nonetheless, you had just as great of an impact as both my biological parents. You’ve taught me more about myself and patience than anyone ever could. Maybe I’d still be around if I took example from my younger brother, Rajan Dasrath, who went to the gym every day for three hours a day. But hey, keep it up kiddo. You’ll far surpass your dead lift PR one day! You’ve truly been an inspiration in more ways than one because you came with years of care and wisdom I always wish I had. My baby sister, Ivana Greening, girl you could be 30 and you’d always be my baby sister. I hope that if you still want to be a teacher that you will raise the expectations you have for yourself and become the principle because you have amazing potential and drive to become whatever you want. I’ve loved you more than I could ever love anyone. I want you to be everything I wasn’t. Alex Nicholas Hiller, homie, if you’re still around then I have to give you a round of applause because even my family has wanted to out me at some point or another. I’ve thoroughly enjoyed all the time we’ve spent together laughing at nothing and everything, all at once. I’ve enjoyed our late nights sitting up planning our lives together and apart. I’ve always remembered the night you tried to open the wine bottle with a drill. That’s my favorite memory of us. Most of all I’ve enjoyed the way you’ve loved me, even when it got hard to. My best friend, Destiny Sachdeva. Our late nights studying in the basement of your dorm building, the nights we sat out doing semi-illegal things on your porch, the days we’d come into the office at STCC and cry into each other’s arms about boys, about school, about our families or any little stupid thing I’ve always cherished those moments. You’re going to make a great doctor. Don’t you ever doubt that.
Well by this time, you should all be crying. I’ve enjoyed my time on Earth even if I was melodramatic at times and said I didn’t. There are so many memories, so many laughs that I’d like to share but that’s what funerals are for. Reminisce and laugh. Talk about my good and my bad. If I have learned anything in this life, it’s that every day you should make an effort to smile or laugh, it’s contagious and that’s what people remember most about you.
I have one last request. Please don’t send flowers or cards to my family. Instead, please send the money you would spend to Shriner’s Hospital or sneak a five-dollar bill into my brother or sister’s hand. They need help with their student loans.
Juhi A. Dasrath