To the Beautiful Memory of My Grandmother

Yasmeen El Gerbi
4 min readJul 16, 2021
Photo by Artiom Vallat on Unsplash

On the first of July, I lost my beloved grandmother. Losing her felt unexpected. I thought she had more years left, or I hoped she would. I wanted to hug her a little more, especially since I was abroad the last couple of years and I didn’t get to see her enough. But I am very grateful to have made the decision to come back this past December. I got to hug my grandmother one more time, have a warm conversation with her, and hold her hands. These moments will stay with me forever.

My grandmother was especially close to us. I spent a lot of time in her home growing up. And later in our home and at my aunt’s when she couldn’t live alone anymore. A few weeks before she passed, she came to stay with us. Little did I know it would be the last time I wake up with her being around. I remember she’d insist that I must not leave to work without having breakfast first. And she’d wish us a good day with a warm memorable smile.

And when I got back from work, she’d ask me all about my day. My grandmother always listened attentively to what we have to say. She cared so much you could see it on her face. She’d get so excited if we had good news to share. And she’d get upset if she saw we were upset. She shared with us every joy and sorrow. She was a bundle of love, warmth, and some melancholy too.

My grandmother didn’t have the easiest life. She immigrated to Libya from Turkey after marrying my grandfather at a young age. She was a Turkish citizen living a double life in Libya, carrying two different cultures, and navigating two identities.

Because of my grandmother, part of my identity growing up was influenced by Turkey. I listened to her speak Turkish with my mom and aunts every day. And I even watched Turkish football with her. She used to love watching football and I still remember her favorite team was “Galatasaray”.

My grandmother was generous with a big beautiful heart. Every day she spent considerable time doing prayers for all of us. She was extremely kind and loving.

She’d cook us amazing meals. I still remember how her breakfast tastes. No matter how many times I tried to make one like it, it still doesn’t taste the same. There’s this simple pasta with butter and cheese she used to make, and I never tasted anything quite like it…



Yasmeen El Gerbi

I like exploring the complexity underlying our ideas, emotions, stories, norms, and lives.