In Memoriam of Shibu Mathew Abraham
By: Jincy Cherian, OMS II
Almost one year ago, the NYCOM family lost one of our own. He was a first year student with a bright mind and an even brighter future. Shibu Mathew Abraham may have been a friend to some of you, an acquaintance to many of you, and a stranger to most of you, but to me, he was someone I was lucky to know.
It’s hard to think of a single characteristic to describe Shibu. Humorous, entertaining, caring, driven, focused – all these adjectives seem to fall short. In a group of people, he would probably be the center of attention, regaling everyone with an adventure from undergrad, and peppering it with hilarious commentary. Maybe he’d be serious, discussing how much becoming a doctor meant to him and to his family… how he wished his parents would take on less, and how when he was finally a physician, he could take care of them so they could retire and relax. Perhaps he would be in a silly mood, singing along to the latest Britney song in a falsetto voice, or attempting to dance…badly. There’s always the possibility he would be in a “boy” mood, discussing the Lakers and how medical school had gotten him out of shape. Yet I have no doubt that his infectious smile and his distinctive laugh would be the first thing anyone would notice. In the early morning hours of April 1, 2009, at the tender age of 21, Shibu’s life was tragically cut short. A year later, a sense of disbelief still lingers. The memories are bittersweet – the good times are punctuated with laughs and smiles, and the simple fact that he is gone is met with tears and sighs.
I cannot say I was Shibu’s best friend or closest confidante, but I can say, without a shadow of a doubt, that he was a role model to me. He had a determination about his education that I aim to emulate. He had a love for his family and friends I would be hard-pressed to match. He had joy for life that even on my best days, I fall short in. But because of what Shibu Abraham taught me, I aim to try. Shibu taught me that my life, whether as a daughter, a student, a friend, or one day, as a physician, will impact every single person I come into contact with. He taught me that it’s up to me to determine the legacy I will one day leave behind. Not a single day in the future is guaranteed to any of us– live each day as if it is your last and let every single one of your “last” days make a positive difference in the lives of those around you.