The Incalculable Loss of A Hero, the Weight of Pain

Jan 29 , 2022
By Eden Sahle ( Eden Sahle is founder and CEO of Yada Technology Plc. She has studied law with a focus on international economic law. She can be reached at )

A few months ago, I saw a nightmare. It was six men in black suits and hats carrying a casket from our home. They took it to a black van parked adjacent to our compound. I woke up bathed in tears and sweat.

Little did I know that on January 9, 2022, I would live to see the nightmare become a reality. Men in black suits and hats did come to our home and carry a casket. But what the nightmare did not reveal was that it would be my father, Sahle Habte, that would be carried out after he passed away in my arms.

He was healthy. The doctors could not verify what went wrong with the person we called “Babiye.” Many who knew my father tried to explain what had occurred.

“The angel was taken with no medical cause or suffering due to his goodness to everyone,” they said.

Words cannot express our family's grief as we try to process his sudden passing. There is intense and debilitating grief that fills my whole being. Many told me that it seemed I lost my sanity in the way I grieved for my father. Maybe they are correct as I no longer recognise myself. I feel the full weight of pain, shock and ache. The concept of “loss” sounds like an understatement.

Whenever my grief is milder, I am reminded of the hard-working father who was a part of everything I did and planned. We had a deep relationship. He was the only parent I had had for much of my life.

When the Ethio-Eritrea War broke out, and our mother could not come back to Ethiopia, my father took on the role of two parents. There were no house chores he failed to do. He cleaned, washed clothes and dishes, and cooked. He was not just there for our physical needs but also emotionally. He attentively and tirelessly listened to even our silly complaints and ideas and took them seriously. When my siblings and I became adults, he still felt we deserved constant attention, love, and care. We never felt we missed out on anything. He gave us everything until he drew his last peaceful breath.

His passion for reading, education and knowledge about many things compelled my siblings and me to call him “our professor.” There was nothing that he could not fix for us and many families that he supported emotionally and financially. He knew about everything in my life; my successes, failures, fears, wishes and future life expectations. His advice, wisdom, simple outlook, funny jokes, generosity and care was the daily nutrition that helped me navigate life and dream big.

My father’s “women first” principle gave me a lot of privileges at home. Daily he told me I am gorgeous and admired the way I dress. Before meals, he never washed his hands before me, always telling me I came first for all good things as a woman. He made me feel cherished and protected at all times. He believed in me, advising me to set higher goals. He encouraged and pushed me to achieve milestones that I could not have done without him.

Forgiveness was essential to him, making peace with those who hurt him harshly. He taught me the joy of sharing and helping those in need; to be more kind and pray for those unkind to me; the power of love, family and marriage in his faithfulness and love to my mother and his family.

Before he passed, he had been preparing for several months for my wedding, which was to be held in three months' time. Sadly, our joy turned into grief, leaving us with puzzling questions rather than answers.

I will continue to tell his stories. Since childhood, everyone who knew me was forced to hear about my father as I love to talk about his deeds. I am proud of him and how he raised me, telling me to love and respect everyone irrespective of who they are and how they treat me.

PUBLISHED ON Jan 29,2022 [ VOL 22 , NO 1135]

Eden Sahle is founder and CEO of Yada Technology Plc. She has studied law with a focus on international economic law. She can be reached at

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