In the short 15 years Farid Hussain was alive, he put a lot of smiles on people's faces.
Several of his friends at the Lake Forest High School student's visitation Friday morning (Jan. 13) at The Memorial Chapel in Waukegan wrote of his sense of humor on a blank board that was anchored by a color photograph of Hussain and four other students dressed in makeup and unusual costumes.
Hussain was killed early Monday morning when he walked into the path of a southbound Metra Train at the Western Avenue and Ryan Place crossing in Lake Forest. More than 100 people turned out Friday to pay their respects to the Lake Forest sophomore, who is the son of Samira and Iqbal Hussain. The family plans to bury their son in London.
One friend who was in Hussain's English class the past two years, wrote, "You could make the entire class smile."
Added another, "I miss seeing your smile every day. You lit up the room."
Similar postings described Hussain as, "so smart and funny. A sweet boy. Funny and kind," who had a "beautiful smile."
A fellow biology student added Hussain was the "nicest, funniest and smartest kid."
Another wrote: "You always had something so smart and funny to say. You always surprised me with your brilliance, and there was literally no question that you couldn't answer. You have brought me so much laughter over the years and I'll smile when I think of you."
Several of Hussain's friends spoke during an open opportunity to share stories and anecdotes about him.
Niko Kyriacou, who identified himself as one of Hussain's closest friends, said "he was a really good kid."
"When you got to know him, he was a really loving, caring guy. He had the best laugh," Kyriacou said.
Another friend noted Hussain's quiet nature, but that when he did speak, people listened.
"Farid was one of the most clever and intelligent people I’ve ever met in my life. He had a type of silent charm. He was sensitive, kind and had a great sense of humor. His wit and profoundness was unmatched. Farid, you were always a ray of sunshine, and it was inevitable that people would smile when they were in your company. On the day you left, the sun was shining brighter than ever before."
Deer Path Middle School teacher Mary Courtney wrote a letter about Hussain that was read at the visitation. In it, Corpier recalled Hussain's strong writing skills and how she felt lucky to "have some bits and pieces of his remarkable stories that he asked me to edit with him over the last couple of years."
"He was gifted in so many ways," Courtney wrote. "Academically, in personality, but most of all in spirit. He was always kind. Always gentle. And knew exactly how to use humor in a situation when the situation needed it. He will not be forgotten, but remembered always for the smiles, quips and many kindnesses with which he was so generous."
Iqbal Hussain, Farid's father, thanked the community for their outreach this past week, and read the lyrics from John Lennon's song, "Beautiful Boy," to honor his son. (See the attached YouTube video of Lennon's song).
One of Hussain's friends, classmate Yasin Mekki, penned a poem for Farid that may have best summarized what the past week has been like.
No one saw the windstorm coming
No one expected as much, it never crossed their minds
But, nonetheless, the dark clouds formed above our heads
And still no one saw, no one even blinked
But then the wind was upon him
The cold wind of death
It whipped across our faces
Its touch icing our hearts
As it carried him beyond the horizon
To unknown lands
My student, my friend, my brother, my son
And yet the storm has brought us closer then ever before
Now a different storm concerns us
As the snowflakes fall
Wetting our skin with life
We feel the memories before us
And ahead of us
God Bless Farid, Rest in Peace