Recent tragedy has caused my sister, Sonya, and her family to lose their best friend, their backbone, and their protector. Her husband, “Sha”. He was diagnosed with heart disease in his early 30’s. Even with frequent visits to the hospital, Richard tragically succumbed to the disease, on the night of September 9th, 2018. He went into cardiac arrest while taking care of his daughter.
Sha was a caring father, and a hero to his family. He spent his last days loving and caring for his daughter, Aaliyah who was diagnosed with Osteosarcoma on August 4th, 2016. She was 14 at the time. He also cared for Sonya’s son Ernie, and daughter Ariana as if they were his own. Richard was a truly remarkable man. Having fathered no biological children of his own, marrying Sonya made him something he had never been before; a Father. Although these children have a father, Sha took it upon himself to become an extremely strong, and vitally important role model in their lives.
When Aaliyah’s cancer became more aggressive, Sha did not shy away from his duties as a father, despite the toll it took on him physically and emotionally. There were times when Sonya had to work, Sha, along with Aaliyah’s biological father, had to try to find a way to make it to Aaliyah’s appointments. Sha slept at the hospital on many occasions when Aaliyah had to be admitted for several days. He made him self available when no one else could be there. He never missed an appointment!
The things that made Sha so special were the relationships he had with his family, and the guidance he offered to his children sincerely and genuinely. They knew without a doubt that Sha would be there for them when they needed him. Whether it be trouble with boys, learning how to drive, or teaching a boy how to be a man, Sha was up to the task. In my opinion the most remarkable thing about Sha was the size of his heart, and the love and understanding that Sha gave my sister and her family during their darkest hours. He will be missed.
I am reaching out to everyone because my sister and her family need love and support. Sha’s untimely death left Sonya unprepared to continue to do everything that needs to be done for Aaliyah, without his help. Unfortunately, with Sha gone Sonya was forced to quit her job of 15 years, to stay home and look after Aaliyah while she continues to fight for her life. It is undetermined if Sonya will be able to return to work. At this time we are asking for any and all support available to help give my sister’s husband the burial and service he deserves. All proceeds will pay for funeral expenses and any bills my sister may incur related to Sha’s death. Any additional funds will be used to help this family survive this difficult time with out him.