In Loving Memory of My Friend Tariq

Around six years ago, I had the spectacular good fortune of being introduced to Dr Tariq Idris, who was well-known at the time as a cosmetic dentist practising in London’s prestigious Harley Street. I met Tariq at a time when I’d been abandoned by the dental profession and I was in a very bad way, having been driven almost literally demented by the incessant pain I was suffering. As such, I had become extremely suspicious of and hostile to dentists, so I frankly doubted that our meeting would end well for either of us, despite the glowing recommendations I’d heard about Tariq , who had had a number of high-profile celebrities as his grateful clients over the years.

I immediately warmed to Tariq, but not just because of the supreme care he took in the course of his work. He was considerate and understanding to a fantastic degree with me, which is no small feat considering that I’ve got good reason to believe that I was quite possibly the most fearful and difficult patient he’d encountered. I was grateful beyond words to him for treating me like a human being, but we stayed in touch from the very first, not just because I was his patient, but because he was such a warm, likeable, amusing, considerate and well-informed man.

I am deliberately making this account brief, because I intend to write about Tariq at far greater length another time. For now, I was fascinated to learn that he applied the principles of the Golden Ratio and the Fibonacci Sequence to his cosmetic dentistry, so there were many times when Tariq and myself talked long into the night about these matters. We discussed other things as well, such as our shared love of Pink Floyd and black dogs, but I cannot hope to do justice to the full breadth of Tariq’s learning and interests here, nor will I try.

I’m 57 years old and for as far back as I can remember, I’ve had an extremely robust sense of humour, something that’s occasionally got me into deep trouble, but Tariq was responsible for playing the funniest practical joke on me that anyone has ever managed, which is an astonishing achievement and the memory of it still makes me explode with laughter and grin like an idiot. I could continue for hours yet and one day I will, but for now, I’ll simply say that for all his many wonderful qualities, not least his warmth and kindness, I loved Tariq like a brother.

I last spoke with him just a few weeks ago and as ever, he was brimming over with curiosity and happiness as he enthused about life in general and about a forthcoming project in particular. He was planning to leave the country for a little while, so I imagined that I’d be hearing from him shortly after his return, but instead, I was appalled to receive a phone call from a mutual friend last Monday to tell me that Tariq was critically ill in intensive care in a hospital in the north of England; on Wednesday, his life support was turned off and on the Thursday, the following day, Tariq was buried in keeping with the tenets of his devoutly-held Muslim faith.

At my age, I’ve known what I suspect is at least my share of tragedies and bereavements, but Tariq’s loss is absolutely brutal, not just to me, but to his young family and to all his many other friends, as well as to all those who profited from his professional skills. For most of the time, I think of this man that I loved like a brother and I smile, because of the countless reasons I have to be happy that I knew him, but every now and again, my eyes well up, the hot tears flow unchecked and I simply cannot bloody well believe that he’s gone, so I find myself cursing a malignant fate that stole him from us at such a young age.

This isn’t what Tariq would want, so I’ve applied myself to trying to write the briefest of eulogies that will do his memory some remote semblance of justice and hopefully please anyone else who knew him, who happens to pass by this site.

“Atque in perpetuum, frater, ave atque vale”.
“And forever, Brother, hail and farewell”.

This entry was posted in Mourning and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

9 Responses to In Loving Memory of My Friend Tariq

  1. caroline neary says:

    Is this the Tariq Idris from Blackburn in Lancashire whom I would have played with in Lancaster Place

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Abdul says:

    Hi Caroline,

    I knew Tariq M idris from primary (St Barnabas and st Paul’s C of E primary School) Blackburn and Billinge High School Blackburn. He was then a boy with a very good memory and he could even then read roman numerals, which I struggled with.

    Abdul Q sami.


  3. Abdul Sami says:

    Correction. The story about Roman numerals is not correct (I was thinking of someone else). I did know him at those two schools though.


  4. Clara Allen says:

    Omg this broke my heart and I am in tears!! My husband and I loved him so much. We just got back to the U.K. and I couldn’t get a hold of him. What happened to him?? How could he just pass away like this?? 😭😭

    Liked by 1 person

  5. David Robinson says:

    I have only just found out. I couldn’t believe what I was reading. It is as though a light has gone out. I am 77 and over the last fifteen years I have had nine implants done by Tariq. They are still all perfect perfect. I can’t thank him enough. Please can anyone tell me why he is gone? I cannot find out. liked him so much more


  6. Donna Taylor says:

    I cannot believe what I’m reading today. Tariq was infectious with his love for life, Hanna and his family. I was Tariq’s first dental nurse as newly qualified dentist in Bolton before he travelled to Chester. There was never a dull day working with him, we would spend all day laughing! My heart goes out to Hanna & their children after hearing this terrible news.


  7. Marian Booth says:

    I have just read that Tariq has died. It’s difficult to believe and I feel immensely sad. He was one of the most wonderful and delightful people I have ever met. Kind, sensitive, humorous and so full of life. I adored him and he did wonders for my teeth. I briefly met his wife and children………what a beautiful family. How many dentists can be bothered to text their patients who are on holiday, just to check they are all right and not in any pain. Tariq did. He went beyond what is required and was loved by all who met him. My thoughts are with his family at this terrible time.


  8. Andrew Kettle says:

    I have just learned of Tariq’s tragic passing. I knew him well from the University in Manchester where we were both undergraduates, We lived in adjacent rooms in our first year at St. Anselm’s Hall of residence in Victoria Park. Tariq was the very first person I met on arrival at University and despite the fact that we came from very different background, we became firm friends. I recall he had a very mischievous sense of humour and we were both to become the bane of the warden’s life. Tariq was also an incredibly generous and warm person and very compassionate. We stayed in contact afterwards for few years and I remember well his wedding in Blackburn not long after I graduated in 1991.. Sadly we lost contact as the years passed and our lives went in different directions. I knew he had had a successful career in dentistry and I was planning to contact him this year for his professional advice but also to see once again my old friend. I deeply regret not having done so sooner. I will mourn the loss of a great human being and offer my thoughts and prayers to his family.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.