Remembering Erdin Elmi

In the mid 90’s I was in graduate school for sociology and working at a market research firm. I’d initially been working part time in the phone room, but was moved into the Analysis and Consulting department when one of the professionals there noticed I was reading a book on multiple regression (a statistical technique).

My supervisor in A & C knew that I was interested in web development and mentioned that Nermin Elmi, someone he knew through his place of worship (the Islamic Center), needed help getting a web page going. Nermin was trying to raise money to help her cousin come to the United States to get treatment for leukemia.

In the course of working on the web page, I met her family–her husband, daughter and Erdin, her son. I didn’t really get to know him, but he seemed like a decent guy. He was going to high school at the time.

Nermin Elmi succeeded in bringing Elmira (her cousin) to the US for treatment–though complications from the chemotherapy ultimately killed her.

Nonetheless, I’ve still kept in touch with the family on and off. It’s been a little while though and that’s why it was a bit of a shock to read the following article in the paper:

25 year-old steps in front of commuter train

The 25 year old man is Erdin.

It’s a sad and strange thing. I remember hearing that when Nermin and her husband immigrated from Romania (at that time a communist state), the state would not allow Erdin to go with them. Ultimately, bringing Erdin here would involve Grand Rapids’ congressional representative (Rep. Paul Henry?) as well as (I think) the State department.

I’m sure that this event will prompt me to reconnect with the family again soon, but a card or phone call seems such a small thing in the face of something like this.

8 thoughts on “Remembering Erdin Elmi”

  1. Hey, Thanks for posting this. Erdin was such a good guy. This whole thing has left me and many of his classmates in total shock. He was a good friend to many of us and we miss him terribly.

  2. Erdin was an amazing young man that I had the opportunity working with! He will be greatly missed. This hospital feels cold without one of it’s members. Especially such a close one.

  3. Hey thank you for posting this. Erdin was my neighbor and my mom is very close with his mom. He was a great guy and very intelligent. It is very puzzling why he would do such a thing. He will be missed

  4. thank you so much for posting this. i agree with all of the statments posted previous. he was intelligent, wonderful, caring, loving, giving and such a beautiful human being. many tears have been shed and many more will be. it’s good to see that other people think about him the same way i do.
    erdin, you truly will be missed, i wish you would have told me. ill love you always and i wont forget you!!

  5. I still have difficulty fathoming everything because Erdin was such a great, amazing, kind human being, as all others have said. I knew him from both school and work, and he taught me many things, including important life lessons. He is missed more than words can say, and I can say I am a better person from knowing him. I just wish I could have known him longer.

  6. Bearing in mind the direction this conversation has taken, I’m strongly tempted to close comments.

    I’ve already deleted two.

    Despite that, I’m not going to. I would, however, suggest that anyone commenting imagine that you might be addressing Erdin’s family or friends as you do it.

    There’s no guaranty that you will be, but you might.

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