GOOD BYE DEAR BROTHER: You will Always Be In Our Hearts!


MARCH 6, 1958 – DECEMBER 2, 2017

Jagatpal-Dhillon4Funeral services for Jagatpal-Jaspal Singh Dhillon will be held on Saturday, December 9 at 2pm at the Riverside Funeral Home (formerly Five Rivers Funeral Home – 7410 Hoscott Road) in Delta. Bhog and final rights will be held at Vancouver’s Khalsa Diwan Society, Ross Street at 4:30-5pm.

Jagatpal-Dhillon8By R. Paul Dhillon

Death is the final Sweet Goodbye to a Life Lived on God’s green earth.

We in the media run Obituaries every week with someone’s loved one passing and giving the community and relatives of the dearly departed information on the deceased.

It’s obviously more emotional when it is your own family, in my case, my older brother Jagatpal Singh Dhillon, who passed away on Saturday night (Dec. 2) in Surrey.

Jagatpal was a cherished soul who changed his name to Jaspal (also the name of my sister) because he felt that he was carrying the weight of the world on his shoulders as of his name means – Jagat (World) and Pal (the care-taker).

We would like to remember him by his original name Jagatpal, aka Jagga, the name our parents – Mohinder-Swarni Kaur and Harbans Singh Dhillon – gave him.

Jagatpal-Dhillon9Jagatpal’s life can be summed up in two equally dramatic parts of an uneven movie – the great first half that is a highly enjoyable and bubbling with life and energy and the dramatic turn in fortunes in the second half that’s topsy-turvy and leads to a heartbreaking and cruel ending that leaves you with a bad taste in your mind and gut-wrenching feeling that the protagonist didn’t deserve the fate life offered him.

It’s a fitting analogy for Jagatpal as he, like me, was a big film buff in his younger days and even when we moved to Canada in the late 1970s, watching every Bollywood film. In his younger days, he looked like a film star with his good looks and height that was the envy of any Bollywood star.

While the heydays of his youth, living in the plush surrounding of Amritsar’s Lawrence Road colony complete with candy shops, cinemas and uniformed schools, Jagatpal lived a privileged life even though he was the son of average middle class parents. The above average lifestyle came courtesy of our maternal grandparents who adopted the doe-eyed, handsome boy.

Jagatpal-Dhillon7But any lap of luxury always has a dark side. So while to the outside world, Jagatpal seemed to be living the envious life, he was lonely, away from his parents and at the mercy of a tough group of maternal parents and their offspring. Growing up in this environment eventually had a profound psychological effect on the young boy who became a bit like a fractured glass bottle that would break any time life put that extra pressure on it.

There are so many fractured souls out there just like Jagatpal, trying to get up from under life’s pressure and even with a Herculean effort, not able to do so.  Life eats them up and spits them out.

They say sometime Love can help them slay that Dragon of Darkness, but those, who cross over to the light and live a meaningful and rich life, are the lucky ones.

Jagatpal was not one of the lucky ones. Love from the siblings was not enough as I was too young and spent my childhood away from him and didn’t really know him well and my elder sisters had their own lives.

Many times we are not prepared for what life has in store for us and those who suffer from the demon of depression can have their life turn into a rollercoaster, hurtling towards disaster. And when you add a loveless marriage and kids into the mix, it can be emotionally overwhelming beyond the point of no return.  

We can blame everyone from God to all those who crossed our path and those who could have changed our life’s path but they didn’t or perhaps made it only worst. But there is no one really to blame in the end as a life lived, even a one with pain and sorrow, is worthy of recognition and acknowledgement.

Jagatpal, who did many years of service in the name of our Sikh faith as well as many good deeds, will always be remembered as a gentle soul, a good man who worked hard for his family when the Demons of Darkness didn’t befall him but who was blamed and shunned by society for being lazy and “not a Man.” It’s the sad reality that must change.

For me and my siblings, he will always be a loving brother who deserved a much better second half of movie, a one that entertained, inspired and was  a life affirming good film because he is our Brother and we will always love him.

Rest in Peace!

Your brother Raja!

Funeral services for Jagatpal-Jaspal Singh Dhillon will be held on Saturday, December 9 at 2pm at the Riverside Funeral Home (formerly Five Rivers Funeral Home – 7410 Hopscott Road) in Delta.

Bhog and final rights will be held at Vancouver’s Khalsa Diwan Society, Ross Street at 4:30-5pm.


About the Author

Raj Paul Dhillon is an award winning journalist based in Vancouver, Canada. He received his second National Best Editorial Award from the National Ethnic Media and Press Association of Canada, presented to him by Prime Minister Stephen Harper on November 21, 2010 in Toronto. Aside from an extensive writing/editing work with a number of newspapers and magazines (currently the editor of the South Asian LINK newspaper, the oldest South Asian newspaper in Canada), he has also done freelance writing for mainstream publications like The Vancouver Sun and Georgia Straight newspapers. He holds a degree in Communications and in Film from Simon Fraser University.

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