[Image 1: A young black woman looking directly at the camera. Image 2: A two-year-old black boy wearing an orange t-shirt and holding an orange football, also looking directly at the camera]

Part 28 of a series of posts honoring the Grenfell Tower victims.

The Deen family, from the 14th floor of Grenfell Tower

Zainab Deen, a 32-year-old originally from Sierra Leone, and her two-year-old son Jeremiah both perished in the fire. Zainab was able to tell her brother goodbye via the phone before she died: the details were reported on by the media but are upsetting.

Zainab had loads of friends in London, her father said. She worked at the Chelsea and Westminster hospital, and loved her Grenfell flat because it was so open and spacious.

Her father also gave a statement at the Grenfell inquiry:

“We never thought we would be thinking of Zainab Deen as a memory like we are today…

Zainab had it all. She was beautiful, smart, warm, caring and a confident and outgoing young woman. She had a lively personality and her great sense of humour was enjoyed by all who came across her. Her untimely death has left us heartbroken.

We are so proud to be able to call you our daughter. We are grateful for the brief time we were able to spend with you and believe that the angels are rejoicing because one of their loved ones has rejoined them.”

Jeremiah, his grandfather said, was “loved by all, and was very overprotected by his mother who loved him very much.”

“Most of all we are happy that you are with your mother Zainab who loved and adored you …She will keep you safe now as she protected you in life. Even death can’t separate you both. Our hearts break, we love and
miss you Jeremiah. Sleep grandson, take your rest.”

Zainab’s mother Maria also spoke to the media.

“It isn’t right, it should have been the other way around. We should be being buried, not them. This should not have happened. This should not be life. When you lose somebody, you are able to see the body. Not for us, months passed. It is not normal.“

Zaniab and her son were buried together in a private ceremony.