Christchurch terrorist attack survivor Farid Ahmed has suffered the loss of a second family member, just a year after his wife Husna was killed in a horrifying attack at Al Noor mosque.
The Muslim leader says his mother, Mokbul Nesa, has died in her home village of Mirer-Chor in Bangladesh, but he's unable to fly home to be with his family due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
Mr Ahmed became known all over the world after the Christchurch attacks for choosing to forgive the gunman and was a support to many in his community in the aftermath, but says the news has "shaken" him.
"My wellbeing probably had received another blow to be honest, it's blow after blow," he told 1 NEWS.
"Yes, I feel sad that I could not go because of the lockdown, but I also feel that is something that is necessary and I accept it."
Mr Ahmed, who was also hit by a drunk driver in Nelson in 1998 and now uses a wheelchair, wanted to pass on a message for others suffering through similar circumstances due to the lockdown, saying families can still find ways to connect.
"My heart is still free to love, to feel for her, to feel for one another, so I do not completely feel that I am locked down," he says.
"Physically, yes, but mentally and emotionally and from the perspective of the heart, we still have freedom and we should use that. And I am using that."
He says his mother, who died of natural causes at the age of 96, set an example of love and kindness that he would go on to emulate.
The mother of six lived almost all of her life in Mirer-Chor, a village of just 500 people, with her husband Mokarram Ali, who died six years ago at the age of 101.
She was known for finding ways to help others in the village and would often ask for financial support – not for herself, but to help others she knew with things like surgeries and weddings.
"She was a very uncomplicated, simple-minded person like me. She was very, very generous and probably I got some of it from her," Mr Ahmed says.
"She had no enemies. I have never, never seen her arguing with anyone, never. She was so lovely and helpful and people used to come to her for telling their grief."
His final words, fitting for them both: "My consolation is she was a gift from God and she is back there."