I'm one of those people that has never really known how or been able to process death; I become so numb and terribly afraid of saying the wrong thing to the one who is grieving or mourning the loss of a loved one that I pretty much just remain mute. Somehow I viewed death as 'that tragic thing that happens to other people' and I remember praying never to experience it in my own home or have it knock at the door of any of my friends or loved ones because I knew losing someone I loved would literally send me over the edge but little did I know that death had seen my fears and was planning on paying my household a visit before moving on to claim others that I knew and cared about.
In 2016, death came and took away my only brother and best friend and till date, it has been the singular most traumatic and painful thing to have ever happened to me. My grief is never ending and it has been so difficult coming to terms with the fact that I will never again see or talk to my brother. I remember when my dad told me he passed, I let out a scream so piercing and felt a pain so deep that I thought I was going to die myself, I wanted to but God held me through that time and I slowly began to accept what was to become life without him. Two short years later, death came calling again and this time to the house of my University colleague and friend who unknown to me had been battling lupus. My joy was that she was a strong woman of faith and trusted in God till the very end and yet my sorrow came in the knowledge that she had left behind a loving husband and young children. We had only chatted a few days before she passed where I asked how she was doing, to which she enthusiastically said 'fine dear, we give God the glory'. My friend was the class clown, always cheerful and happy, making everybody laugh and had the ability to light up any room she walked into. A few months before she died, another dear friend and sister was mourning because death had come into her home and took away her sweet and beautiful mom. I could not fathom what she must have been going through and was so devastated that I could not be with her to comfort her and her only brother at this time. We called her mom "Aunty" and to hear that she had simply only taken ill before passing was incomprehensible to me but then again, death only leaves her calling card and signature behind.
Four short months after Aunty passed, my cousin would also be taken away by the cold hands of death. In his early 20s, he had been battling multiple sclerosis for years and had become relegated to a wheelchair, lost his ability to speak and feed himself. He was the only child of my uncle so you can only imagine how he has been dealing with this loss. The month of July rolls around and I'm thinking okay, death has done its worst and now it can leave me and my loved ones alone back to where it came from but I was sadly mistaken. No sooner had I woken up from sleep on Wednesday morning, did a message come in on my high school group chat that yet again, death had visited one of us. The news of our friend passing away on that Monday hit many of us hard with a few people getting upset that nobody knew what she was battling healthwise with the exception of a handful of friends within the group. Somehow we were able to come together to pay our respects in what ways we could to her family and to the memory of a dearly beloved friend. Some among us had grown closer to her than others but we all had fond memories of her from years prior. Death had humbled us all, we were reminded how fickle life really is and how it can be taken from us in a second. Death reminded us to learn to check up on and appreciate one another as well as the ones in our lives that we care about; whether near or far.
Death is no longer that thing that happens to other people for me because it has visited my home, close to home and outside my home all in the space of 2 years. I therefore no longer hold anyone in unforgiveness and will live my life to God's glory as best as I can. To my friends, even though we may not see or speak everyday, I love you and pray for your health, success and progress. To my family, you are the glue that keeps me together and I know that when all else fails, it is you and God that remain.
In this rat race we find ourselves to become popular, wealthy or successful, I hope we all remember what is truly important and never take it for granted because it could be gone at any moment. Love those in your life and around you and live life to the fullest because before you know it, death comes to take that life from you.
Be well guys and have an awesome weekend.