GRIEF

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It’s 3.16am on a Saturday and I have no idea what I’m still doing awake! I’m not one to suffer from bouts of insomnia, but I kind of like the stillness of the night. I can’t stay it beats sleeping (because that’s why God made darkness, so we couldn’t see and would have to sleep), but since I can’t sleep I might as well write something.

I should actually be in Carni right now for New Jack. Funny I’m here because I distinctly remember telling everyone who cared to listen that I’d go. My grand plan was to take a power nap, then shower and go get my youth on! That didn’t pan out. I didn’t manage to sleep much, was woken up by a client needing something done urgently, wasn’t able to go back to sleep, and didn’t have the energy to get dressed and go out. One wonders what this body wants from me sometimes!

So here I am, listening to J Holiday’s music (guy looked so gangster but he could put one to bed with that singing, gosh!), thinking about life and death. Mine’s a simple life, just the way I like it. I’m not a complicated chick. If you don’t believe me, ask Mr. Nice Guy, he’s the main beneficiary of my simplicity (not to mean I have a simple mind by the way).

I choose to have a simple life because I like to be a happy child. It’s too bad things don’t always turn out the way I want them to. My girl Kirigo always says ‘life is hard then you die.’ It’s something I say to make people laugh, create a light moment when things aren’t going right. It usually works. But if you think about it, what is that ‘hard life’ being compared to, since you can’t compare life and death if you haven’t experienced both. Tafakari hayo (and that right there is the biggest shout out Swaleh will ever get from me!).

I lost a dear man the other day. He was a man I met at my first job. He taught me much. It’s a shame that he never got the book I was planning to buy him the day I received news of his passing. Funny how I still see him in my mind’s eye. There, it’s like he never left. There, he’s still looking up at me from his desk asking him to give him a story. There, he’s still the Oposh I had grown to respect. The man who threw everything, including his health, into his job; the man who worked even when battling cancer, and shamed me when I complained about having to work with a headache. Oposh had a beautiful smile. He may be gone, but his smile will remain with me. I hope he’s resting now; he deserved to be free from pain.

I’ve been lucky not to have been to many funerals in my life, but death has a funny way of being that thing that is just another part of the circle of life (that irony is not lost on me). I find it interesting how knowing that death is inevitable doesn’t make it any easier when it happens and you have to find a way to deal with it.

I haven’t grieved for Oposh yet. I’m good at postponing grief. I go numb when everyone else is grieving, and shift into survival mode so I don’t crash. But the crash comes, so I’m giving it time.

I remember the last time I lost someone close to me. I didn’t cry for two months, but when I eventually did, it was the most gut-wrenching feeling I ever had. I haven’t forgotten that. It’s almost exactly five years on this December. I had planned to be in the car that my friend had the accident in. I overslept after a night out so I didn’t meet up with him as planned. Next thing I knew, he was gone. I found out via text. My reflex threw my phone on the carpet like it was burning my hand. I didn’t cry. I continued doing what I was doing. When his picture was put in the obituaries I remember thinking “V won’t like this picture, it doesn’t do anything for him.” I couldn’t bring myself to delete his number, and sometimes I found myself starting to dial his number to tell him something funny, then remembering he wasn’t here anymore and staring at my phone willing him to come back so we could talk like we used to.

We had a song: Alicia Keys’ ‘No One.’ I couldn’t bear to listen to that song for almost six months after V’s death. I still don’t listen to it; it’s just not as nice as it used to be when V sung it.

I need to stop now. When I opened this page I intended to write something witty, guess I’m just not in that space, and I’m getting a bit emotional, so I’ll stop now…

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