We lay my Grandfather to rest this Saturday.
It’s two days to that final goodbye and a part of me wishes I had questions to ask or the ability to show my grief like these people expect me to. I did not know my Grandfather, not as much as I hoped to, but the bit that he showed and constantly displayed I knew and in his final years we’d have conversations if Safaricom airtime allowed us. He would call once in a while and I would cheer him up. When I was in between projects he would wish me well and ask me to be patient, something would turn up, a short term contract, just like I like them. What amazed me was that in those moments we both had a laugh. The stories and insights he’d provide would feel like he was actually there and actively involved in my life.
However, he constantly talked about getting to finally close his eyes and being done with this world. I mean, who wouldn’t, but if you’ve led a polygamous life and had to content with sore joints and a trachea that was closing up, then even then no one could convince you otherwise.
However, there is one person that I long to sit down and give the benefit of the doubt.
I would like to ask her “how do you cope, burying not one, but five children in your life time?”
I would like to ask her “how do you cope, having your sister as your co-wife?”
I would like to ask her “what happened to your cheerful spirit, your welcoming personality and your resilience? Did life knock every fight out of you and when did you realize that you were better off staying down than getting back up?”
In short, I want to ask her “what happened to you?” and sit there and listen to her talk because a part of me dies slowly and like a light that’s growing dim, I feel her slipping away right in-front of us. What surprises me is that I am not hurt or shocked or sad about it, rather, I am accepting what’s coming to pass before it’s even passed and what does that say of me?
There are events in life that mark you.
My sister says that life knows how to brand those whom its dealt a pack of cards.
I was marked when I watched my father take his last breath. I was marked when my teacher slipped away into the night. I was marked when my uncle slipped away. But, the greatest of all was being marked during the day, having this short nap and dreaming of my grandmother with my uncles laughing, only to wake up and get the call from my mom that she’s gone. It’s two years since her passing but it still hurts and like my dad’s passing I immortalize her in words. Sometimes, I call out her name and smile but it never reaches my eyes before their banks break. Once when I was out and about, working, I heard a song and broke down. My colleagues did not know what to do, but none of them could bring her back- and sometimes when I sit back feeling like nothing is going my way, I see her face and it hurts because I always thought she’d live forever.
It’s the good ones.
It’s always the good ones that hurt.
So, I sit here listening to So Will I (100 Billion X) by Hillsong, drinking my first cup of coffee of the day and I cannot bring myself to ask questions. I cannot ask these questions because I am not ready for the answers and I never will.
One thing I am certain of is that my Grandfather’s finally had his wish and he’s going to be resting peacefully away from life’s troubles, but still I wonder, the five minute conversations we had…