Death is brutal. One moment you are within six feet of your loved one, the next, they are six feet under. Sometimes there is no forewarning. It just strikes and closes the curtains as if it’s just another play at the theatre. Dreams get shattered. Unions get halved. Futures get disoriented. And the saddest part about it all is that there is absolutely nothing you can do to change the state of affairs. You cry yourself to sleep and pray that it is just a dream and that when you wake up, they will be there. Their bright face smiling down at you. Their familiar voice buzzing through your ears, probably complaining about why you were sleeping for too long. The mixture of their sweat and their cologne filling your nostrils, choking you a little.
You wake up and it’s just you. Just you, surrounded by their stuff. Their clothes. Shoes. Handbags. Car keys. Cellphone. Everywhere you turn, everything you touch, reminds you of them. The TV is still stuck on their favourite channel. Remains of their favourite meal are still in the fridge. The bookmark you bought them for their birthday is still peeping from between the pages of the book they were reading. The fragrance of their shampoo still dominating the bathroom. Their wet underwear still swaying right next to their wet towel. Strands of hair still hanging from the razor they recently used to shave. Their alarm clock still blaring every five minutes in the morning. It’s their favourite song. Even the WiFi password is their birth date!
You would trade a kidney to see them one last time. To tell them how much they meant to you, even if you neither showed it nor said it as much as you should have. To appreciate them for raising you. Teaching you how to walk. To poop by yourself. To talk. To clean yourself. For sacrificing their happiness to ensure you got an education. For always forgiving you any time you screwed up. For always praying for you and wishing you success, even when you did not deserve it.
You would gladly give your right arm to kiss them one last time. To hold them by their hand and walk down the street, the wind blowing right between you. To lie on the grass next to them and enjoy the silence of their company. To thank them for accepting you despite all your shortcomings. For starting a family with you. To make love to them one last time.
You would give all your earthly belongings to fight with them one last time. To remind them of how fun your childhood was. To thank them for bringing the beautiful nephews and nieces into your life. To tease them about how skinny they are. To demand for the few thousands of shillings they still owe you.
You would do anything to be with them, just one last time. But that is not how life works. You have to accept that they are gone. That they are in a better place. And that wherever they are, it is their wish for you to be happy. And to make the most of your life today, because nobody knows what tomorrow holds.