Every November heralds a period of depression for me. Like clockwork, I plunge into the unhealthy cycle of I-wish-I-had, and if-only-I. It seems weird to anyone that I dare confess to that I might be grieving hard 7 years later. I should be facing this with the stoic hardness of being Kenyan and having faced enough life to know that crap happens and life moves on.
No, I am more afraid that in accepting my brother’s death, then I have to face the finality. Then I might have to face other facts, such as the fact that our relationship failed more than it succeeded. The brother who stole me away after school without my mum’s knowledge to buy me ice cream at Blue Room, then talked me through the boys-are-not-good routine, taught me that I could be the best I wanted to be if I dared try, then frowned when I turned 19 and smiled coyly at the preacher’s son. The last thing I said to this brother of mine, at the village in Kanyariri, when I met him at Uncle’s Kaiyafa fence, and had nothing to say to him then was, “Ya!” To which he replied with a dark nod before disappearing into the muddy street that led out to the cruel world.
A few days ago I stood at the point where I had said the flippant ‘ya’. The fence that was has been pulled down and replaced with another, of euphorbia, and reinforced with wire mesh. Since then, a little cousin had her first baby, another went off to the US, two others followed, someone else graduated, and I, I found the career of my dreams, as a writer, a paid writer.
I still haven’t come to terms with my loss. But it is time.
They say an infected wound cannot heal until the pus and infected blood is cleaned out. The procedure is painful. I’ll need my pain meds.