November 10th is the date and I Still haven’t figured out how to let go.

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.

I am not. Every year, at a time like this, I remember the brother I lost. Of course I am too much of a coward to write down explicitly what happened. I think that I am less afraid of labeling my

brother a maybe criminal, gunned down by his partners turned enemies, who then covered it up as a police killing. I think I am even less afraid that it will come and bite me hard where it hurts if I point fingers at family, relatives who are/were police reservists, relatives who knew how to hide and stealth in all sides of crime and law and order, peace and death, justice and even more death.

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.


One thought on “November 10th is the date and I Still haven’t figured out how to let go.

  1. I hear you, I really do. I lost my mum when I was 16 years old, which was 10 years ago. I have come to accept my pain and live with it… I have finally accepted that she’s gone and that she won’t come back. Having said that I hope that one day I’ll see her again, I hope in that place and time (if any) that I remember her and that she remembers me above all I hope that she’s happy and proud of me, that I haven’t disappointed her too much. This is life… tough, rough and hard… it never favours.
    It was definitely extremely difficult at first but it’s getting easier. Painful still, I miss her terribly but I accept it, and it’s getting easier as the years roll by.
    When it just happened what kept me sane was in part writing the other part was drawing. I wrote poems of how I felt and I wrote letters to her. I even wrote letters to God and with every letter I left a measure of pain, a measure of sadness and a measure of inconsolable sorrow. I sealed the last letter I wrote… can’t quite remember who I had addressed it to; it’s in storage somewhere in the house. I drew portraits of her and flowers because she loved them. I wish I had let her know how very important she still is to me. That I loved her with my heart. (I still do). I think her mostly now, I’ve met this man and wish she could meet him, I wish she could advise me on things and I wish she could have met my children. When I do have them I wish she could guide me. I have missed and will miss so much, so so so much and I can only wish. Don’t lose count of your blessings and cherish all those you love and that are in your life right now. Someone said ‘don’t give me flowers when I am dead, give them to me while I still live’ I agree with that person.
    All the best and take care of you and your loved ones


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