I have been depressed. I bet that every single Nairobian has felt it. Perhaps every Kenyan, too. From the vague concern at the sound of sirens and helicopters, and into the waves of uncertainty as news trickled in – a robbery in progress. And then it turns into news of death and mayhem and possibly terrorism. By nightfall, death had claimed some names, names we recognised.
Through the night, the news became firmer and with it illusions of control and safety were stripped away. 9, 12, 20, 39 – your radio presenter, my sister’s partner, my househelp’s husband’s boss, my friend’s son-in-law and by dawn, I knew that the festival I was working with had lost one of its guest authors. Anger, fear, numbness, sadness, despair… at some point I suppose I’ll reach the seventh phase and accept.
Terror. It doesn’t win with the killing, but with the fear. And was I proud of my city, the volunteers going out to help, fighting the waves of fear and uncertainty to stand together the best way they know how.
I always say that I am not afraid to die. Sure, I’d be the first one running at the threat to life. But the only reason to be afraid of death, is the pain of dying or the hereafter. I am certain that death is sleep. and in it there is no pain. That gives me immeasurable comfort. Knowing the ones I love and have lost are simply; asleep. no more, not conscious of any pain. So while the process of dying worries me, death itself doesn’t. And in this the words of this title ring true:
Death, where is your victory? Death, where is your sting?
I asked yesterday, can a person with hope be depressed? I refuse to join the disenfranchised. No, I have not closed my eyes to the things that go wrong every day; the mistakes we make and chose to forget every day, some which have cost life, lives, time and time again.
I just refuse to be the one without hope. Because without hope there is no reason to go on, to keep fighting. And I do have hope.
P.S. If you’d like to talk about my reasons for having HOPE in the face of everything this city has been through, you know where to find me 🙂