From the title, I am assuming you already imagine there is a death involved and you’re damn right it is. Now that we have that out of the way, I need you to do me a simple favour…..play a game with me. Thanks! I will pretend we are in a therapy social group of 15 damaged people recovering from something, that way I know you won’t judge me as you read on because you’ve already shared with us your fair share and we didn’t judge you. I am not big on opening up about my emotions, I decided to cast caution to the wind. Hello everyone, I’m Patrick and I am a drunk (standard anthem), Hi Patrick, go on and share with us your story, said the therapist.
(now my breathing is starting to get hard and my eyes are cloudy). I have so far had my share of losses but I managed to survive. Truth is I am not necessarily against death, I believe that the greatest pleasure of life is knowing that we are mortal. Knowing this, however, has not changed the fact that these two deaths still hit me hard I can feel my body becoming extremely cold, there is heat rising up in my throat, I am angry. God show me how to fight for now.
In the past 6 days, I have lost two close people, 3 days apart. This particular auntie(dad’s sister) was very smart, funny, sarcastic, strong, and had such a young spirit for her age, she spent a lot of time home so our attachment was really special. The second person I choose to remember as a childhood friend who carried us, made fun of us but grew and now was just everyone’s adulthood best friend. To everyone who crossed paths with them, they quickly became family and friends for life. They lived exceptional lives in their own way because of how they affected those around them, we complained about them stopping to greet everyone on the way. We baptized them ‘mayor/ celeb’ but they enjoyed it because they genuinely loved people which was also their curse of endless disappointments yet they still loved it despite.
Now I want to throw up, my tummy is turning, the room is turning, there is a pain deep in my heart, I am sobbing but I go on regardless. We thank God for the time he shared them with us in this life but this can’t be how they pictured their final send-off, Auntie always talked about how she wanted her burial to be a celebration of her life. But how could it be a celebration? Even if we were to try, COVID 19 had already robbed us of that option because the celebration she pictured was having all her relatives and hundreds of friends converging and sharing their memories of her but we were barely 20 people on her burial scattered in the compound. Some of her children couldn’t make it as they failed to get a sticker allowing them to travel. Only a few relatives were allowed because we’re under total lockdown and they only accepted 40 people including funeral service, cooks, the clergy, etc. Now, these two did not die of COVID 19, I can’t help but think of those who have lost their loved ones in the fight against Coronavirus who have not even been allowed the corpse of their loved one, my heart goes out to you all.
The people I lost both loved people hopelessly, they deserved a better send-off but more importantly if you’re going through loss( and your loss may be sickness, hunger, violence, homelessness name it), during the lockdown you need to talk to someone. And everyone answered in unison, ‘thank you, Patrick, for sharing.
The contributor is a Programs Officer with Reach A Hand Uganda