I picked up some soil from the spade that had been extended to me and threw it into the six-foot grave and said in a muffled whisper, “goodbye”. Then, a certain bitter and sad feeling choked me. As I struggled to release myself from the pain that was fast building inside me, strong hands held me and pulled me aside, abruptly. 3 seconds late, I would have landed in the grave, on the coffin. I badly wanted to follow the dead.
I was forced into a corner. As a witness. And so I beheld as the boys dropped soil in torrents into the hole; as the coffin disappeared. Fast. I watched in tears. In desperation. In great wish that I would replace him, he that lay in the coffin. For he was the man I loved most.
I couldn’t take it anymore. It was too much. My knees failed. They had trembled enough in anticipated desperation to hold me straight.
I fell like a log and fainted for I don’t know how long.
This man was sick for one week. Just one week and he was gone.
It was the 15th of Saturday, January, the year 2022. I had come back from church and was in bed trying to watch a movie. I was not settled. I couldn’t tell why. So, I tried my all-time favorite movies…Apocalypto, Blood Diamond, and Law-abiding Citizen.
None was pleasing to me.
Supper had tasted stale too.
This didn’t bother me at all. I saw it as a normal thing.
Earlier on, I had called to check on him and know how he was doing. And they had assured me that he was doing fine. They claimed that his health had improved.
Anyway, at around 8 pm, my uncle called and said,”amechange!”. I instructed them to immediately call a doctor.
When the doctor came, he examined him and started taking several notes.
He was still checking him when he called out, “Morris!” He said, ” niitie Morris” (call Morris for me).
They panicked. Worry had already set in.
The doctor didn’t even finish whatever he was doing. Mzee turned amidst heavy sweats. He turned again. He turned.
They called me at 10:02 pm and said, ” Simeon has left us!”
I asked the caller unconsciously, ” has he gone home alone?”
He said, “no”
Me: Where has he gone?
Caller: He has died.
Me: Died? What do you mean died?
Caller: Morris, he is dead.
I hung up. I looked into the wall of my bedroom for several seconds. Unaware. I didn’t understand. I wouldn’t understand. I didn’t want to understand.
I even stood up and walked around. Trying to grasp what I just heard. By this time, I had started questioning myself…talking to myself. Ati dead? What is dead? Dead! How!
That’s a joke. He is not dead. He is the one I love.
I had told him of the car I was about to buy and how we could drive together when I got it. I decided to actually buy it the next day and go home with it. Just to take him for that ride. Earlier than he thought because we had agreed that it would be better for me to buy it around December.
But then the guy said he was dead.
As I was walking around in the house, trying to understand what had just happened, my neighbour, Mike, was busy knocking at the door but no one was letting him in. So he jumped in. He narrates that he found me walking around, toppling things here and there unknowingly. He heard the conversation I was having with myself. He saw tears run down my cheeks.
He got the message.
So when I finally fell on the floor of the kitchen, he was quick to help me lie in a better position. He was the one who rushed me to the hospital because I had also badly hurt my head as a result of the fall.
When I finally came to my senses and knew for sure that I had lost my grandfather, I cried like a baby. That man practically raised us. My parents were hardly at home. One time, they even disappeared for 7 years!
It is a pain that is eating me up daily. Even as I write this, my heart is aching. I don’t know how to take this pain away.
I don’t know how to come back to life. I can’t hold it back for long.
I am unable.
Please help me.