“Mum… It’s Bella, I’m here mummy. I’ve come to see you. I’m here now. It’s all gonna be okay”
Half scared and smiling, I utter these words to my mother’s lifeless body lying right before me. She’s fully covered in a very clean white cloth. The morgue attendant is friendly and even cracks jokes as he uncovers Mama’s face for me to view. My cousin Warda is touching her head and her lifeless body looks as hard as a rock. She looks so peaceful, her eyes gently closed like in deep sleep. The embalming process is about to start because tomorrow, she’ll begin her journey to her final resting place; her grave.
I’m still in denial and shock because my immortal mother can’t be dead! How dare she leave us on our own! In my 25 years on earth I’ve never seen my mother sick! Then she falls sick and in a span of six weeks she’s gone? How unfair! Just when our stars were beginning to shine. Right when she was starting to enjoy the fruits of her children’s sweat and hard work! The pain in my stomach is getting unbearable by the hour!
On this one, there’s no chronological order. I’m writing as my memory can best serve me. Read on as I share my pain brought about by my mum’s death.
I’m undergoing the grieving process and I’m currently at the 3rd stage which is the “bargaining” stage. Constantly thinking what I could have done to save my mum. Was I the best daughter I could be? Did I do my best to ensure her days on earth were beautiful? Did she spend her nights proud of me? Bare with me for being so selfish, only thinking of myself yet mama had 4 of us biologically.
A tear drop gives way to an ocean. The woman sitting next to me probably wonders what could be troubling my young soul in a foreign land. Could it be visa issues or matters of the heart? At this point I’m too glued on my phone typing anything I can. I’m actually writing this post. It’s a few weeks since I got back to Germany after biding farewell to mama. My sunglasses are not helping much with the tears so I take them off and let the river run. I’m angry and sad!
I flashback to the fateful day of her demise! Weirdly enough, I was from a job interview. Thereafter, I headed out to the city to enjoy the sunny summer afternoon. sat by the terrace of a small restaurant sipping a glass a prosecco alongside some relaxing music by Suzanna Owiyo. I played a particular song (Minwa Mary) over and over again. After my second glass I headed home very happy and energised so I decided to make some delicious Kenyan meal… Chapati and Beans! That was 20th June.
Carlo, my husband joined me in the kitchen to help out and I remember imitating my mum’s dough-kneading style to him. As I rolled out the first dough piece, placing it gently on the pan, my phone rang. My brother was calling… That was very normal as we speak very often. I picked up and he asked if I’d heard the news. For a minute I was shook! “What news?” I asked “Mama otho (mum is dead)” said my brother. I could tell from his voice…he was in shock.
My whole world came to a standstill. My tummy hurt. God I needed to sit and breath. All I remember is running to the living room and grabbing my Kenyan phone to call home (Kenya) and confirm the news. My brother lives in Dubai. I saw my dad’s missed call and immediately knew it was true. Dad had tried calling me 13 minutes ago. I called back and he confirmed that mum was no more. In the background I could hear my sisters painfully weeping. I still can’t believe I’m telling this story, but I’m glad I’m ready and doing it.
I vaguely remember my husband trying to hold me but I pushed him away. My tummy continued hurting. I was crying so much. The other thing I remember from that night is going back to the kitchen and cooking the rest of the chapatis. I even had dinner! Before I started comprehending what had really happened. Mum was gone!
Let me take you back to how we got here. Mum had been complaining of headaches and loss of appetite but she brushed off my suggestions to go to the hospital for a check up. I believe that’s because she didn’t think it was anything serious. Probably just malaria or thereabout. I wish I had insisted some more. Maybe she would still be here today. Well, her condition didn’t get any better so she finally agreed to see a doctor. She was thereafter in and out of the hospital in a span of 6 weeks and on her final admission she made it out… dead.
On her first hospital admission I travelled to Kenya to be with her. To date, I’m very happy I did. Because that last goodbye and that last hug will forever keep me going.
One thing for sure is that death comes when you least expect it. So love hard and don’t miss the chance to show your loved ones some affection for it might be the last time.
20th June Mum took her last breath
21st June I had work trials. I showed up and did my part. I know mum would have wanted that.
25th June I started my B2 classes and honestly I have no idea how I did it. But I must say leaving the house and mingling with people really helps.
8th July Accompanied by my husband we flew to Kenya for mum’s send off.
13th July My graceful queen was laid to rest. On this exact date in 2017, my mother bid me farewell at the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport as I relocated to Germany. So ironic that exactly one year later I was biding her farewell on her final journey here on earth.
Mum’s funeral was beautiful. We honoured all her wishes. She had three beautiful requiem Mass services and the last one was celebrated by her favourite priest and friend… Father Charles Wao. She was a respectable member of the society, served as a board member of the local high school and till her death, run her own catering business. She was a giver. She loved and lost, but never left. If love could have saved you mummy, you would have lived forever. Heaven is lucky to have you and we’re very lucky to have had you as our mother. No one can or will ever replace you for you were one of a kind.
It was so unfortunate that exactly two weeks after laying mum to rest, my maternal grandmother (her mum), passed away from shock and depression. She was fine until she learned of her daughter’s demise. On 17th August, Dani as we called her was laid to rest. I turned 26 this same day!
I miss my mama every single day, sometimes I see her in my dreams. Two beautiful souls lost in a span of Two months. Unfair huh?
I’m sitting here staring into space wondering where mum’s soul is. Is she singing with the angels? Is she always beside me? Trying to wipe away my tears and telling me all is well? Or is she just peacefully resting and reuniting with her departed parents, friends and relatives? Well… no one knows!
Losing a mother is second to none. To anyone going through the same, I’m sending warm hugs your way.
Rest now my love. Forever in our hearts Arosy! I love you. My best friend is gone… I’ll forever mourn you mummy. I miss you so much it’s killing me.
To my husband Carlo, thank you for being there for me all times regardless! Thank you for being who you are… The very best!
To my in-laws Conny and Stefan and the entire family, thank you for being very supportive always! I Don’t know what I’d do without you guys.
To my friends who came all the way to my village (which is very far from civilization, lol) Beryl, Shamim, Ningel, Anne and Tony: Thank you so much! You showed me what friendship is all about and I’m forever indebted.
To everyone who helped us give mum a befitting send-off either financially, emotionally or physically… thank you.
To my siblings Juliet, Timo and Elmad; mum is always watching over us. It’s gonna be okay. I love you guys so much! Hang in there.
Zitat: The trouble is, you think you have time – Buddha