I want you to do really well in your final exams so that it’s easy to get into any university you want.”
Those were the last words my father ever said to me before the cerebral got the best of him and he couldn’t recognise any of us.
The drive home is quiet except from the little sobs coming from my aunties, I haven’t brought myself to cry yet because this just feels unreal and at this point the two are probably judging me because I have always been that child who doesn’t cry during funerals. Don’t get me wrong, I do have a heart and I do get hurt but when people like my grandfather died who I absolutely had no relationship with I didn’t feel any heartache and my tears refused to fall.
We get home and reality is starting to kick in, I don’t know how long dad has been dead because the couches have been removed and there are faces everywhere I haven’t seen in a very long time.
I turn my head as they all start to cry when they see me, being the only female child of my parents and how close I was to dad I totally understand that they are now wailing on top of their voices after seeing me but I really wish the energy they are now using to cry they could have used it to visit us the times dad had lost his job, or those moments when his blood pressure had gone really up and mum was trying so hard to stay strong for us. And I really wish they could leave us to deal with this but I guess I am just a child and I have to watch everything that is happening.
One of the ladies who is wailing comes to hug me as she continues to cry on top of her voice, saying how it is wrong that dad has left us. That he should have held on because we are too young and how will our unemployed mother manage to take care of us.
Another lady whisks me away to my parent’s bedroom and asks me to change into a chitenge and black t-shirt and also cover my hair. She gives me strict instructions not to lift my finger and if I need anything I should just ask around because I am a mourning child. All this is all too new for me, my parent’s bedroom has been invaded by all these strangers and I feel really bad I just want everyone gone.
I have just finished changing when I hear a sharp cry, it’s a cry I have never heard, a cry so sharp it tears all my walls down and strips me of all the little strength I thought I had. It’s my mother’s cry and that is when it hits me, my father is truly gone and will never come back again.
The door opens and another woman comes to hold my hand telling me my mother wants to see me.
My legs are shaking as I walk to the living room, the women in the room are all crying so hard and in one corner of the room I can see my mother and my grandmother - her mother. She is holding her and telling her to be strong for the kids but my mother is not having it, she continues to cry so hard and when she sees me she cries even more.
‘Feli your father is gone! Feli the one man that loves you with all his heart is gone!’ She cries opening her arms
I get into them and allow her hands to soothe me but the pain I feel in this moment is something I have never felt before.
I cry with my mother, I cry for her pain is heart breaking, I cry because I am not sure I understand just what she is feeling in this moment, I cry because I am not even sure the impact of his death but what I know is that I will never be able to see my father again and that is the type of pain I am not ready to live with.
The crying in the room starts to reduce and sobs begin to take over, my mother is not shedding any more tears but I can see from the look on her face and her body movements that in this moment she has lost more than a husband, she has lost a part of herself and there is nothing any of us will ever do to make it all better.
Time seems to have stopped moving, grandma has finally managed to get mum to sleep but I can’t. I have taken over dad’s phone and I keep looking at the photos we took together and the tears start to fall all over again.
I feel like God has failed me, I specifically asked him to keep my father healthy. I remember praying so hard and telling him he could take me instead but leave my dad because I loved him so much and I was willing to trade places and yet he took away the very thing I asked him to keep for me.
I look up when an Aunty calls me, I get dad’s phone and go with it. When we get away from everyone she tells me that there are uncles outside asking about dad’s accounts because food stuffs have to bought and that is about the most absurd thing I have ever heard.
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