I confess: I know nothing about death. I have never attended a funeral. I have never witnessed family members, in-laws and friends weeping inconsolably over an open or closed casket or sat through a funeral service in a church. I have never seen a coffin being enterred. In fact, I’ve never been to a graveyard. I’ve walked past a graveyard, though. There was this graveyard near her place that we would have to traverse in order to get from her place to campus on foot.
But I digress.
In short, what I’m saying is that I have never lost anyone close enough to appreciate what death truly means. When I was in std 8, a classmate of ours died. Him and I were pretty close considering he was my next door neighbour and we’d hang out quite a bit. But he passed on after I had already left the country and as much as I was sadden by the news, I cant really say it shook me or even affected me a whole lot. I remember him though.
I lost an aunt during the August 7th 1998 bomb blast and subsequently I’ve lost both my paternal grandmother and maternal grandfather. Again, I didnt feel anything as such. My younger brother actually spent more with them and since he was still in Kenya during that period, he was able to attend the funerals and I’m sure he had actual experiences and memories of them.
I remember when Princess Diana and how my mother’s tears flowed that morning as if she knew the Princess of Wales personally and how painfully sorry she felt for Princes William and Harry losing their mother. To this day, although I can rationally understand her overwhelming desire to empathise with the Princes and the people of England, I am still unable to emotionally connect with her actions.
When Michael Jackson died – I spoke to my mother on skype (it was around the time I was away spending the summer with my love) my mum sounded ostensibly saddened and shocked on a very personal level, beyond his music and beyond his legacy. I’m sure alot of you were equally saddened and to this day you remember him in your prayers and thoughts. I dont.
I’m not saying all this simply to show I am incapable of sympathising or expressing my condolences for the loss of your family member, relative, family friend, colleague or loved one. All I’m trying to do is understand where this inability or difficulty to “be there” for those who are grieving a loss comes from. Perhaps, my emotional connection with news of a death and mourning will on truly change when I lose someone close enough to shake me to the very core. God forbid?
Now playing: Michael Jackson – “Butterflies”