I thought I understood life until the day l lost my mum,
It was at that moment I knew death was real. I never knew what courage was until that fateful day when I had to visit the mortuary in order to make inquiries on how a corpse can be deposited.
As the mortuary attendants received my mum’s body and we left without being accompanied by her, a certain level of emptiness infiltrated me and this triggered a question.
What did I do? I kept pressing my sister’s hand as we glued to each other, consoling ourselves that mum was a strong woman and had battled for survival before giving up.
Weeks passed and the burial day was here, l saw relatives, friends, neighbors, etc trooping into the venue while I sat speechless with tears that accompanied a red eyeball and a swollen face.
Even though l tried to mob the agony tears with a handkerchief, it did not stop the flow. The more I tried drying the liquid, the more it turns up in abundance and my cheeks were served as a pathway.
It was time for mum’s body to be committed to mother earth, and here l was, standing motionless by the graveside. I bawled silently as I could neither wail nor scream.
I watched keenly as the coffin was lowered slowly into the underground vault, staring as particles of sand covered the casket to its very end, all that kept going through my mind were questions that were neither voiced out nor answered.
So death is real?
Is mum really gone?
Who will I share my feminine problems with?
Who will take care of me when pregnant and after I put to birth like other mothers?
And I asked myself these last questions as I lifted my eyes and looked at my sick dad who just recovered from a partial stroke.
In the midst of this trauma, l realized that the motherhood responsibility of my family has been transferred to me.