A couple of weeks ago a friend of mine discovered I had a blog and asked me why I had not updated it in so long and well I’ll quote my response to her “I experienced a writer’s block caused by the shock of losing my aunt. Each time I try to write I feel like I should write about that but then I get so emotional, then I try to write something lighter and it feels so ingenuine compared to the initial piece. So ndinongorega”. Apart from death I also experienced another type of loss and I think I owe myself some therapeutic writing…so I’ll consider myself in a session write now. See what I did there?
LOSS OF MY PAST, PRESENT AND FUTURE
One night last year as I sat in the lounge watching TV I heard the sound of glass break and I ignored. Eventually I went to bed just after 2am and only then did I discover that someone had broken into my room and stolen my laptop. I recalled the sound of the breaking glass and the shuffle sounds. Up until the police arrived (in a dramatic convoy) at my house I was in denial. As soon as I opened the door for the police I realised it was all real, and I just broke down in tears leaving the police feeling a little awkward. I thought they dealt with these kinds of issues all the time! The next morning my pastor called me to check on me and he made me realise that I was fortunate to be alive, untouched and at that moment I was grateful to be alive, after all I could always replace the laptop. At least that’s what I thought…
However as time moved I kept realising one thing after the other that was taken which I hadn’t initially noticed…now that was painful. As I prepared to go to work, I realised that my jewellery box too was gone! Earrings are replaceable, yes…but there was some pretty sentimental stuff in that box. I am a highly, extremely sentimental being so this tore me apart. Let me elaborate:
I like to make my prophetic declarations on my life tangible e.g. I had a necklace (birthday gift) with an Eiffel Tower as a declaration that one day I will go to France to explore French culture as I’d always dreamt since childhood. I also have a key chain (gift from France), a picture frame with the Eiffel Tower. The plan was to one day wear the necklace right next to the Eiffel Tower and then frame it in the Eiffel Tower picture frame…get the picture? I felt like I had lost a dream. It’s a terrible feeling for a dreamer like me.
In addition, I had a ‘Miss October’ necklace which was a gift from a friend. This break-in happened in October, my birthday month and I was wearing that necklace everyday of that month just as a build up to my birthday. That was gone too.
Two days after the break in I discovered that two costly brand new T-shirts I bought for my two friends were on the bed next to the laptop and they were gone as well. I bought them as ‘just because’ gifts because I just valued these two guys and we had come to be more of family than we were friends. So it was just a token of appreciation. It took me close to an hour to select the perfect T-shirt for each of them because I wanted it to go with their personality not just any T would do (I did mention I am pretty sentimental).
I felt so violated, some stranger was somewhere out there with my life in their hands. These things were my past, my present and my future and to him/her/them they were just things with monetary value they meant absolutely nothing to him except maybe a couple of bank notes. To me they were priceless and of immeasurable value. Every time I told anyone about this ordeal they sympathised that I lost a laptop, to everyone else that was the one thing which they thought was the most valuable amongst the stuff I lost. It wasn’t about the laptop; it was the pictures, my unpublished work in progress blog posts, my research proposal and literature review, videos of cherished moments, you know.
LOSS OF LOVED ONE’S LIVES
This is the most recent type of loss I’ve had to deal with. I lost my aunt, my beloved Mainini Grace. She was a mother to me. Coincidentally she was buried on the exact date that my grandmother passed away the previous year and they were extremely close, so I always think to myself that it seems as if they planned it. I am not even over my grandmother’s death yet and then salt is added to the wound. Mainini had been sick for several years, she was unfortunate enough to have a severe case of arthritis at a young age. She had a number of operations, she experienced a great deal of physical pain and at times it seemed she was losing her mind. She was bedridden for almost 4 years and could not walk anymore; I cursed Arthritis for being such a cruel disease. I am grateful to God that she got saved during her time of sickness and she began to seek God in the midst of all she was going through. While others lose faith in such trying times, Mainini gained it.
I had so much faith that she was going to be healed and would live to testify. After all we prayed, we fasted, we laboured in the spirit for her healing…it was pretty ‘obvious’ to me that God allowed all that pain to increase the impact of her testimony…I never…NEVER…would have thought that God would take her so soon. When I heard the news I was angry at God. I couldn’t talk to Him. I didn’t understand Him. I was bitter towards Him. I could not grasp the idea that all those years of pain and suffering that Mainini went through were for nothing. I still don’t get it. If He knew He was going to take her why did He not spare her all the years of excrutiating pain?
I don’t know how death works but I sometimes wonder…maybe God gave her a choice and she chose to go. Maybe she is the one who gave up on the painful and miserable walk towards a great testimony. I needed to blame someone and the easiest target was God because He is the Almighty, he had the power to fix it and He didn’t.
Eventually I had to face Him, I had to cry to Him. The Holy Spirit reminded me of a show I had watched on TV the previous week where a woman shared her grieving experience after she lost her daughter. Like me, she too had been asking God all sorts of ‘Why’ questions and could not come to terms with her loss. She say God spoke to her and I remember the harsh but true words God said to her, ‘HER LIFE WAS MY BUSINESS NOT YOURS’. Ouch. Ouch. Ouch. I am still coming to terms with this statement. I won’t lie, friends you don’t just hear something like that and say ‘Amen’. You swallow hard first and start the process of digesting this fact. I am still in that process…
- I might have lost the tangible symbols of my dreams, aspirations, goals…but I still had the ability to dream for my heart is a well of unexplored dreams.
- I’ve learnt to cherish the actual process of making memories and delve deep into how I feel at that specific moment
- I now know what it actually means to say God is a Healer and Restorer because I have a point of reference. The words carry more weight.
- Mainini Grace found salvation when she was at her worst physically, emotionally, mentally; she found something to believe in that was higher than all the pain she felt.
- My grandmother left us peacefully on a Sunday, her day of worship after imparting so much wisdom in our lives by instilling the power of prayer.
- Writing about things that make me feel exposed and vulnerable is part of the gift.