28.12.2017

The day my niece passed away.

A dark day. A very dark day indeed.

So many questions with no answers. Why didn’t she wake up when her mummy called her? Why didn’t she continue breathing even after surfactant? Why didn’t she wake up after her auntie had read the entire Psalm 119? Why was she so silent?

Where are you, God? God who raised Lazarus? God who triumphed over death? God who calmed the storm? God who is Love?

The darkest moments were still loading. We were not allowed to mourn her passing. It was a thing that happened and passed on silently. You need to make this pass on quietly? You need to move on? Don’t make it a big deal?

But there was nothing quiet about Keitangaza. From her mother’s cravings for sharwamas. From her love for oranges. From her rejection of that beautiful scent of baking cookies. From her very loud entry into the world. From her beautiful wardrobe. She was a star.

Stars explode as they die.

During her funeral service, my siblings and I learned that we too had lost three siblings before I was born. I grew up as the first born. My identity had been built around being a first born. You are the first born. You are responsible for your siblings. You are to set an example.

Not any more.

I am not a stranger to the dark
Hide away, they say
‘Cause we don’t want your broken parts
I’ve learned to be ashamed of all my scars
Run away, they say
No one’ll love you as you are
But I won’t let them break me down to dust
I know that there’s a place for us
For we are glorious
Benj Pasek, This is Me

Who were these three siblings? Were they male? Were they female? What would their favorite colors have been? Which subjects would they have loved? Hobbies? Favourite food?

This year, we join the rest of the World in the Global Wave of Light. On 15th October 2019. 7pm in your time zone.

The global Wave of Light is an opportunity to join with bereaved parents, families and friends around the globe to commemorate all babies who sadly died too soon.

I will remember my three siblings. The unknown ones in whose shadow I was raised.

Who do you need to remember? Who do you need to invite? Who do you need to accompany?

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