Today is my late sister’s birthday. The third year since she tragically left us.
It may sound like a long while back but thinking about it still gives me the chills. Grieving a beloved does that to you.
I have replayed a lot of conversations we had before that fateful day endlessly, scrolled through pictures and videos of us that I now hold onto dearly. I clutch onto every memory like my life depends on them. Grief does that to you.
One thing I still have not managed to master the courage to do yet is delete that photo of her lying at the morgue, all dressed and oh, so beautiful. Weird? I know it must be. I remember doubting if she really was dead because she appeared to only be in deep, peaceful sleep. My sleeping beauty in a casket.
I remember how during viewing I walked by to see and touch her pretty face and abruptly scream, claiming to have seen her eyes twitch and body move. One or two other people thought so too. Everyone looked at us like we had gone mental. Seeing her lying in that exquisite casket is honestly still an unbelievable horror. Yup. Denial does that to you.
My final trip to visit her in Kampala from home in Dubai was probably the most haunting memory I have. I almost cancelled my flight at the last minute but my instincts whispered otherwise. Off I went. Unknown to me, that would be the last time I’d see and get to spend time with her before she died.
We took videos and so many pictures right from the moment she picked me up at the airport. I took her to work and part time gigs and helped with whatever she was doing. We stayed in, cooked, or ordered take-aways whenever we felt like it. Binged, gossiped, enjoyed rainfall and the wonderful aroma of mashing grains and boiling wort that came from the brewery right across her flat. Am not such a huge beer fan but I found living right next to one quite fascinating. At times I’d stand overlooking the kitchen window and let my mind swim me to what I thought were the goings on at the brewery.
Last year’s birthday was difficult and I know many times people fail to get why one suddenly breaks down and cries when certain memories come to mind. When that uncontrollable emotion engulfs you and you almost feel like you are suffocating. I call it the ‘potato on throat’ moment. You run out of breath. Everything is at a standstill. The pain comes stabbing at you, without notice.
We had visitors at home and as much as I tried to act like all was well, I failed miserably.
Right now, I honestly do not care who got offended by my mental breakdown that entire morning and afternoon. I needed to. I had to. By all means. Because HEALING!
Your grief is a personal journey. Let no one judge or tell you what you can and cannot do. Do your thing unapologetically. Take that from me.
Fast forward, I’ll be very honest with you. The pain is still fresh especially now while writing this. I am fighting back tears I know am going to eventually shed. One word at a time.
I see Kiki everywhere I go, her presence is just all over. That comforts me a little. I would have wished she was here physically. She was the first and last person I chatted and spoke to each and every day. Sometimes it feels like if we were given an option, I would have saved her life, without a second thought.
I hope to one day share how I am dealing with grief, in a book am currently working on. We learn to live with it in the hope that the departed are safe and watching over us. HOPE.
To my dearest sister, nothing is ever the same without you. There is no day I do not think about you and miss you terribly. I just cannot still bring myself to explain how heartbroken I still am, three years later.
It hurts so bad and I know you have seen how much I have struggled with your loss.
I am so blessed to have had an awesome human such as yourself as my sister. Please watch over us. We are intent on continuing your legacy and make you proud.
It has been hard to let you go, still is.
I only hope you know how much you mean to us. We will love you forever. We hope you and mama are well taken care of and wow’ing each soul you encounter, just like you did while here.
I cannot write anymore. Am already exhausted from writing this! 😪😓😥
Happy Birthday in Heaven and continue to Rest Well My Love.
Your Loving Sister…