Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Facing Death

I never had to stare at the wrong end of the gun .I do not suffer from any terminal disease. Never ever faced death. My only real sufferings in the 23 years I have walked this earth were the brutal asthmatic attacks. Everyone in my immediate family is alive and kicking, thanks to Him. In fact, I have never really suffered. But I have seen others suffer, people who are close to me. And I have seen their loved ones dying. I could not even offer one decent word of condolence. Leave alone empathy, I could barely offer sympathy. Death makes me so uncomfortable, I get so embarrassed by the thought of approaching person who lost someone and say a few comforting words. It’s not because I don’t want to or I do not care. I do feel for their loss from the bottom of my heart, but I just can’t. The very thought makes my throat go dry and mind numb. Dumb as a dodo! And it has happened so many times. There was this uncle of mine, who was shot to death. He was only 19. I was 12, I saw his father cry his heart out. It can be said that I was too young to offer anything. And then when I was a bit older, 18, the mother of a friend of mine was murdered. It was so bloody shocking. Another friend of mine asked me to accompany him to his home. I was scared shitless. I chickened out. What do you say to a person who’s lost his mother at such a young age, in such a violent manner?” I am sorry for your loss”? Will that suffice? Will it make any difference? He eventually got over it, and I guess is quite happy now. Praise be to the Almighty! .There were two more deaths in my family, one unexpected and one expected. An uncle of mine lost her mother, old age got to her. An aunt of mine was suffering from a very serious disease and did not have very long to live. My father asked me to go and see her, pay my homage. Made a real crappy excuse.” I think it would be more sensible if you go and see her, after all you are her brother and much closer to her than I am”, was the sad-ass reply I gave. How pathetic! Chickened out again. And when she passed away, I didn’t say a word, as usual. The three sons she left behind, my cousins, who are close to my heart did not even get a call from their brother. I haven’t discussed it with them as yet. Not even mentioned a word. When I saw the eldest of them, seeing that he getting on with his life, I pretended as if nothing had happened. What am I afraid of? Why am I so scared?

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