Up till now, I haven’t been able to post anything about my Grandmother’s passing away until today despite the fact that it happened at the beginning of July. Perhaps acknowledging it here will make it more real, and maybe I still wanted to hold on to her for a little bit longer.
On the day that she died, a group of family members met at a restaurant in town. We just sat there and felt safe in each other’s company. By then, the initial crying had passed and we were just testing the new life without the person that all of us had known all our lives. We all felt a little lost – like the first day at high school – but we knew that we would be fine. Nearly all her children were in that meeting and they were teasing me about being a brother to them rather than a nephew. They remembered that despite the fact that she was my grandmother, she would sometimes say jokingly that she gave birth to me late in life. I had not had the need to cry that day, until my auntie remarked that I was now an orphan – just like her and her siblings. And in an instant, the tears came and flooded every part of my being. I was in a public place surrounded by people, but that did not matter at all. I cried so hard that I had to blindly walk out and sit in the car for a while.
The tears were bitter. The loneliness was total. The loss was overwhelming. I had lost people who are close to me before, but it always felt like a dream that I would wake up from eventually. However, this felt very real; that I was now an orphan. And this is despite the fact that both my parents are alive!
Soon I composed myself and went back to the meeting.
It was a very brief moment that I knew what it felt like to be an orphan. And still, I cannot even tell if that is the worst of it or not. Only God knows! And so right now, my prayer goes out to God to console and take care of every single orphan in the world.