So I’m taking a bit of a hiatus from my exuberant freedom to fully enter into some incredible moments of mouning and grief of this past week. My mother called today to tell me about a school mate who has also committed suicide, after killing his girlfriend and unborn child. I mourned the little deaths we choose to live in. For my birthday, I attended the funeral of another young man from my home church community, who took his life. Both young men, about the same age, will be buried in the same cemetery—out in the sticks, where the breeze caries whiffs the neighbor’s pig barn. Those who greeted me with Happy Birthday were answered with a stream of tears. Yet I laughed and cried when I was celebrated by a Ghanaian pastor who grabbed his guitar and sang happy birthday to me. I remember feeling the same way on my eleventh birthday when I attended my grandfather’s funeral. I felt sufficiently celebrated when the neighbor lady gave me a bag of m&ns.
I’ve become quite familiar with death. It has a very particular aura. I once stood at its door, yet turned back only to watch my sister step through. Why her and not me? The week of mourning no longer brings tears about her, only stark memories. I had cursed the bright blue sky for mocking me, the day she died. I did not see its baby blue tone till my spirit laid her to rest, 6 months later. We kept on referring to it as “the wedding, I mean the funeral,” throughout the exhausting week of numbing decisions and preparation. Who’s going to comb her hair? Who’s going to pick up her “personal effects?”
Now, I talk to my oldest friends about dying. I look into the eyes of a dear friend who fades visibly week by week. I tell another that I wish to be with her when she passes from this life to the next. It is a sacred moment meant to shared.