Commentary: Freedom Day (27th of April) is just a national public holiday to some people, but 2013 made sure that it does not only stay that. It is a sore day etched in the memory of my family. This is a post I wrote on the 4th of May 2017 on what would have been the 25th life anniversary of a member of my family. To some people it will be clearly obvious who that is, to some it may come later others it may not. I was going through a lot of motions around this time, the five stages of grieving were in full swing once more. I came up with this post in order for it to be a drop in the ocean of closure that I hope to gather over the years. If in any way it happens to be triggering to anyone I apologise, just know that I hadn’t touched this post for the last six months, as to why I decided to revisit it. I honestly do not know, but I felt it was something I had to do. I have chosen not to use a picture on this particular post.
Today would have been 25 for you, only 5 years would have been left until you are a whole three decades old. However, because most of the plans we make in life never go the way we intended, I just sit with disappointment and confusion. Even now, what I am doing is just talking into nothingness, there is nothing material or immaterial that I will gain from these words I’ve written. Nor will they give me the kinds of answers I would like to have after all these years, because everything just happened in an unprecented speed. Things just suddenly moved from the news being broken, to your remains being repatriated home and in not so long I saw the coffin. A coffin which I am not even sure had you inside, truth be told the only way I came to reassure myself that you are no more is that you will no longer be there when I call you or be present for family events. I felt numb then, I still feel numb now, surprisingly your passing did not sting me as much as granny’s did. It does not deprive me of sleep, sanity or any semblance of peace of mind, and at every moment I can easily mentally regurgitate every memory of you without risking my mental stability. I guess this is why instead of feeling sad or trapped by your memory it is easier to write about you than it is do about ugogo. At the same time maybe the stumbling blocks that trip me up about her passing will be removed and I can write about her as fluidly and as easily as this. As the years are progressing, and with this year being the fourth one without you. I just cannot help but wonder.
What you would have gotten up to, career wise, marriage, kids? What would you have done, with whom would you have done it with also? Could you have been the one person to help me with all these mental issues I later discovered I had? It is a bitter truth I accepted long ago that these will remain just as questions, there’ll be no one to answer them. Maybe if there wasn’t so much formality in our relationship I would have been able to say something of a goodbye to you. Something like a “Go well, see you in June” or even a call since the modern age has made it so that families are more apart than before. We are all chasing after something, some financial security, or others like me a paper that will get their foot in the door towards financial security. Inasmuch as the kumbaya vibes that being together as a family brings, we branch out and we become strangers, only to connect with other people more. So, much like all the other people that are still with me, I choose to acknowledge the space you occupied in my life. In all the time that you have been there either physically or not.
I remember the times you would accompany me back home from gran’s house eVukuzenzele to eDuduza which was somewhat of a long distance to my young mind. How you would buy me Siyabonga and Muzi all the chips and sweets we wanted. The best time to enjoy those was on the weekends, especially when we would all be in bed, lights off and you would regale our young ears with the wildest of stories. In my eyes at that time you were one of the wisest people I came to know, I swear if I was an assertive enough child I would have proudly bragged to people that you were very smart and other people were not. And then puberty hit like a thief in the night, the stories dried up, the chips and sweets became a dream. Instead the stories were replaced by a cold shoulder. Which I personally do not hold against you, I am sure I also became a pubescent monster to everyone around me. At the same time though I can’t help feeling as if I do not have the right to have any specific memories of you, because there are some others whom you mattered to more than you did to me. Well, I will end this post here because we both know it could be longer than this. Also I always hear it being said that age brings wisdom. Well I hope the experiences it will bring will reconcile all these hang-ups I have.