This morning my mother’s friend called her at 6:30 am and the stillness of the morning made her phone call loud and clear…he’s dead, she said. He is dead and he has left me with his young children. What am I supposed to do with them?
She went on, I need your help…you need to come see me…I need to see a friend…it’s too much, I can’t handle it. How could he just die, she said. I couldn’t help but get nostalgic. The whole conversation reminded me of November 13th 2012.
It was the saddest Tuesday I’ve ever lived through in my life and it changed the course of my belief in life. It was 8:00pm, when the dreadful phone call came through. I had left work earlier that day because somehow I wasn’t feeling fine.
I was feeling unusually blotted and I lay in my bed with my door ajure…my mother’s phone rang 3 times but she was in the seating room, she couldn’t hear it ringing. On the fourth time I took it to her and on the other side it was the DPC (Division Police Commander) of Kireka Police station.
He asked my mother if she knew Stephen Kamira, she said yes and she immediately asked if he was fine. The DPC said he is dead. Time stopped, my heart pushed against my chest and in a split second I broke in tears.
It was impossible, Stephen was different. He was fearless someone might have stolen his phone. Death was an impossible dream for him. He was supposed to grow old at least before it finally came close to claiming his life but that wasn’t it. I sat down with my hands tightly squeezing my waist. I spoke with him earlier on that day on facebook. He wanted me to go visit him since it had been 8 months since I last saw him.
He wasn’t sick, was it an accident, the officer said he had just died inside his car in traffic along Bweyogerere road. He died alone on the road with no one to help him. He had no heart complications, no hypertension, what happened?
He lay on the morgue slabs in Mulago National referral Hospital with his right hand finger stretched out like he was asking for help or was trying to reach for something but then someone stopped him mid way. We didn’t even need to identify the body anymore. Life had taken away his heart beat and it cared less about the dreams he hadn’t accomplished…and the ones he was one day away from accomplishing.
Life just didn’t give a heck. The worst thing is when I saw the body from a far and recognized him, death put a fear on the inside of me…it nudged in my chest and stopped me from reaching out to him too. My uncle kept on saying this is Stephen, this is your brother why are you scared of touching him…come closer.
But I couldn’t, I feared his body still bore the unclean spirit of death. I feared if I reached closer I wouldn’t take his image out of my mind. I feared his spirit would eventually claim mine and my dreams too would come to an end.
The post mortem report was the worst betrayal life has ever presented me. Asphyxia…he died of asphyxia. That’s what the morgue attendant told us, countless attempts by my mother to get the report remained futile.
His, it was said was a two year’s wait, the government said it was a matter of security. He belonged to them more than he belonged to us. They took away our last rite and that was to know what really killed him abruptly.
But asphyxia they said…asphyxia they sung. I wanted a different story, like he died from HIV/AIDs or a heart attack or liver cancer something that wasn’t so farfetched but that was it, that was life, that was how dangerous and callous it was. It just never let anyone of us know and prepare for this sadness. All his dreams and plans were left un tended to with nobody ready to carry them on.
There was no one ready to take on his very young fiancé he had set to marry on the 15 of that same month…one day away from that fateful day. But he left one day to his wedding. Till this day I don’t know anything as unjust as life. You can’t over spend it or spend it short. It doesn’t give notice it’s just a blurring line between air and the heartbeat. Once the two stop corresponding it’s an empty object left behind, for people to gape at how marvelous God created a small spirit to run a growing object.
It seizes to be human; the body is just a dress or cloth that the human spirit wears. To this day am still sad at how unfair life is, at how fast life can be gone and all your dreams get left behind without a keeper.
How fast it forces everyone you leave behind to move on and your spirit slowly fades away in their memory banks only to return on unscheduled intervals to haunt them with the last memories you spent together with them.
That’s why it’s hard for me to put my dreams on hold and please people or get scared of doing something because I will get judged. Life has already judged me and death is the way I am going, so I have prepared myself. It’s much better for me to suck at my dreams, start them, groom them and fail trying than dying and leaving them behind in the hands of unfit stewards…or stewards who will never know I had that dream in particular.
Life doesn’t care about your dreams so work faster and achieve everything you set yourself up to achieve.