A Story by Mary Helda

Last night I turned off my lights and got ready to go to sleep, I lay my head on the pillow and the first thought that infiltrated my mind was; “Damn! My aunt actually passed away during the holidays.”

She was here, I remember speaking with her on the phone. I vividly recall the last time that I saw her. I went to visit her just a few months before, and she sat on the verandah and warned me about travelling late. She made sure that I called a boda boda rider that we knew and trusted to come and pick me up. We laughed that day, we talked about life, and my plans for the future, and we talked about my little sister and her future. We talked about family and God. 

And then I woke up one day and she was gone, just like that, she had stopped existing, she had become history, we had to start referring to her in the past tense; “was” and not “is”. She had become a memory. One that will eventually start to fade away, one day at a time, the intricate, full and perfectly wrapped pieces of her existence will start to unlock and unfold; a slightly unfastened smile that will no longer look the way it did, a slightly broken piece of laugher that will get lost into the vast sea of memories. 

How utterly cruel loss is! To have warmth, love, and magic and have it expeditiously taken away from you; whether it is a job you love, a dress you adore, a cup that you are attached to, and more importantly, a  loved one. One moment you catch a whiff of rain caressing the ground, and the next moment you stand under the rain, raise your face and can not feel hail fall on your skin.

After you have laid your person to rest and your friends and family have gone, you wake up every day and figure out how to push down this tight rock of grief in your throat; nothing seems to work, and no amount of force will propel it to smoothly float away. 

And so you learn how to lubricate it with water, wine, tears and whatever armour you have in your arsenal. Sometimes it gets extremely exhausting to keep lubricating it and sometimes, you forget for a moment that you have to lubricate it. But it never goes away. You manage it, alone! What a lonely experience grieving is! 

What a meaningless experience life is! Don’t get me wrong, I feel blessed and lucky to be alive and to experience how mesmerising and glorious living is. Additionally, it is a privilege to love, be loved and have your people carry you on, in their way. 

But at the same time, I am not oblivious to how meaningless it can be. I don't understand that one day someone is here and the next, they are just gone. For some people, it is as if they never lived at all, they have no family and friends to carry them into the future. 

They were here once, they are gone and that is it. Fin

© 2023 Mary Helda

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Sorry for your loss. Such is life. You must have been close to her. May she rest on peace.

Posted 1 Year Ago

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Added on February 11, 2023
Last Updated on February 11, 2023


Mary Helda
Mary Helda

Kampala, Christian, Uganda

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