Tag Archives: living

Can you remember seeing your first dead person?As a child we were privileged, I am not mincing my words ‘privileged’ I say to view our dead relatives laid in state.

With a kind of stupefaction I cannot express any better I still manage to gather my wits and write this.

It is very common in the African culture to have the remains of a dead relative or friend brought back home laid in state and viewed for a day or two before the body is ferried to the final destination for burial.

The images will live with most of us forever depending on how young we were exposed to it. It engraves itself into our brains and never ever fades – it becomes the unforeseen tattoo you wish you could scrub off, but the memories are so greedily cherish, that we preciously keep them in pain, debilitating inexplicable pain.

Can anyone remember seeing his or her first dead person? I do, it was my great grandmother ‘Mbamba’ at the age of about 7. Apart from the fact that I spent the night before she died with her braiding her very fairy white hair for she was in her late 90’s – death didn’t warn me, I woke up to the coldest skin and face that my heart shattered into a thousand pieces and suddenly turned me into adult, robbed me of my childhood innocence of fearlessness and flowery thoughts – raw and hot reality suddenly made me develop, so quick too.

Looking back now I think death stinks!! It’s got a kind of stench that will make you want to wash your clothes, wash your hands, wash your body over and over again, but it will linger and make you sweat and sleepless for days – potentially hallucinating from shock and fear rather than reality _ I did see her/ghost a couple of times _ that, a story for another day.