Why I Think My Mother Died

Why I Think My Mother Died

By Jane Masawa


It’s one month shy to her first anniversary since the morning we woke up with no mother after chatting with her on phone up to about mid-night. She was in a jovial mood and was looking forward seeing my daughter the very day she suffered the heart attack. Earlier, had to call my sister to laugh at her confessions of never caning us in defense of my girl who had just gotten kichapo cha mbwa for messing around. It was really funny for my sister used to be more of a daily culprit.

I am sharing this not for sympathy but to all strong women out there who are shoulders for others but got no shoulder to lean on. Whom people run to with their problems but have no one to run to for support just by design.

We lost our brother to suicide, she acted strong and encouraged us to be strong but days after the burial when all of us were accepting the loss, she would lock herself in her room and cry the whole night. She died because she never wanted to make us cry.

Three weeks before her sudden departure, we had lost our nephew to cold blood murder, everyone including my brother -in-law was waiting for her to follow up the case due to her no nonsense- ness and true to our expectations, she had subdued the school principal to produce the perpetrators and the accomplices. By the time we were laying our nephew to rest, all the perpetrators were behind bars because of her personal efforts. She was such a diamond but she never let the pain from inside for she wanted to give us the moral support. How could we even think of giving such a strong woman words of condolences and support, to us, she was our hero but deep inside her, she was dying slowly.

Immediately after dad fell into depression which culminated to stroke then kidney injuries before we realized that we were dealing with cancer. Kawaida, she appeared unshaken, always giving us hope. She gave up everything to be by dad’s bedside and walk with him when he could no longer walk. Some of us never posed to give her attention because of her strength kumbe she was slowly collapsing. Her calmness when you called or visited dad at the hospital bed was so encouraging and washed away our fears.
After her death, we realized the burden she had carried for us. The depth of her sacrifice as none of us could do more than two hours beside dad’s bed without calling for support. We were all there two two and in shifts.

In face of fatigue, stress and depression, she acted strong and able, she shared with no one and we just assumed she was okay. We bothered her with calls to check on dad but never on her own well being. She kept us updated and hopeful by her early morning calls and on that fateful Tuesday morning, I waited for her call only to realize she woke up in the cold slabs of Aga Khan hospital then it dawned on me that she was gone just like that.

I share this story today for I have taken a lot after my mum but I don’t want to end up so strong and willed to be assumed immortal by people around me.


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