The first time I met death, I must have been around five. My neighbours daughter got us acquainted. She had passed in her sleep.
I couldn’t really grasp the idea of someone being dead. All I really understood was that she was gone, but I resolutely believed that she was gone some place else; not gone absolutely.
I remember my mum telling me the news. I took my crayolas and drew pictures of a blonde girl on paper torn from an old 1998 agenda. The blonde girl was their daughter, though I had no clue whether she was truly blonde because I had never actually seen her. I was trying desperately to say goodbye to a person I’d never met. I presented my ‘art’ to my mum who told me to give it to my dad who would be attending the funeral later on. So I did. I don’t know what happened to the drawings or what I expected to happen to the drawings but I imagined she would receive them one way or another…
Death was sly, sad, and lonely and I was trying to add colour with my crayolas.
I’m 20 years old now. It’s been some 15 years since then, yet here I am trying to deal with another passing. I don’t have crayolas anymore. I have a black biro and I’m scribbling on blank sheets of paper trying to make sense out of what we call ‘life’.