• There's only much a medical insurance can cover and by the time our father died, we had exhausted the insurance.
• Deep in my thoughts, I wanted nothing but to have a peace of mind and I kept thinking that I'm dreaming and I'll soon wake up from it; sad thing is everything I was going through was very much real.
Here I was, in so much pain, then the girl that I once loved tells me she's lost her mother. Do I console myself or do I console her?
I'm in a fix at this moment. How do you even separate your emotions at this point?
Amanda is literally balling on my shoulders and my words of encouragement are not going to work at this point.
What to do? So I decide to just let her have her moment as I also think about what I'm going through.
At this point, I have so many questions in my head. Like, why me Lord? Why do I have to go through this pain at this moment? What did I ever do wrong to deserve this kind of pain?
Questions upon questions, running in my head. But what to do? I have to stay strong for my mum, sister and brother.
Amanda relaxed after a while and I had to excuse myself because there were other people who needed me the most, my family.
She didn't want to let me go but it was obvious my mother and siblings needed me even more.
I hugged her one last time and spoke some few words of encouragement to her because clearly we were on the same boat.
She hugs me tight and walks away. I'm not okay by the sight of how she was hurting, but I was hurting too.
Deep in my thoughts, I wanted nothing but to have a peace of mind and I kept thinking that I'm dreaming and I'll soon wake up from it; the sad thing is everything I was going through was very much real.
Here I was, trying to compose myself because society has made us believe that men shouldn't cry because it's a sign of weakness.
I'm not about to start following what society says. I went to the bathroom and I cried, I properly shed tears and I felt as if my heart was shrinking because of the pain I was feeling.
I take about 20 minutes to myself in the bathroom then I went back to where my family was.
By this time, my uncle and a few other friends of my parents had arrived at the hospital.
You know how we Africans try really hard to comfort someone, but if you ain't feeling it, it's all for nothing. I was in that state.
My mother has always been the planning kind of woman and she just works with the plans she's set.
She called me to the side and told me that she had saved up some money for a very long time and since we have found ourselves in this situation, she will use the money to cater for the hospital bill.
There's only much a medical insurance can cover and by the time our father died, we had exhausted the insurance.
We pay the hospital bill and then the body was released to be taken to the mortuary.
That day felt like years but we pulled through.
We get home and find more people in the house, some in the kitchen making tea, others in the living room; so much was just happening.
As usual, the people around comforted us, whispering a few words on encouragement during this trying time.
I had not taken time to have a sit down with my siblings just to see how they are holding up.
We go upstairs and lock ourselves in my brother's room and we all just broke down in tears. It was the one time we had space to ourselves and crying was a way of expressing our pain.
We all take time and let it all out then after a while we calmed down, talked for about 30 minutes then headed downstairs where everyone else was gathered.
My uncles and my mother have already started making funeral arrangements so I ask my mother if there's anything I would do to help and she says my uncles will handle everything.
I thank God that I have a tight family and all the while during the preparations to the day of the burial, my uncles were very supportive and they never let go of our hands. At least I wasn't worried that they will frustrate or stress my mother.
Getting enough sleep the net few days was hard because I had so much in my head and the little I got was not enough.
A week later, there we were, burying our beloved father, constantly remembering that we will never see him again.
All I could think about is will we be able to overcome this heartache? Will our mother ever find peace after losing the man she loved?
As you know with funerals, the affected family always sit at the front, closer to where the casket is.
I was just listening to what the pastor was saying and when I turned my eyes to a different direction, I see a familiar face, very familiar.
Wait, is that Amanda?
At this point, I'm thinking maybe I'm seeing what I want to see, so I stood up and went to where she was and indeed it was Amanda.
She is equally shocked to see me. We hug and I ask her what she was doing here and she says her father had asked her if she could accompany him to a friend's funeral but she didn't know it was my father's funeral.
You see, this is what happens when you date in secrecy and never telling people about it. Who would have known that our fathers were friends?
I pull her to the side so we could talk a bit more. She touches my right cheek and says, "It will get better, trust me."
Her touch literally made me forget the pain I was feeling for a second and her words just sank.
She then told me they buried her mother three days after she died because their family does not believe in delaying the burial.
She still looks sad but in a better place than when we were at the hospital.
Later on in the evening, after paying our last respects, we still have guests flowing in to condole with us.
Here are Amanda and her father walking into the house and all I remember was my mother shout, "What are you doing here? Get out of my house and I don't ever want to see you again."
What has just happened????.......
(To be continued next Tuesday)