One day I will die. Hopefully that day is far enough into the future that I shall be able to pinch my great grandchildren in the cheek (while secretly plying them with atrocious candy against their parents' express wishes) and grouse, like my grandmother does, about the utter ruination this country is coming to because of its wayward young people.
Death is the biblical thief in the night, stealing upon you without so much as a by your leave, cutting short a conversation, a feeling, an emotion, a relationship...a life. It spares no one; not the rich or poor, not the famous or infamous, not the mighty or small. It comes for us all and leaves behind confusion, pain, destruction, devastation.
You can't escape it. Like they say on the silver screen comedies, No one comes out alive. We know this to be true, as true as the morning sun and the nighttime moonlight. As true as the four seasons and colours of the rainbow. As true as love. Yet we are never ready for it. It strikes and we are left scrambling to understand Why. It takes and takes and takes; it never, ever gives back.
When it comes, unexpectedly and unwanted, we are left to pick up the pieces, to mend broken hearts, to imagine completed conversations, to rebuild the devastation in our lives, to fill the empty places in our very souls. We picture a place, in our deepest minds, where the Dearly Departed will find peace, even though when they were here, with us, they were at peace, even if it was momentary, though not momentous. We hope, we pray, that if there is a Better Place, they have found it and it is awesome. (I love to think that they all become petrolheads and that they spend the day racing Ferrari F355s, AC Cobra 427s, De Tomaso Panteras, Aston-Martins DB7 GTs, Holden Monaro GT-Rs and Mercedes-Benz E55 AMGs, but then that's the one-day-I-will-have-a-V8-of-my-own hopeful in me.)
I only ever met Grace Makosewe the one time. She was with Cess Mutungi and they had come to my local before it became my local . (Yes, the Porterhouse is, for all intents and purposes, my local.) They laughed a lot that night. They listened a lot too. Even to me though all I could think to say was that the Kambas can be found as far afield as Mozambique and the Seychelles. I never got to know her but I believe the generous woman who listened to the boring drunk in the corner spout rubbish about mercantile communities remained generous till the end.
I hope that wherever she is, Grace Makosewe has a mic in front of her making her new world as much a better place as she made ours here on Earth.