By now, many who know me will agree how therapeutic writing is for me. I share with you the preface of the book I have by the most disastrous of circumstances, been pushed to write. I will do so and I will dedicate each frank from the sale of this book to my Mental Health Advocacy.
I never imagined it will end up this way. For some reason I still can’t tell, I thought 33 was a magic number. I thought he will cross it and make it. Well, he almost did until that fateful August 02, 2014. My world was once more battered.
I had not yet finished coming to terms with the tsunamis caused by the publication in February of my own memoir. Indeed, in that book, this is what I wrote about my siblings: “ To my siblings, we grew up very close but life’s twists and turns dealt its blow. You always said I was the toughest of us four and that helped to dissuade me from the suicide thoughts. I had to wear the smile all the time and look for the solutions to our problems though mine almost knocked me off. “
And this was specifically about my brother: “… my father literally ignored my siblings, especially my elder sister and my kid brother, and I hurt most for the latter who so badly wanted to be with his daddy, or even have daddy wink at him – to no avail – and who had too often ended up hiding and crying behind our mother’s skirts.
My brother would surely one day tell his own story and the role this absence of a ‘father’ played in the depression he eventually suffered for a couple of years.” Alas, he is gone with that story but I will do my best to tell some of it as I lived it rightly or wrongly.
So what happened some may ask? Simply put, we didn’t know much at the time. I remember the day my brother was born. I was two years old. My Cousin who had gone with mum to the hospital returned shouting; ‘mami don born’ (Meaning, mama has put to birth). I thought I understood burn and I screamed; ‘mami don burn for fire? (Wondering if she had been burnt). I, even at two, was subconsciously already scared of anything bad happening to my mother.
Sad indeed, that that exclamation is somehow replaying itself today. Oh my poor mother, whose heart was broken on this day. She brought him into this world, she got the news first of his demise, and now, she is indeed ‘burnt’.
My brother was a genius until events started unfolding and then he ended up a simpleton. An aunt often joked that his head was a computer needing downloading.
I write for myself and surely for my brother. I think I know why caged birds sing too (as Maya Angelou titled her first book). I want to share my brother’s journey and with that, my grief and any my siblings will want to share. It’s a blow, a shock, a tsunamis. I don’t want to fathom my mother’s grief.
I hope someday, she bears to live with this loss. Writing is a therapy for me and in such hours when sleep obviously ‘abandons’ me (like it already often does), I can only write and write some more.
May my mother’s God whom she serves ever so faithfully, and whom my brother always called on to bless us all ‘abundantly’ (he loved adding that, even in church he will respond, peace in abundance), be ever present. I hum the song: I need thee every hour…
I will publish this book maybe by November, but I sure will and I know I can count on you all to support me in this ‘painful but worthy journey’.