Our bodies are like tents that we live in here on earth. But when these tents are destroyed, we know that God will give each of us a place to live. These homes will not be buildings that someone has made, but they are in heaven and will last forever.
2 Corinthians 5:1-2
A week ago the entire Mwangi family was reeling with shock at the news of your demise uncle. That is such an ugly word at this point in time. Demise.
I saved your number in my phone as Uncle Joe as not many people knew of your baptism name for everyone called you Mwangi Wa Kariuki or simply MWK. Me calling you uncle Joe was our own private joke (same way its a private joke between me and Wangui your daughter when I call her Catherine).
So its exactly a week since you passed on, since heaven got a new angel. A lot has happened since Friday uncle, we learnt that your soul had departed to the high skies, never to return to us, we called each other screaming and wailing in disbelief. But before we went to receive you at Lee later in the night, I remember praying to God that evening, bargaining that if only he could let you walk through the front door of your house I would do anything for his glory. I could not believe that death had reared its ugly head within the Mwangi family and robbed us of the very best within us. We are in every possible way still in shock even after we eulogised you at your requiem mass today which was so well attended, everyone present testifying of your good naturedness.
You would be so proud of us all by the way. We are trying to be strong, hugging each other a lot, trying to hang in there, trying to be each other’s source of strength. You would especially be proud of Wairegi your godson. You always told him he had limitless potential. You would have been immensely proud of him today. I see alot of you in his mannerisms, plus a calm gentleman like spirit in all the ‘boys’ as well – in CJ who has your humor and wit, Koki who has your sense of style and meticulous nature, in John C & in Edu who are so driven and ambitious and in Wangui your clarity of thought, generosity and inborn leadership skills.
Everything still feels so surreal though. I personally feel like you departed for a trip. That you are not really gone to heaven, but that you are travelling, that upon return you will call me to surprise me and tell me to meet you at the reception of my workplace and that you have come to take me to lunch. I guess that stage of grief is what psychologists call the denial stage.
See you know as a family we have been through so much this year… there was Brandon’s baptism, Njeri’s baby shower, Theo’s birth, Steve and Susan’s wedding, them leaving for Seychelles, CJ’s accident. But through all these life events, we had you around. Your voice of sound reason kept us going, edging on. You were our family glue. I struggle to understand why. Why in a week we are now referring to you with ‘was’ instead of ‘is’. There have been days in the past week that i have felt angry, but I have no one to redirect my frustrations towards. Not even God. His ways are not ways after all.
I have so many un-answered questions. But then, I encourage my weary heart with Isaiah 40:6-7
A voice says, “Call out.” Then he answered, “What shall I call out?” All flesh is grass, and all its loveliness is like the flower of the field. The grass withers, the flower fades, When the breath of the LORD blows upon it; Surely the people are grass.
Remember the gift I told you I got you the last time I saw you? It still lies in my bookshelf untouched. I cannot believe that I will never get to gift it to you, a small token of my appreciation of your love for me. I will forever miss how you understood me, how you pushed me to follow my dreams, how you encouraged me to write and master in communications, how you were a second father to me, how you used to tell me of the way you would haggle for my bride price for hours and terrorize the young man asking for my hand in marriage. I am deeply saddened that this never came to pass.
I feel myself slowly weaving into depression mode about the many things that we were yet to see to fruition that are for now abandoned. I miss your warm hugs, how I would get lost in them, how your kind but firm words would mend any situation, how you had interesting pet names for me ‘mum’, ‘aunty’, ‘principal’. I miss how you had a personal touch with every single person. How you had a way with people – both young and old. How you were hands on and meticulous in all you did.
Uncle what i know for sure is, if love could prevent someone from dying, you would be with us today in our midst. If tears could repair broken hearts, ours would mend all the broken hearts in the world. If I could have one wish, just one, it would be that you call me one last time, just to call me ‘matron’ or any other funny pet name.
Though the going is nothing short of tough, I have trouble accepting all this but I do understand that heaven was in need of a smart witted hilarious angel coupled with kindness, generosity and love that knows no bounds.
Please watch over us eternally, track down and take care of tata Wambui for us and uncle Kamau. Let them know we think of them fondly and miss them terribly as well.
#RIP Mwangi Wa Kariuki