Afua ni mbili, kufa na kupona (Deliverance is of two kinds, dying and getting better)

Dear Nyokabi,

This is not going to be good, but you need to hear it.

There is no version of your past, present and future that does not include Nyawira.

You will always love her.

You miss her every day and

You forget her a little every day.

You grieve her often and when Beyoncé does anything of note you will reach out for her.

I think of all the things that I can tell you those will always be true.

I have started this letter at least 50 times. I don’t really mind because I suppose she has read all the versions over my shoulder.


I remember the day we heard that Rapho died. It was never clear whether he jumped or whether he was pushed. And because you don’t know, he dies twice. You are young, and you have never experienced this kind of loss. You will go through cycles of illogical blame, inconsolable sadness and shock. You will question your role, your relevance, and your friendship. You will not connect any of these dots until Nyawira passes.


Nothing can prepare you for the loss of great love.

Living in a space of loss is a tiresome existence. The sun gives no warmth, and sleep becomes exhausting. Nothing fits. Your smile, your laugh do nothing to bridge the vastness of this experience…Your existence for at least one year is a low hum, lower and deeper a hum than the one your laptop has now with  a fan that struggles to circulate enough air  to keep us going.

You are changed forever. You understand that.


Two year in we know how to angle the computer so the air flows better.

There are times that I mention Nyawira in conversation so casually and so naturally that I radiate warmth.

There are times I cannot say her name out loud without it choking me as tears roll down my cheeks.

Both are equally surprising.


Clichés are clichés because they are true. It really is better to have loved and lost than to never have loved at all.

Loss is difficult. Love is complex. Both are somewhat inevitable.

Because you have basked in faith and love I know there is hope for us yet.

To yourself and other remember to be kind and generous of spirit. Be present and make time to share in the doubts, hopes, fears and dreams of others. Speak of your faith and give of your love.

 Love because in the end that is all that matters.



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