I guess helpless is the word. We try to help. We bring food, give money for burial, but, the suffering just goes on and on. How is fair that some people in this world have lives full of suffering while others cruise through life as if they are charmed?
Me…. I have had a charmed life. Raised in a happy middle class home with the greatest example of love and family that there ever could be. I had close friends, a tight knit extended family. Best husband and daughters I could ever even imagine.
I didn’t’ experience death until I was 13, I think, an elderly neighbor and family friend. The next death I experienced wasn’t’ until adulthood. Of course, it is expected that the older you get, the more sorrow you will experience. It is a charmed life that gets the advantage of age and growth in order to be better able to deal with tragedy.
My friends here in Zambia experience tragic and unnecessary death all of the time. It is expected and accepted. I know more orphaned children and young adults than I ever could have imagined 5 years ago. People lose a loved one. They mourn. They begin to get back to normal (their normal- nothing like my normal)
…. then boom, another loss. It seems a part of everyday life for so many people here. Each tragic and heartbreaking.
I will miss this little girl with all of my heart. Colette started at Appleseed about 8 months ago, but we met her in 2012 when she was just a baby. She was finally old enough to be an Appleseedling. Her brothers already live at the center, her two sisters have been Appleseedlings for a few years. It was so wonderful having little Colette too. She had begun blossoming, smiling and laughing with her friends in the pre-grade class. We saw her sisters bloom in the same way when they first began at Appleseed.
And then, this morning………….. we had just left the boys at the soccer pitch. We had a box of clothes and shoes that I had been meaning to take to Jenny, Lucy and Colette. So, we headed to their house. We immediately knew that something was terribly wrong. The house was wailing as a Zambian home does when someone has died.
This family suffered this just 2 weeks ago when the young father to Jenny, Lucy and Colette passed away. And now, after having a high fever in the middle of the night, little Colette died at the clinic this morning.
I don’t know how people persevere. I don’t know how to change this reality.
The inequities….. the luck or un-luck of birth…. makes no sense... simply unacceptable.
We love you, Colette
6/13/2015 08:22:20 am
I too never came across so many experiences of avoidable death to young people as in Zambia; and also of course so little space for anyone to mourn - a man who lost his wife and 1 year later was still needing to talk about it was asked to stop doing by so my colleagues since they had little patience for such wallowing and just wanted him to move on. We really just cannot imagine this in a our privileged worlds....but how else can people survive in such a context?
Leave a Reply.
Ken and Joy Hoffman. See the'Who We Are' page.