Did you know that avocados would have gone extinct if it wasn’t for farmers from the Aztec civilization? I knew that today and I was so shook. That we’d have nothing to eat githeri with if it wasn’t for the farmers of yore.
Like avocado would have died and nobody would have been able to document it. I thought about death then, and how it induces paralysis in so many of us. Our own deaths. That of family and friends. That of celebrities we love and can’t imagine living without. The dread that fills us when we get the news that someone we knew has passed away.
That their phone number is obsolete. That the last time you saw them was your last memory of them. That you will never have a chance to say goodbye. That’s it’s final. Then the soil hits their casket. That numb thud. And everything around you is in slow motion. Men yanking off the spades from each other in a competition to fill up the grave. The cross being pushed into the soft earth. The crowd dispersing. Then you’re alone again. Its just you and the memories you made.
I thought about my death a while back. Thought about how I’d want to die. On my own terms. Asleep, after telling my loved ones that they are amazing people and I wish them nothing but happiness. To empty my Mpesa and bank account and share it with friends. To write letters to those that mean the world to me. To die with Old Spice on me, with clean teeth and underwear. A fantasy.
Sadly, unless you off yourself, or die from a terminal illness or old age, that won’t happen. That every ride on a mot8orbike on a busy highway is your life flashing in front of your eyes. That every shootout is a fear that a stray bullet will end up in your head. That every minor surgery is a chance for you to write a will.
Death is scary. To imagine that you’ll be gone forever. That you won’t be able to feel anything. Lying on your cold slab. With a tag on your toe. With your family inconsolable. With people telling them that they loved you but God loved you more and more insensitive things like that. That you’ll peek out your casket and see people walk single file. Staring. Some crying. Some nonchalant. Some here to confirm that you’re dead.
The uncertainty for me is the worst. If it was somewhere people have been and come back would really help. Is it painful? Is the story about a light appearing and walking into heaven true? Will you meet up with others who died years before you did? Or is it all fantasy. That when you’re dead its over. That unless you’re famous, then you’re forgotten. That your babies, parents and siblings are the only ones who’ll miss you. That your cousins, friends and work will replace you as soon as they misplace your funeral program.
That Mshwari will still send texts to your number. That your barber will only know you’re dead months later. That your kibanda person will think you got a raise and found a more boujee place. That your FIFA buddies will find another person that doesn’t score from headers and cutbacks.
Death is a scary word. I think so. That fear can fuel you or cripple you. That you can live like you only have one life to live 😎 or you can live like you only have one live to live 😔.
Long live the Aztecs. Now live your life so that humanity will feel for your parents what people who like avocado feel for the Aztecs.