We have heard it many times before in so many different expressions. Every day we live, we risk dying. Life is short. Today is ours, tomorrow is the Lord’s. Each of the expressions saying the same thing, none of us knows when the Grim Reaper will come calling, and none of us is ever totally ready when he does. We all know that death is inevitable, but we live and act as if it will be later rather than soon. There’s actually nothing wrong with that, after all if we lived expecting to die the very next second, we would be paralyzed into inaction, and unable to enjoy the moments at hand. Morris was like the rest of us in that regard; what he had in mind that evening was managing to get inside the bus that had just arrived at the bus park, and going to his place (kejani) to whatever activities and/or comforts awaited him there. As he went after the bus ready to board, he never thought he was going for his death.
However, people who die are people who have been alive and perhaps even lived (more on this later). So I sought to find out, who was Morris really? What was he like? What were his last words? Of course I could not find out everything, no one can ever know another human being well enough to convey their dreams, aspirations, motivation, fears, hopes and raison d’etre as they were perceived by their owner. But as I talked to people who knew him, the unconscious guy I had held trying to get inside an ambulance, hoping against hope that he would survive the accident, started to gain a personality. The more I got to see this personality, the more I felt he was a person I surely would have liked as a friend. I heard the kind of jokes he made, and they made me laugh. I learnt of his opinion on some matters, and I agreed with him. Those who knew him could only imagine the kind of dreams he had. Did he wish to be employed or to start his own business? Did he want a bungalow or a mansion? How many kids did he dream of one day having?
It hurts to think that someone would fail to realize, at once and intuitively, that Morris was a person with plans like any of us. That is why it was sad, even infuriating, to note that the notice from the VC’s office failed to acknowledge Morris by name, or even offer condolences to his friends, classmates and acquaintances. If he, the VC, had to choose that morning, following Morris’ death, then a “Sorry for your loss” was more apt than “The driver stepped aside… we will investigate”. But he didn’t have to choose, he could as easily have slipped in his condolences as footer. Nowhere in the two different notices put up on the notice board did I even see a “Rest in Peace”. Matter of fact, his name was not mentioned once therein. Where is the humanity of these people? Or did they long put a machine to type Prof. Kioni’s messages and none of us was the wiser? Does he himself not go through them before signing, if only to check if they are appropriate? Surely, a man as educated as he is knows not to treat such a sensitive issue from one angle. Assuaging their anger and forgetting to address their grief is ineffective, any grief counselor can confirm that at one point or the other, the grief will verily reignite the anger.
Personally, I deal with grief by thinking of the good times I may or may not have shared with the deceased. I know his name was Morris Murimi, and that he completed secondary education at Kangaru Boys High School in 2011. I know that somewhere he had a girlfriend, meaning he had the courage and selflessness to fall in love. We all know he was in the 4th semester of his eight-semester undergraduate course (Bachelor of Purchasing and Supplies Management). What we will never know is what if? What if he had lived? What would have been the course of his life? Or is there really no alternative to destiny? Must we live and die as we are fated to?
Morris was the one who led the prayers in the last class fellowship while he was alive. A morose classmate recounted to me, grief evident in her voice. It was easy to see that he was a dear friend, and his passing was all the sadder for it. So even though I don’t know if he was religious or not, I know that he was at least spiritual. And that, being spiritual, is what counts, more than going to church every Sunday, if you look at the big picture. It is said that the good die young to be saved from the miseries of this world, but why, dear Lord, must they die before they’ve seen their dreams fulfilled? I am sure the angels are looking down upon us now saying, “You wouldn’t undlerstand even if it was explained to you.” And we surely can’t. To die so young, so full of life, so eager to see another day – is the will to live really that vain in itself?
According to my sources, Morris was the only son in a family of four kids. I cannot imagine the parents’ pain at losing an only son, or the sisters’ at losing their only brother. It must be a devastating loss for his family. That’s why we should all keep them in our prayers during these difficult times. The parents got to see their son one last time the weekend before the fateful accident. He had had a standing invitation to visit a female friend that weekend, but he chose to go home. He was later to apologize simply with, “You know I’m an only son, I had to go home and see my folks.” Was that premonition, family values or both? But being a gentleman, he knew not to cancel on a lady then fail to make it up to her, so he offered to visit her the following weekend. As it turned out, he had used up his last weekend already. Although, in a strange twist of fate, he, however, managed to leave her a more permanent memory than a weekend visit, he left her his last words. She was one of the very last people he spoke to at the bus park that evening, while they shared snacks and joked with each other.
From what I could gather, Morris was a cheerful guy, with lots of friends. There is a lot I could not find out about him, his birth, childhood and hobbies, for example. Nevertheless, I am sure his family and friends will dearly miss him, and his memory will live on in the minds of all those who knew him. May the Almighty rest his soul in eternal peace.



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