Grief Etiquette 101.

You know how we usually say you do not know someone’s truth until you walk in their shoes, or are in their situation? It is true, especially so when it comes to death.

Yes, DEATH. The one who’s touch leaves us cold, bitter, in anguish and turmoil. But sometimes the touch of death does also leave us relieved. Yes, it does if a person was in a lot of pain…. wouldn’t you rather have them suffer no more? And I mean all pain, not just the physical.

I know it sounds a bit cold to write that, but think about it… you the one left behind is in pain of loving a loved one which is natural, but there is nothing wrong in also letting them go and accepting that they are in a much better place where they are no longer suffering.

My family and I are still reeling in shock over losing several loved ones last year, more so my younger sister who died suddenly in August. What pains me the most is H, our kids and I were enroute to go see her. Sigh. IT HURTS SO BAD, and I do not know who said time heals because every single day I feel more pain.

As we planned her funeral a few things happened that pissed me off and made me come up with a few pointers on what one can do when others are grieving. I know some will be hard to do especially in my culture where death itself is a taboo subject. We do not talk of death openly and this makes us uncomfortable and most of the time we do not know how to console each other.

Here is what I came up with, in no particular order:-

• When you visit a bereaved person be conscious of what you say and ask. Let them speak first if they want to. If they do not want to give more information on what happened, DO NOT PRY. It is perfectly fine to sit there in silence.
• It is not the time to bring gossip and what other people are saying into a grieving home. Why would you even do that? Why?
• Do not say “ I know how you feel,” you don’t. You may have lost a loved one too but the pain is different. You could have both lost spouses and can console each other on the same without assuming the pain and anguish is the same.
• Don’t force the grieving person to tell you what they will do next. If a spouse dies, do you tell widows and widowers to change beds and houses immediately? It is NONE of your business.
• Don’t tell a grieving person “vumilia!” If they want to laugh, scream, roll let them do it as long as they are not endangering themselves and others. There is no textbook way to mourn.
• Respect the grieving person’s culture. Every culture has a way they deal with grief and bereavement. Don’t be condescending. Seek clarity from a friend familiar to that culture instead.
• Grieving is not a platform to compete about who knew the deceased better and who knows the family more. Hatushindani kwa machozi tafadhali. Be sensitive to the loss.
• Some help to the family goes a long way, be it financial or just helping out take out trash, stock groceries cleaning up etc. For the love of God help from the heart. And you do not have to help if you do not want to. Do not give any kind of help and expect to be rewarded for it. You help from the heart. Don’t expect a medal for it!
• Let the family determine the legacy they want for their loved one. AT their own time. Do NOT rush them into making decisions. God knows I can write a whole book on this!
• If the deceased person had indicated how they would want to be disposed. RESPECT IT! Who are you to question how and why someone is being cremated or buried in a certain way or at a certain place?
• After the funeral, it is ok to check on the family but don’t linger. Sometimes they also need some privacy in their Mourning as they try to cope in the absence of their loved one. If I’m bereaved and you come and find me out shopping don’t accuse me or make me feel guilty of doing normal things. There is no textbook way to grieve so if a long drive, retail therapy, or swimming will help me cope, let me be! Stop making people feel guilty for doing normal things. Life continues for them no matter how hard it is.
• Be silent and open to non verbal nuances. If the bereaved person wants to talk about the deceased, let them do it at their OWN time and shut up and listen. Do not offer opinions and answers unless asked as sometimes the person just wants to be listened to.
• Confidentiality and sensitivity is so important. Recording committee meetings or conversations taking place, taking photos and sharing them without express family permission is a BIG NO! Only vile human beings derive pleasure from sharing others’ anguish. Are you the type? Please stay away from grieving families if you answered yes.
• There are different stages of grief and family members and friends who have lost a loved one are rarely at the same stage at the same time. Respect that too.

Y’all can add your own….

 

 

 

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Birthday Month. 

February is almost over! 

Is the year rushing by or what? 

This is not only the month of Love, Black History Month, Black Panther Month but also my birthday month. Yippee!!!

I will not lie about being excited about growing older. Forty is edging real fast and I am not ready folks I am NOT ready! 😪😪😪

There is a lot I had purposed to have accomplished by now and I have been pretty hard on myself about it recently. 

I’ve been in the dumps to be honest. Lousy mood swings, emotional about silly things, been a bit a anti social of late. I am tired, unhappy with myself and need to get back ontrack FAST? Will watching Black Panther help? It seems to be raising spirits all around I need a bit of that. Will T’Challa do it, I heard M’baku is awesome too and Killmonger…. 

Also girl power never fails in uplifting. Okoye? Nakia? Shuri? I hear she is the best Disney princess …. Can’t wait to watch it!

Seriously though, why is time moving so fast? I want to stay young – perfect excuse to get away with goofing off! 

Happy New Year

I cannot believe I did not do any post in December, such an awesome month. Enjoyed the time off just spent most of it at home with family and friends. Abscondita also got some time off to go visit her relatives upcountry, so let’s just fill in the blanks as to why I could not post. Yes, housework LOL.

Seriously though, I am glad 2017 is over and may it never come back. There is a lot I am grateful for in the past year, but there is a lot too that I would prefer to rot in the past. I thank God for good health, not lacking anything and the time spent with H and the kids. I loved the revelations too on which lane I should stick to cause oh the drama that past year!   I am relieved to have dropped some baggage and come to see some people for their dishonesty and downright nastiness. Yucky!

2018 is here though. And I am looking forward to what my achievements will be this year. I have not set any resolutions and never do anyway. But I have set down some of the things I am keen on achieving this year, which I will be sharing as I work on them.

Leo started school too! So exciting. Seeing my lil man in his uniform with his small bag, looking all serious and organized. Only downer is his fro is gone, I will miss his big hair and he looks so much smaller now L

Njeri is excited about being in the last year of pre- school, already asking if this is the year her front teeth will fall off, and if she can get her ears pierced, and if she can start ballet and a never ending list of questions like most kids her age. I am loving her current phase where she has been walking around the house with a note book and pencil drawing things that interest her. I am really impressed at the young girl she is growing into.

H and I are fine too, still working on our other  projects bit by bit but glad the big one was completed well. We have been lucky to have had no major issues with the people we have been working with and anticipate more success in future projects. Taking our time, researching in and out, working with experts has really helped us and may it continue.

Here is to an exciting year filled with new projects, new learning and success!

Mommy Drives: #DSFL

This is a continuation of the previous post about Ford’s Driving Skills for life course.

Another tip was on the importance of adjusting rear and side view mirrors.

This should be done before turning on the engine, and after seat adjustment. Adjusting the mirrors to appropriate angles helps maximize the driver’s field of vision. Adjust the rear view mirror to ensure the whole rear window is in view. Yes, this sounds like driving 101 but you would be surprised at how often drivers neglect this.

Without proper adjustment and proper use of the mirrors, the driver simply does not have a clear view of the road and other road users beside and behind her.

As one adjusts, keep in mind blind spots, cyclists, pedestrians and other cars, you should angle the side mirrors to enable you to see such approaches.

Another tip was to drive relaxed, but alert. One should avoid constant accelerating and excessive hard braking. Drive while anticipating different traffic situations. Keep the proper distance between vehicles and please oh please use indicators before taking turns! This irks me so much, why is it so hard for Kenyan drivers to indicate. It is not as if you are getting charged for it. Argh! This is a major peeve for me. As for distance, a 3 second distance is fine. Increasing your distance increases your scope of action and reaction time, in bad weather, you can increase the time interval to six seconds.

Mommy drivers should also avoid distractions while driving. I know it sounds easier than it actually is. You are trying to concentrate on your favorite Adelle song on the radio, the kids are yelling for your attention, sip coffee and the crazy matatus are trying to cut into your lane. Sigh.

Increasing distractions = increased risk of a crash.

Distractions include talking (yes!), constantly adjusting the radio, eating, mobile phone, etc. How to avoid such? The phone calls and messaging can wait. Strap in the kids at the back. PLEASE! I see guys driving with the kids in front and I shudder when I imagine what could happen if the driver has to brake immediately. The snacking and intense conversations can wait. All attention needs to be on the road drivers. All. Attention.

Let us keep our eyes on the road. Will be back with more tips.

PROCESS OF BUYING LAND IN KENYA

kennchester

There have been complaints on this page on people buying land but not receiving the title deed from the seller. In the spirit of buyer beware, allow me to take the members through the legal process of acquiring land in Kenya.

Firstly, it is not the seller’s onus to process the title deed for the buyer. That should be done by the buyer himself or through his Lawyer.

Before acquiring a piece of Land, there are some pre-requisites which you need to adhere to so that the land you buy is legitimate and you don’t end up losing your heard earned cash.

Below, I will take you step by step on the process you need to follow to acquire land. In every land deal, It is highly recommended that you use a Lawyer. It is costly but safest. BY ALL MEANS NEVER CUT CORNERS.

1. Conduct a site visit

Identify…

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Election Season +254

A few months ago we had a sermon series in Church about the role of a Christian in the political space. There was a phrase, “When Good People do Nothing, Evil prevails.”
Out of that we were challenged; if you are not happy with the status quo and have the means and conviction to do so, run. Run for office and change things from within. That sermon made an impact on many of us. For Samantha Maina, running for MCA in Kileleshwa Ward, that was a sign. She was frustrated by a couple of potholes outside her home for the longest time, and had tried to engage the current MCA but to no avail. So she decided to run and change things from within. Boniface Mwangi announced his candidature for Starehe constituency after years of activism. You may not agree with him, but he has also taken a necessary step to change things from within.

Many of us do not have the courage to do so, but we can support those who do. Look around you guys. We cannot afford to be apathetic. We all have an active role to play in our country’s decision making process. Refuse to conform, be concerned for ALL, and have the courage to intervene.
We need to make an effort to understand each other’s differences and appreciate our diversity. We have to seek healing and reconciliation and begin to trust one another again.

Our leaders are there to SERVE us. Let that sink in guys, SERVE US. We are the ones who employ them. So look around you, examine all those running for office around you. Look at the MCA candidates, those running for MP, Women’s rep, Senator, Governor and President. Do they have manifestos? They should, every one of them, because that is the only way you as a voter will know what they stand for and what you should hold them accountable to for the next five years. Especially MCA, MP and Governor, The buck stops with them. How will they manage the funds allocated from Central government? How accessible will they be? What are their plans for the county? Etc. Devolution is new to us and the past five years have shown us the loopholes that need to be sealed. Examine the candidates guys. Wachambue kabisa.

We also need to examine ourselves as voters. Hii mambo ya kuuza kura and benefiting from some candidates’ handouts needs to stop!
Dagoretti South constituents, I am looking at you. Eh! Dennis alituacha, wanted to run for Nairobi governor saw he could not make it, ran back to the constituency, lost Jubilee nomination, now splurging funds east, west, north and south so he can retain his seat. Folks, do you seriously think he has our best interests at heart? Think deep and hard about it, in fact go stand outside his recent development something “meadows” hapo Naivasha road and think hard and deep if he has the constituents’ best interests at heart when he says he wants to retain his seat. Ha!
As for our governor , the least said the better, let’s just say the suit doesn’t hide the thuggery. Women’s Rep, what is that again? Senator? No comment. President? None of these so called “two horses” deserve to lead. None. Do you honestly think they have our best interests at heart? Really? Really? Think hard and deep. And there are OTHER candidates by the way.

We cannot afford to be apathetic guys. We have a responsibility and a role to play as the citizens of this country we need to be strong and courageous enough to make a difference. So we have until Monday to read those manifestos and chambua those running for office in our counties. Tulale unono, tuchaguane Tuesday kwa Amani. Vote wisely peeps!