My heart has been heavy. I got the news of the death of someone who had very much become a part of our family. He was called Daudi. I am even ashamed to say that after almost 10 years of Daudi being in our lives, I do not know his second name. Only Daudi! I don’t recall the first time I met Daudi. He was the family driver. When mum’s health started failing, Daudi was there. Reliable most days; he would pick us, take us to the hospital and endure hours of waiting. We could count on him to pick my nephew Joshua from school or to drive all the way to Kitgum-matidi to my grand-father’s place. He took trips with us to Kitgum, attended family functions and was known by almost all our relatives.
Not one to answer back, he was respectful. Quiet, unassuming and helpful, he quickly became more than just an outsider to us. I remember the Christmases when my mother would shop for us and Daudi’s family. His relationship with my family was interesting; I speak Luo, English, and minimal Luganda. Daudi however, spoke only Lunyankole, Luganda and Swahili. My conversations with him were always in babbled Luganda. A native-Luganda speaker would have been appalled to hear me “butcher” their language! Through these conversations, my Luganda speaking-ability became better(I am still not so good at it!). Jordan often times became my interpreter(he is a much better Luganda speaker than I am). It was easy for Daudi to relate with my parents and grandparents because they all speak Swahili.
I remember the times Daudi came to pick me up from school; the day he rushed my Aunt Akoki to hospital, all those days he sat in the glaring heat in the parking lot of Mulago Hospital as we waited for mummy’s test results at the Cancer Institute. He forged his way into our hearts by virtue of his kindness and good heart. I got the news of Daudi’s death a few days ago.
Daudi, we’re sad that sickness took you to be with the Lord at such a tender age! We pray for your wife and children; that they will experience peace and comfort in this moment of sorrow. I pray also that there will be healing for grieving hearts such as mine. I pray for little Joshua who was attached to you to find a means of solace to understand why you will not be coming back to our home anymore. But most importantly, I pray that you will rest in eternal peace; away from the trials and tribulations of this world.
As I think of Daudi’s passing, I remember my grandmother Marita whose death I have never allowed myself to come to terms with. I know that I need to let go of that as with so many other things that have happened in my life. I’ve endured so much loss, pain and grief that sometimes I ask God why he throws more at me.
When things like this happen, I find strength in 2 Corinthians 12:9, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.”. I am not alone on this journey. Even when I am broken, stung, hurt, and in pain, God is walking beside me. The knowledge that other people have overcome similar situations also gives me strength to move on past my pain.