Tuesday, 29 December 2009

End of Year Thoughts

Christmas came and went. I thought it was going to be an excruciatingly painful time for me but it was not so bad. I think I had dreaded it enough already and lingered over enough memories. Moreover, as I have been socialising more than ever in my entire life, I had enough stuff lined up to keep me busy. The festive season passed by quickly attending various functions, cooking and eating. I attended a very mellow and relaxed dinner on Christmas Eve with a lot of UN folk. It was amusing to mingle with them, tell them I have gone to the 'other' side and shoot some breeze. It was also really nice to be at that party with many nationalities from the continent.

Christmas Day was a braai hosted by the South Africans and there was also a Secret Santa thing going on too. I had a good time, eating, drinking amarula and being merry - all of it tinged with moments of nostalgia and sweet memories. I ended up camping out at this beautiful house in Congo Town for that whole weekend, lazing by the pool, eating, watching TV, napping, reading books, and enjoying my time with my friends. It was like a little holiday and I'm so grateful to them for just letting me be, comforting me when I needed to be comforted and being really cool.

Speaking of Secret Santa, I got my staff to do it. I told them a week in advance what we were going to do. They were pretty excited. We got the names on slips of paper and went around trying to pick each other's Secret Santa. We kept running into the problem of people picking up their own names. I thought it was a mathematical problem and Linga says, let's number them! But of course, one person still ended up picking up his own number. A visitor who happened to walk in at that moment suggested to us geniuses that the slips of paper should not be picked up at the same time. (I hope no one reads this as we are an IT company and should be good at problem solving.) Anyway, we sorted it out and decided to put a $ 5 cap on the gift.

The visitor who happened to walk in was someone I actually met on Google Liberia expats group. She was volunteering for an NGO and I suggested to her to meet up. So this chick actually comes in to meet our company and we ended up spending the next three evenings together. We hung out, went to Mama Susu's, went to check up on my other Indian friend who had a fire in his building (so much drama, man, that can happen here), went walking, and so on. I love these chance enounters - they're sweet. Or, maybe I am just getting better at meeting and hanging out with people. I suspect it's both.

The office Secret Santa went really well and I was pleased to see how much of an effort everyone made. I had a picture of Kennedy and Patience printed out and framed for Kennedy and I myself got a very sweet 'To my Boss' card framed and signed from Onesimus who is trainee. We opened up our gifts and then, had a staff lunch of joloff rice followed by more food sent by Rebecca, my Liberian mother. I felt good doing it as Wesley used to have this office culture of eating together once a week.

So all in all, Christmas passed by without being that painful. I was distracted enough by all the socialising I did. I also cooked quite a lot - my signature dish that I contributed for the functions was my chicken pilao. It was quite a hit. Although it still stings to know Wesley is not around and I can't cook for him any more but it is still a nice feeling to cook for people and know they are enjoying the food.

What else happened? Oh I pulled a back muscle and couldn't move for a few hours. I felt like an old woman. My Indian friend had to come over and give me acupressure which was shoot-me-painful but did the trick. Not to mention some muscle relaxants too. I spent the evening, propped up on cushions, drinking tea on my lovely balcony, chatting to visitors - all that was missing was a bunch of my own grand children.

We are now up to New Year's. I won't lie - 2010 was the shittiest year of my life. I took off for London to pursue a master's degree but my boyfriend gets murdered back in Liberia and I have to rush back, abandon my masters, deal with all the shit and have his body cremated. I entered into a universe of pain and misery and grief. My whole life gets altered. I lost the love of my life, felt penniless and homeless. I felt hounded by the same dogs of despair and darkness that I was familiar with when I lost my best friend at university.

Friends and well wishers thought I was pretty strong and brave about the whole thing though. I don't know what it was but I felt compelled and driven to take over IT company's. It felt right and somehow the path seemed very clear. I am glad I took it. I feel liberated in a strange way, I feel I am really making my own decisions and will be ready to face the consequences of those decisions. At least they will be my own. I feel I can lead the life without social or other made-up fears. I feel I can hold my chin up and do what I want to do. And, I am grateful for the support along the way - you know what, I never even understood the meaning of support until now. I used to wonder what people went on and on about it but now I finally understand what support is and what it means when people say, I am on your side and will support you in whatever you do.

I still feel grief stricken as hell but the truth is that I am usually too busy now to dwell on it too long. It is literally when I am alone that it really hits me. And, I deal with the waves of grief as they hit me. The next morning, the grief of the night before seems like a distant event. It's sometimes really weird to think about it, that I feel positive and light in the morning after long hours of crying and a terrible sense of loss and loneliness.

Wesley is now like a historical, nostalgic sense of my consciousness. I still remember him physically but he is definitely in my head. His thoughts, his ideas, his jokes and sometimes it flows out of me. Everything reminds me of him. But I have learned to just make his memory and grieving for him part of my daily routine. It's hard to explain it.

People around me remark that I have lost weight. I joke and say, 'grief does that to you.' It's a full-proof method of weight loss. People get a bit flustered but I enjoy the humour of it, it would be right up there with Wesley's sense of humour. Sometimes I talk to him and joke that I have taken over your company and will now run it in my dictatorial style. I wonder what he'd say. But he'd just smile and say well done my darling.

Everyone goes on and on about his smile. He was known as such a nice guy. And I am so glad I had him.

What else? Apparently my written c's look like l's and I need to do something about it. Yeah, I was told this very seriously yesterday evening.


  1. Dear Farzana. I am so happy I've got to know you. You truly are a wonderful person and I am delighted to have you in my life! I wish I had met Wesley too, but I think, in a way, I can sense him through you. Hope to see you soon.
    Take care and many many hugs!

    To the anonymous writer; I am sure that you can find something else to do than commenting on this blog.

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