Goodbyes are hard to say, I couldn’t help but agree the moment I got the news of little Alvin’s death. I’ve lost close relatives and friends but I can literally say his death was the most painful loss I’ve ever experienced.
Little Alvin was a sweet loving kid, I enjoyed watching him blossom into an intelligent young man. His love for Disney Junior was typical of every active kid, once he fixes his gaze on the TV, no one dares to change the channel otherwise tantrums would become our lullaby the rest of the day. He was very loving regardless.
“Aunty Queen, thank you”… I can still hear the sound of his serene voice thanking me for buying him eggs and grapes on my way back for the holidays.
My Sunday was going well, I had attended an ushers get together from church only to receive a call in the midst of the happy moments that my little Alvin was dead. “Dead how?”, I questioned in the midst of the confusion that accompanied the news. How can Alvin be dead? I kept asking until the call ended.
No way, it was a bitter pill to swallow, If any of my relatives wanted to prank me, would it be with the news of death? I soliloquized. I ran home in tears from the party to my friend and also a sister in Christ who stayed in the same hostel with me to pray with me, perhaps God will perform a miracle.
After speaking in tongues through our tears for some minutes, Little Alvin didn’t wake up. Several calls still confirmed his death.
Ohh!! How I cried. Prior to his death, I usually have premonitions anytime something bad was about to happen but in this case there was no gut feeling.
I always knew death was inevitable, but my idea about death was that a person has to be very sick before they die or maybe through accidents. I never envisaged that a little kid so full of life could just die without any of the factors involved.
The death of little Alvin changed my ideology on life and death. No one ever knows when he/she will die; so live every day as though it’s your last because tomorrow isn’t promised.
If I could turn back the hands of time I would love to spend more time with him. Each time I see kids of his age, I begin to imagine how grown and smart little Alvin who I often call ‘uncle Alvin’ would have become. He died at the age of 5.
People often say they get over grief by removing everything that reminds them of their lost loved one but I still hold on to I and Alvin’s memories. The pictures, his reading chair, wardrobe and the rough markings he made in some corners of the house are still here. I always wear a smile each time I see them.
I can only thank God because who knows, Alvin could have grown into a fine man but so toxic to the family and society, or he would have died at a more advanced age after much investment in him. It would have been a bigger blow and shock to us.
His death taught me something very striking which is, “the most painful goodbyes are those ones we didn’t have the opportunity to say”.