Rudo Muzondo: Make it go away
By Rudo Muzondo
Nervously she knelt in front of me, her head resting against my stomach and her arms around my waist squeezing me tightly but gently.
My hands resting on her shoulders, I trembled with anxiety and frailty. I didn’t know how to feel as I didn’t know what was going on. All I knew was, my mother was deeply troubled and she didn’t know how to tell me.
I slightly shifted and went on my knees to meet her and whispered, “What is going on mother? Please tell me”.
My hands fastened on her cold cheeks like blinders, looking straight in her eyes. The bankruptcy of her eyes cast a horizon that reflected a hollowness that was instantly created in mine. She was a prism through which sorrow could be measured into infinite spectrums.
“What is bothering you Mama? Please tell me”, I pleaded.
With a sinking heart and a sickening feeling of hopelessness, she felt a gripping sensation in her throat, her muscles tightened as she suppressed her tears.
“Come I will show you”, with trembling frail hands, she took my hand and led me to her bedroom.
I sat on the edge of the bed biting my nails whilst she retrieved an envelope from the drawer.
I stood up in anticipation to meet her halfway as she walked towards me. I read the first paragraph and browsed through the others.
My insides curdled upon realizing that she only had six weeks to live. The cancer had came back vengefully. Frozen in cold sweat, my bladder let loose. Bathed in my own pee, I lost a marble.
My mind racing. How could this be? The cancer is back? How? Why? Why would this happen to us? She is dying? Why my mother? Only six weeks? It can’t! I can’t!
It has to go away.
Looking into her eyes, I opened my mouth and involuntarily closed it again. I was caught in between screaming and why are you leaving me.
I closed my eyes and held my hands tightly together in a praying gesture, the tips of my fingers touching my nose.
I could not imagine life without my mother. I could not imagine her buried six feet under.
Tears flooding like a perennial river, she desperately whispered, “I will carry you in my spirit.”
Somewhere in between screaming and sobbing, “Don’t leave me Mama”, Lord please make it go away”. I begged.
Trembling and sniffing, she moved closer and wiped my tears, ignoring hers.
She hugged me tightly and poured all the love she had for me. Drenched in her love, I felt the overflow of a mother’s love.
“I love you, you are my blood, my forever”. She whispered.
“My heart is so broken mother, how am I supposed to live without you? Tell me how mother? Please make it go away”.
I pleaded fervently.
With a constricted restraint in her voice, cold sorrowful tears escaped the grottoes of her eyes as she whispered, “I wish I could”.
Weeks passed, days were numbered and death was mocking. Overwhelmed by the mental fatigue, insomnia took residence. We spent every single day and night together in her death bed.
Her image faded, she became weary and unrecognizable.
The nights became colder, thoughts became louder, death became prouder and the odds became odder.
Depression stealthily crawled in and it compounded daily. Melancholy took residence and it became our companion.
Snot, sweat and tears, I pleaded. “Please make it go away”.
Death insidiously whispered, “I have a mandate to fulfill”.
The day she died, it was like a unique kind of hell. I thought I had prepared myself emotionally and mentally, but I wasn’t ready.
I felt so helpless, frustrated, confused, lonely, hopeless, angry, afraid, hurt and heartbroken.
Weeping, heaving and wailing, the final moments I murmured, “goodbye Mama, I will always love you”.
She summoned her last strength, wiped my tears, smiled weakly and whispered her last words, “you are my forever, there’s no goodbye in forever”.
Her final breath was mine. She inhaled my exhale and labored her last.
Although her death brought a heartache no one could heal, her love left a memory no one could steal.
I grieved over the fact that my mother was gone. I grieved over the fact that I was not going to see her ever. I grieved over the fact that she was the strength I could no longer have.
I asked myself why, but death boastfully answered, “I am an inevitable soul reaper”.
Death took my mother.
Death took my peace.
Death took my faith.
My mother was my rock of Gibraltar and my pillar of Hercules that I could no longer have. Her love was unlike any other. She took places of all others but no one else could ever take her place. She welcomed my soul into the world but yet I couldn’t persuade hers not to depart.
Mother was Peace.
Mother was love.
Mother was home.
I felt naked, unshielded, defeated and homeless.
Of all the people in the world, death had to take my mother. “Why?”. I questioned.
Retrospectively, it was better and more bearable to let her transition than to see her suffering. It was better and more bearable to let the good times over shadow the pain and hope that one day, I would be able to smile at all the good memories knowing that I loved my mother the best I could.
My memories of her were forever haunted by what could have and what would have if she hadn’t died. She was not going to see me walk down the isle. She was not going to be at my graduation. She was not going to see her future grandchildren. She was not going to be there for a shoulder to lean on.
Coiled up in my bed, heaving into her favorite dress, smelling her scent, “come back to me mother. Please mother.” I begged.
My bed embraced me and accepted my torment. The night’s silence crept in like a dead man’s shadow. Hugging my tear-soaked pillow, I screamed without a sound. My screams were pulled back right deep inside of me where the furnace of the pain resided, blazed by the unquenchable fire. I told myself, “Maybe a time will come when the pain is distant enough to forget more than I remember. Maybe one day, enough tears would quench the flames of the agony in my soul.”
Embittered by death, I heaved unstoppably till the third cock crowed. I begged myself to stop crying but my soul whispered, “I will be alright, just not tonight”.
Deep routed sobs, I cried out to the Lord.
“The good shepherd who leaves ninety-nine on a hill and chases the one in the valley. The one who never leaves the one behind, behind. The God of the universe without parts or dimensions, filling the Heavens and the earth. Governing, pervading, directing, ordering and instructing all things. The only one who bows to none. Instruct the pain, make it go away.
Ancient of days, Holy of the Holies, King of Kings, Elohim, Alpha Omega, the only living God, the beginning with no end, there is no me without you. You are the I am that I am, you are the Lion of Judah yet again you are the Lamb of God.
Drench my soul, I know you can hear my cry, precious Holy Spirit.
Let the pain go away.
Make it go away”.
By sunrise, buttered down by profound sadness, my tears were too bitter to come forth. They refused to parade. I couldn’t shed anymore tears. I was soul sad, the kind of sadness that does not produce tears but bruises the soul. The kind of sadness that creeps inside the soul and plants it’s roots deep within the inner being and takes residence. Acrimony.
Defeated, depleted and deflated , I murmured, “take the pain away God.
Make it go away
Make it go away
Make it go away.”
PS: To all those who have experienced deep pain of losing loved ones, may peace find you. You are not alone.