The morning after I died, I woke up. It was cold, that much I remember, and there were no mosquitoes buzzing around my ears.
I remember thinking my house had never been cleaner and I had never felt quite at peace as much as I was feeling right now. Yet, I had never felt so far from home.
The morning after my death, I called her. I had to call and tell her that everything was going to be OK. That even though what we’d shared was all over, that even though there was no chance of us ever getting back together, everything would be OK.
I remember finding my phone under my pillow where I’d always left it every night before sleeping and I remember calling. But she wouldn’t pick up. And the predominant silence had never been more eerie.
The morning after I died I knocked on her door but she didn’t answer, so I went to the shop for breakfast, even though I wasn’t really hungry.
On the way to the shop, I called my mom, but that call too went unanswered. So I figured instead of having breakfast when I wasn’t hungry anyway, why not swing by mom’s place and find out why she wasn’t picking up.
The morning after I died, I found my mother at a corner in her bedroom, hugging her knees, her eyes redder than I’d ever seen them before.
“It’s going to be OK mama,” I said, moving closer but when she looked at me, she looked right through me.
“Why?” she mumbled, “Didn’t you know? Didn’t you know how loved you were?”
The morning after I died, I danced. I walked out into the rain and danced, round and round I went, my tears lost in the rain water as the heavy torrents dropped endlessly onto my head and trickled down my face.
I danced, not with the angels, but with the regret of not having danced while I was still alive. I danced alone, while I could have danced with the love of my now lost life. Why does she seem adequate to me now in death when she didn’t seem so in life?
The morning after I died I fed my mama’s cat. I had always hated him but now as I pushed the container of milk closer, he looked up and meowed softly. I didn’t see my reflection in his eyes, just that of the wall behind me.
The morning after my death, I held her hand and told her I’d been selfish. How had I told her that I loved her when I didn’t understand the meaning of the word? As my ghostly fingers went right through her warm hands so full of life, I told her that what I had thought was love in life had in fact been selfishness.
I told her that I had loved her the way I had loved my chicken. In life I said I loved chicken. Loved them so much that I slaughtered and ate them by the hundreds, not stopping to realize that I didn’t love chicken. I just loved eating them. I loved how eating them made me feel. I never loved giving to the chicken, Just taking from them.
The morning after I died I begged for her forgiveness. I realized I never loved her enough to give and give and give to her, I instead spent all our time taking and taking and taking from her and on the morning after I died， I screamed my apologies across the valley of death, hoping that a living ear would hear me. How could I say I loved, when all I’d wanted to do was possess?
On the morning after my demise, I walked and wondered why I hadn’t walked so much in life. I wished I had walked more, maybe my life wouldn’t have appeared to be so miserable.
In my walk, I was accompanied by a light shower and I didn’t run for shelter. It didn’t feel necessary, because I had never felt so carefree. Why oh why, had I run from the showers in life? Where was I headed?
I saw the trees and felt the breeze.
On the morning after I died, I smiled at the butcher and waved a slow hello. He didn’t wave back, but that didn’t feel so bad. I was sure he’d have waved back if he could see me. He’d have waved back if I was alive.
I smiled at mama Mboga and wondered why I hadn’t done it while I lived. Why I had always thought, “We don’t know each other, so why would I smile at her?” And now in death, I wondered how we could have known each other, if I never smiled at her.
The morning after I died I sat on the back of a bodaboda and listened to the loud reggae music so enjoyed by the rider.
I clutched onto his jacket and felt the fabric.
I walked barefoot and felt the pebbles press against the sole of my feet and on the morning after I died, I understood. I understood the meaning of music, the beauty in breathing, the pleasure in smiling and the freedom in laughing uncontrollably.
I heard the music in the Air. My whole body didn’t feel like it had any skin on it. I was emotionally and spiritually aligned to everything around me.
I felt everything.
In death, I needed not the walls I had built around myself in life. Walls built over the course of decades, walls meant to protect me from harm occasioned against me by those closest to me.
I now understood I didn’t need those walls because even though they kept me from being hurt, they kept me from being loved too. And on the morning after I died and saw my mother wondering why I didn’t understand how loved I was, I whispered, “How could I mama? How could I understand when I was so busy protecting myself from your love? And that of everyone else?”
The morning after I died, I brought down the walls, knowing too well that it was too little too late. I had spent so much time in them and they had been the death of me.
…but on the morning after I died, I listened to the music in my head and I danced. I danced in the rain, my bare feet soaking in the water, water splashing around my ankles.
I shot at glance at the heavens, a longer glance than I ever had during my time on earth, and I felt the water on my face. Tears? Raindrops? It mattered not. Just as long as I could feel again.
I wished I could open my eyes and feel my mama’s hug, I wished I could project my voice to the living and whisper my apology to the love of my wasted life, I wished I could spread my fingers and touch the cat’s fur, I wished I could walk in the rain some more, listen to a song and watch a baby laugh, suffer one more heartbreak and fall in love regardless ….
…on the morning after I killed myself, I wished I could get out of bed and live, Just. One. More. Day.