I was standing by myself, my heart heaving with sorrow as I gazed at the foreboding dark cloud in the sky. It appeared to have followed me everywhere, casting a shadow on every moment of my life. It had snatched my heroes from me today, leaving me broken and bereft.
It began as any other day would, with optimism and excitement. The world was painted in warm, bright colours by the rising sun. I couldn’t wait to spend the day with my parents, two people who meant the world to me. They represented power, love, and unshakable support. They served as both my guides and my pillar of strength.
We had a full day of activities planned, including an exploration of the beautiful mountains that surrounded our small town of Dzaleka. We filled our bags with water, snacks, and an unbounded amount of happiness. The air was filled with laughter as we set off on the hike, mixing with the soothing sounds of nature.
With their beautiful heights rising upward, the mountains welcomed us with wide arms. We continued to hike higher while taking in the breathtaking views that appeared in front of us. With each step we walked, I could feel the connection between us getting stronger. It was a day I knew would live in my memory forever.
But destiny had other ideas. Tragic events unexpectedly occurred as we approached a little cliff with a view of a waterfall that was flowing. My parents were thrown off balance by an unexpected blow of wind that seemed to be a sinister whisper as it raced through the air. I stared in horror as they slipped over the edge and vanished into the depths below in that fleeting moment.
My world shattered into a million pieces as it appeared that time had stopped. My throat tore with a scream as my heart raced in my chest, but nothing came out. I was stunned to the point of paralysis, trying to process the gravity of the loss I had just witnessed.
As I slowly walked down to where they had disappeared, tears flowed down my cheeks. The waterfalls once beautiful now appeared to be a terrible mirage, a representation of the joy that had been taken from me. I extended my hand in an effort to find any indication of life or hope. However, there was nothing but the ongoing sound of the waves, which mocked my sorrow.
My soul was covered in darkness as the day turned to night. The world had become lifeless and meaningless. Everything appeared to be consumed by the dark cloud that had hovered over me, throwing a shadow over my broken heart. My parents, the people I looked up to, were gone, leaving a void that would never be filled.
I remember, most of the days while growing up my parents would dedicate their time to make me happy and have fun. They would watch with me a funny movie of Charlie Chaplin and some time Mr. Bean, we would laugh and enjoy the day. Some days, we would play hide and seek together among other funny games. All these were done to make me happy everytime. My parents devoted themselves to making me happy, acknowledging the effort my parents had put in to make me happy at all times sparked the thought that even in their absence their wish was for me to live joyously.
However, the pain of losing my parents has remained just as severe as the day it was put upon me even as days turned into weeks and weeks into months. As a mere shell of the person I once was, I learnt how to get around in the world. My eyes no longer sparkled with laughter; instead, a terrifying emptiness filled them.
But in the middle of the darkness, a spark of courage erupted inside of me. I came to the realisation that my parents would have wanted me to keep going and honour them by living a strong, purposeful life. They had instilled in me the courage to meet challenges head-on. I therefore made a quiet commitment to myself to rise above the ashes and find purpose despite my depression.
The dark cloud continues to hang overhead, acting as an ongoing reminder of the suffering and loss I have experienced. But I won’t allow it to define who I am. Instead, I decide to treasure the love that was bestowed upon me by my heroes, embrace the memories of them, and allow their spirit to help me get through the toughest times. And I am aware that I am not alone as I stand here in the shade cast by that terrible cloud.
20 August, 2023