As the year 2014 came to a close nothing had prepared me for the sudden loss of our beloved daughter Shiku save for an unsettling feeling I felt just some days before my husband and I travelled to Thailand for a Business trip. The year had been uneventful. I was by then pursuing a master’s course at the University of Nairobi. The same year in December I ecstatically sat for my final course work exams.
With all arrangement for the trip in order, I bade my two daughters goodbye as they travelled upcountry with my mother and sister in law where they were to stay until we came back. As they left Shiku was a bit hesitant to travel upcountry but I dismissed her complaints as just the usual children tantrums. She then reminded me to bring her a white dress when I get back. In the evening she called to inform me that they arrived safely. Little did I know that this would be the last conversation I will ever have with my daughter.
Our plane left Nairobi on 18th December in the evening with a stop-over at Bangkok. On the third day, a workmate of my husband called from home to inform him that our eldest daughter was taken ill and admitted to hospital. The news really took me off balance since she had never been seriously ill to the point of getting admitted. I cried endlessly and felt that something was seriously wrong with my daughter. That day we tried to book for a flight back home in vain as there were no flights to Nairobi. We would receive scanty information of her sickness as she had already passed on and our siblings did not want to break the sad news when we were still in Thailand. I remember asking my elder sister if she was talking and she just told me yes she was to dismiss my anxiety.
From that time, I continued to experience an unusual feeling, my stay in Thailand became very unpleasant, I lost appetite of the sumptuous meals that the hotel prepared for us. I detested interacting with the other colleagues as I feared that they would ask me about my daughter’s progress. On 24 December we took the longest flight ever with a stop-over at Bangkok. We arrived in Kenya on 25 December. On arrival at the Jomo Kenyatta airport we bumped into our sister Mercy who told us that she was on her way to Australia where she had been pursuing a doctorate course. It was a plan she devised so that she could create a conducive environment in order to break the news of our daughter’s death to us. She had also organized with the airport official who permitted her to break the news at the airport premises. After a few pleasantries, she mentioned our daughter’s name and immediately I knew that was it. I didn’t comprehend anything else she said and I just started moving away. My husband broke into tears. He went into denial and requested to be driven to the mortuary to confirm the sad news. I took two more days to gather the courage to view her body. Her lifeless body was there at the Nakuru Memorial hospital Mortuary, I touched her face which was ice-cold and still had the blue and black braids they normally liked during the December holiday.
Burial arrangement were completed and we laid our precious daughter to rest on 31 December 2014.With great support from family, friends and P.C.E.A Kikuyu church members we remained strong during this time. However, the reality of our loss hit us hard when we went back to our home. We had to face life without our dear daughter. Our second born daughter Maisy Muthoni had endless questions and even asked if she would have an opportunity to unbraid her hair while she was still in the air going to heaven…