Several Hands

I listened to a young lady eulogize her late friend and it touched me. Here goes:

“Kemi always liked DIY. She is…or was the most crafts-y and artistic person I have known . She made her own bed sheets, cooked foods you’ll only find in restaurants, made every present she ever gave and re-used every old material or jeans or whatever. Going to her room was always like a treasure trove; I was certain I would see something beautiful and fascinating – just like her. 

Kemi was beautiful and fascinating. And I say this with all sincerity. Although I, myself, am a woman, I was always eager to hang out with her, talk with her and learn from her. In her, lay depths of wisdom borne out of curiousity and a genuine hunger for knowledge. 

She would tell me, ‘We are nothing apart from the knowledge that we have. But you must be careful to know that you can be enlightened by darkness.’ 

I never really understood the things that she said but I loved to listen to them anyway. She was my friend; in the true sense of the word. Never judging but never condoning. Never criticizing but always correcting. 

But we live in a world where the good people are subjected to ridicule and taken for granted. Kemi was. 

By you, her family. By you, her friends. By you, her work colleagues. 

I took it as a joke at first, when she would call me and talk at lengths of the enormous pressures everyone put on her. To get married, to live up to another person’s standards, to be like another, to get a better job, to do a better job, to say the right words, to dress the right way, to be the right things.

I told her that ‘right’ was subjective and relative. I told her not to try and conform herself with other people’s definition of what was right for her. 

She said, ‘But no, Right is Right. That’s what makes it right. It cannot be counterfeited. They are right. They all are.’

And I said, ‘Well… They aren’t perfect even if they are right. Don’t conform your practicality to their theoretical assertions.’ 

But I did not push it; I did not follow up. And Kemi, in her DIY style, committed suicide. 

Yes, I will say it out so that it will sink into the conciousness of everyone. She committed suicide. 

But you know, the definition of suicide is flawed in its practicality. They say suicide is the act of a person taking his own life without external supervision, but that is exactly what it isn’t. 

Kemi once told me (commenting on her DIY arts and crafts) that ‘No one just knows how to “do it yourself”. We all get knowledge from one another. So everyone you see doing it themselves actually have the help and support of a bunch of other people. They are just invisible in the moment when you decide to do it yourself. But their contributions are present with you while you do”

Had my friend known that she was predicting her death, she would have done away with the lot of you. For while she tightly and shakily wrapped her fingers around the medicine bottle and put it to her lips, there lay on her hands, several other invisible hands of people seated here gently guiding the deathly liquid down her throat… With words in her ears harshly whispering ‘You go girl! You deserve to go’ 

No thanks” 

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