You are special

Pulse thready
Young eyes panicky
Cold clammy hands crushed mine as she half whispered and half cried “Doctor, my stomach”

Don’t worry, you will be fine

I believed what I said. Faith Perhaps.
Where does the body end and the person begin?
It is sublime. I can no longer tell. It is easy and it is hard. We are special until we are not. My mortality is not real until i have to help others to accept theirs. At what point does it become okay to watch a person die and not grieve? I can no longer tell.
Sympathy. Denial. Acceptance. Surrender.
How do you deal? I fight. I fight. Sometimes I win. Sometimes I lose.
She did not slip away, she was dragged. Screaming. Kicking. Fighting Death.

It was not swift. It was slow. And loud. And taunting. And torturous.
And I was there. I was there. Her hand in mine. My hand in hers. I was there. And she was here. Until she wasn’t.
And in the end, Death’s grasp was stronger than her grasp on me
And I wondered who I was comforting, when I said to her “Don’t worry, you will be fine”

Was it for her or myself?

By Semefa

“For health professionals who know the pain of losing a patient”

Art by Antonio Ortega

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The Hospice

A wise man once asked me what I thought about “the death thing”. Yep, that’s exactly how he put it, “the death thing.”

Growing up in Africa and especially over here in Ghana, death is something I see greatly publicized but not adequately discussed.

Funerals are widely patronised but the real grief is expressed in hushed tones. This little story of mine, although terribly insufficient, is my frail attempt to touch on the “death thing” as the wise man so skillfully put it.

And if you lost someone this year or even know someone who lost someone this year, here’s a little quote from me to you, at least in kinship solidarity.

“Death is the end of life, not the end of relationships”

Have a great time reading!

The Hospice

There were many a great sights the old woman had seen, many events she had participated in and even a few miracles had been witnessed by her but the greatest amongst them all was what she was seeing that morning.

They thought she couldn’t hear them but she did. It didn’t matter that she was in a medically induced sleep or whatsoever. Right by her bedside were her children, bickering and calling each other names. It broke her frail heart.

What would Paa do if he were to see them doing what they were doing now? She had thought. The old woman heard a big thud, something like someone falling on the other. The constant shuffling on the floor and her daughters’ screams made her suspect a fight was going on. Nurse Oforiwaa angrily commanding them to leave confirmed her suspicions.

And why were they doing this?” She asked rhetorically. “Oh yes but of course, the ring!” she answered her own question.

That damn thing!” she cursed while coughing simultaneously. Continue reading “The Hospice”

Ayolo

Ayolo my bride was a goddess of her own caliber.
Ayolo had a masterpiece for a face, the physique of a model and the mind of a prodigy.
Ayolo the beautiful who had mother breathing praises right from the start.
Ayolo the formidable who earned father’s nod of approval and admiration in one breath with her doctorate degree.
And to top it off, the beans and fried plantain dishes she conjured in the kitchen had a reputation of their own.
What more could a man want in a wife?

“Ayolo, a character and poem from Holy Matrimony, a novel”

By Semefa_sg

Art by Miaokhi

Heart at War

1 in 3 (35%) of women worldwide have experienced either physical and/or sexual violence by an intimate partner or non-partner sexual violence in their lifetime – WHO

Women have the right to live free from violence, slavery, and discrimination; to be educated; to own property and to earn fair and equal wages – globalfundforwomen.

Heart at War,

You’re impossible to love
all your boyfriends say, before they leave
suitcase in hand, bile in their throat

they do not understand
you have not yet learned how to be loved

your heart is still at war
fighting the darkness that lays thick on your skin
creeping out from between your legs
the colored sins left by your fathers silent midnight thrusts

you have not yet learned how to be loved
your heart is still at war
like your mother before you

her heart laid bare, her legs parted
the light slipping out of her eyes like tears
the universe fleeing her body, screaming in protest
as she watched your father brandish power beneath his belt
and let him stoke the flames of her revolt

it is how she endured being woman
her heart at war
victim, first before you

it is how she was taught to love a man

“On violence, hearts and consent”

My name is Semefa_SG and this is my contribution to the campaign against sexual and gender-based violence (SGBV).

Art by pride_nyasha