Landisa: How am I supposed to grieve after my friend was stabbed to death?

Kamva Somdyala
Kamva Somdyala

The start of January – and by extension the year – started in the worst possible way for me. I learned of the avoidable death of a dear friend of mine, stabbed to death in what can only be described as our society’s new normal. 

You have a problem with someone? Kill them. 

You have a disagreement with someone? Resolve the dispute by signing off their death. 

You can’t stand the mere sight of someone? Send them to their Maker.  

These instances play out daily: this I know, given the work that I do daily. 

Added to my daily encounter with these stories lies room for triggers - and there have been several.  

To date, I don’t think I’ve fully come to terms with the death of my friend – who would have turned 24 this week had it not been for the cruel actions of the man who decided to end my friend’s life. 

For starters, I was unable to attend his funeral and, as things stand, I’ve only had the luxury of speaking with people we shared a friendship with via WhatsApp and phone calls.   

This means, I haven’t sat down and bawled my eyes out at the death of my friend, who dealt only in genial affection and ebullient traits. 

To that end, at the back of my mind, there lives the memory of my friend whose shrill laughter will no longer form part of any exchanges we would have had in future. I cannot seem to shrug it off, and I feel, for the most part that I haven’t fully dealt with the effects of his death.  

There seems to be a trend – one growing while no one was really paying attention – that has brought us to a point where the value we attach to one another has become so miniscule, it borders on terrifying. 

The line ‘while no one was really paying attention’ is used deliberately – I mean what with our obsession as a people to being reactionary to matters, rather than proactively dealing with the elephant in the room which would require us all to have a collective look at ourselves and admit: we are a violent nation. 

I won’t even get started with the war waged on women and children in this country daily. That isn’t the point of this piece, rather, I’m left with a question of where grieving hearts go? 

In my exchanges with a friend talking about my deceased friend, I asked that he let me know, if, whether in my grief (where the infamous ‘Facebook Memories’ feature keeps popping up with archived material) I am triggering him, simply because I find myself not knowing what to do with said memories that pop up. 

In those instances, my messages to him have simply read: “Facebook is doing its thing again”, to which he responds, “hopefully it will get better soon”.  

I hasten to point out that in one such conversation, he had said, “these things happen for a reason” to which I responded, no death by crime will ever fall within the ambit of the “everything happens for a reason” school of thought. 

To borrow from the late Whitney Houston - in this letter to the universe, or whoever it may be that’s reading it, I’d like to know where aching hearts go? Is there a home I can find, because there’s something on my mind? 

I haven’t been the same, since that January day. 

To my friend up in heaven, may you continue resting in the peace you were robbed of in your final moments on this earth. 

Kamva is a content producer at News24, and lives in Cape Town. 

Do you have a story to share? Send it to landisa@news24.comand include your contact details and a photo. Visit Landisa for more stories. 

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