My condolences for your loss, fellow mother

condolence message

My daughter’s school has been organising a school trip, combined for Grades 6 and 7 and I have been at the heart of it. It has taken us about six months to get ourselves organised. It is an inaugural trip, so the thinking through and the organisation have been quite the mission! Finally, we are set and as we celebrate our much-needed achievement, boooom! We lose children from a fellow school. As I write this article, my heart is gutted. I am devastated. My heart is bleeding as a mother. In the circle of life, no mother should ever have to bury her child. Now, a lot has been shared as people try to unpack the recent accident that happened with the Tynwald School. All in good order. However, as a mother, I cannot just fathom how to frame life with losing a child. It is hard, for lack of a better word.


I have been pretty emotional since last Friday. I find myself sad and often wondering how the parents, guardians and especially mothers of the children we lost are doing. Many times, we regularly find ourselves as part of stories that affect our nation at different levels; we talk, we brood and even get confused.

As a collective, we seem to find comfort in analysis and proffer all sorts of questions, solutions and our favourite, humour in the face of tragedy. I am sure we will find ways to cope with our misfortunes which is OK. However, in the face of loss and grief, oftentimes, we seem to cause more harm than we do good.  Recently as we tried to come face to face with the school children who lost their lives during the bus accident in Nyanga, we have said a lot. I have said a lot. I have wondered for example why the bus with school children was travelling so late at night. I am questioning what speed was being utilised as the driver tried to manoeuvre those steep curves in Nyanga. Gosh, there are just so many things to think about.

What sort of help did the people on the bus get after the accident? Was there enough support? Could we have avoided this accident? Was it human error? Was there anything we could have done as a people? Well, the questions are endless and needless to say. With no one to answer in most instances. Such is grief.  It gets you into a space where you can even doubt your very own sanity as you explore new ways of being. It is such a scary and dark place for most. Each day brings its own waves of emotion and thoughts. 

As a mother I sit here and think, my fellow sister has lost a child. How does one even begin to fathom that? Whilst some of us are here questioning and grappling with the realities of this road traffic accident that resulted in the death of young lives, a mother has lost a child; a child she had hopes and aspirations for. A child she said goodbye to and was looking forward to seeing on return.

Imagine her pain, questions and grief? How does a mother even begin to come back from that? It is such a devastating and life-threatening experience, to lose a loved one let alone a child you bore. I am reading a book from one of my very favourite authors, Chimamanda Ngozi Adiche, “Notes on grief”. She lost her father on June 10 2020. She describes what many who have suffered loss through death experience daily. It is heart wrecking with a constant reminder of what could have been and cannot.

Death hurts. It reaps out your heart and leaves you almost breathless. In the face of loss through death, mothers often feel robbed and most cannot seem to find words to describe their pain. It is life threatening to lose a child. No one except the mother knows what she is going through. It is a journey only the mother walking it knows. This loss of a child is indeed life changing.

Let us grieve, together

My dear, dear reader, shall we hold a moment of silence for every mother that lost her child in that recent bus accident? May we remember the precious young lives and hold them with sacredness as we mourn together with the mothers? In our very own efforts to find meaning in the midst of this collective loss, may we also remember to be kind, understanding that the mothers who lost their children need privacy and space to grieve the loss of their loved ones.

May we find language that will support our collective healing as we face this very painful loss. To my sisters who lost their children, may you be comforted by the Powers that Be as you grieve your loss. To our young broods, Anesuishe Hove, Beyonce Guyo, Anita Manyuka, Destiny Dziva, Kimberly Tarisai Mutusva and Craig Madanhire, you will be dearly missed. We cherish the time we had you on this earth. Meanwhile citizens of Zimbabwe as we come to grips with this sad reality, may we remember that Zimbabwe needs us to be kind as we hold others up who are in mourning. May our words be gentle and our language uplifting. Yes, we speak truth to power as we understand that more needs to be done to enforce road rules and also hold each other accountable in the face of tragedy. We do know that each one of us has a role to play as we use roads; let us be responsible as a people. Above all we shall choose to use our words wisely, understanding that a mother lost a child in this road traffic accident and deserves to grieve in peace. It will be a long road to recovery and to my fellow mothers, we hold you in sacredness as you grieve and heal. Until then, we live, laugh and love in a bid to show the world that we were here, becoming better, making our mark, and leaving our footprint as we make the world a better place!

 Chirenje writes in her personal capacity as a citizen of Zimbabwe. Twitter: @graceruvimbo; Facebook: Grace Chirenje; Instagram: @graceruvimbo

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