Written by Kichuna Monday, 04 July 2011 11:51
"I watch the sunrise lighting the sky,
Casting its shadows near.
And on this morning bright though it be,
I feel those shadows near me.
But you are always close to me
following all my ways.
May I be always close to you
following all your ways, Lord"
Those are the words, which I recall as fresh paint on my nose. From a distance you could hear the beautiful hymns from the sweet soft voices that filled the church. The song welcomed the preacher who would deliver the sermon in the memorial service of a brother, a friend, and son, of the late AUSTEEN (not his real name)
I knew the death of Austeen from the obituaries in one of the dailies. He had passed away in a small state in east coast of USA and it was a taboo for him to be buried in a foreign country according to the African culture and so he had to be brought back home. Moreover, being from a well up family this could have raised eyebrows.
As a son of a well-known Kenyan politician, the church as expected was fully packed. Therefore, my friends who knew Austeen and I made our way to the service to pay our last respect to our departed gay friend.
The parking was chock-full with police officers on guard. On arrival we were ushered into the church and to our seats. A red carpet was rolled all the isle way to the alter where Austen’s classic portage was placed, between best of the best flowers ever found.
Austeens sexual orientation had caused a lot of misunderstanding from his dad and many of his kinsmen but finally they were forced to swallow the lump and accept him the way he way but not without conditions.
His dad a powerful man in society was determined to safeguard his reputation under whatever cost and ensured orientation issues as well as the reason why his son was forced to walk on and leave his home country, his career that he had toiled so hard for, his best friends who were more of a family than his own family.
Austeen was a simple and down to earth young man who just wished to respect his dad in every way. He had confessed that his daddy had threatened to disown him if people got to know about his sexuality, for he found this as a possible tool that his rival would use to black mail him. The only option at hand was for him to leave the country soonest possible and that’s how poor Austeen found himself dying in a foreign country.
The days sermon was all about Gods abundant love and compasssion for everyone which came from the book of psalms 103: 8-17
When it came to individual speeches from friends and family, it was amazing of how the same people who had condemned him while alive talked positively about him, but there is this one relative who had in touch with him while at the states and he said of how Austeen had longed to came back home and reunite with his friends and relatives.
My heart is still heavy for the loss of a dear friend whom i did not get a chance to talk to on his death bed or say the final few words , all because of a believe homosexuality is a disgrace to the society.
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