Why should I apologise for being alive?

Five weeks ago life changed, circumstances changed, perceptions shifted and I became a person who started thinking of โ€˜what ifsโ€™, something I donโ€™t usually indulge in. I know Iโ€™m not the only one who has been affected after the incidence at Westgate but I also know each one of us has a unique journey that we embarked from that day onwards. It wasnโ€™t just about the people who were inside that were affected. Almost everyone I have spoken to seemed to have a family member or friend in there, or they were on the way there and something came up and they werenโ€™t able to make it, or were stuck in the traffic leading up to the roads that day. Each one of us, whether inside the building that day or not, have been affected in one way or another.

I thought journaling the entire event would help. Iโ€™m really big on doing things like that โ€“ writing it out to get it off my chest and move on with life, but for some reason Iโ€™m not able to write beyond the point when East FMโ€™s cookery competition had just started. I cannot bring myself to write about it because I start shaking and my heart races fast. I gave journals to my kids as well to vent out on and my son managed to write whatever he could, draw some pictures and got on with it. My daughter doesnโ€™t let me see her journal, and Iโ€™m ok with that too, because Iโ€™m not sure Iโ€™d want anyone to read mine. Well, not just yet.


Iโ€™ve been for counseling and healing. I talk about what happened and have rationally worked out that circumstances were beyond my control to be able to help anyone any more than I did. Every one of us inside that mall was a hero. No one stopped to think about religion, colour, height, weight, political or financial status or any other such thing. We were mere human beings helping each other out to the best of our abilities. Some were strong, others were vulnerable but we were all in this together.

Many have spoken to me and given me so much love and encouragement but I can pinpoint three who made it seem to me like I shouldnโ€™t have come out alive. These three made a point to get in touch with me and said things that made me initially gasp in disbelief but eventually I realized such hatred and vile behavior only pinpoints their own inadequacies. No oneโ€™s loss was greater than the others. We cannot begin to compare what all of us lost that day, including our dignity and sanity too. When you religiously preach that death is the true final journey, you should practice your spiritual wisdom beyond your Facebook status updates.

Also you may have lost someone inside Westgate but donโ€™t make others feel guilty for making it out alive. You see, had you had a great relationship with your loved one who passed away, you wouldnโ€™t be looking for scapegoats to blame for the death. Everyone who died in there went because of terrorists. Not because someone didnโ€™t think of dragging them along to where the ones who got out alive were hiding.

Also you need counseling more than any one of us for all this vitriol you have in you. Be kind to yourself and forgive yourself for being nasty to your loved one who unfortunately passed away that fateful day.

Iโ€™m ok. Iโ€™ve vented. Iโ€™ve written this, gotten it off my chest and feel lighter. I will move on. Have a great weekend. Iโ€™m thankful to be alive!

One thought on “Why should I apologise for being alive?

  1. Hi Kamal,
    as a survivor of Trauma myself im telling you now, Please do not feel the need to appologise for being alive!!! i am personally so glad that you and your children made it out of there with injuries that can be treated and healed in time. but then theres the actual mental and emotional trauma that may well last a life time! i am also deeply sorry for the loss of your dear friends who were taken by the terroists. the rubbish the others are saying to you is just not right, and i will defend you against these people. i have also contacted you via my Facebook account Ray Smith i cant use my name on such a public forum because of people and the situation related around my own abusive family and the trauma associated with it. i hope this doesnt freak you out too much..just so you know! you have handled this well. with grace and honesty! i commend you wholeheartedly! healing will not come immediately, but you must take steps for the bigger wider outcome in the future! dont let it affect you, like i said, you are a beautiful positive person and mother, and quite frankly it would be a pleasure to have a coffee and debate the world and girly issues with you, damn distance, me in aus and you in magnificent kenya! i send my love and regards to you again and your children, family and friends, you arent forgotten girly!
    Tianna “Ray” Muirhead xo โค
    p.s look forward to more posts on your blog! ๐Ÿ˜‰


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