Loved Lost

So, a loved one left us to go join the ancestors.

He was murdered, brutally and with unswerving intent. By the time the medics got to him he was brain dead.

It happened in an informal settlement, in a township. By the time medical help got to him he had been bleeding through his nose and mouth for well over an hour. Because of the tarred roads his blood had pooled around his head. It had not soaked into the ground, umhlaba.
Should we hope that his brain had been working such that he was capable still of great suffering, but ‘had the paramedics got there earlier they would have saved him’? Or should we hope that his brain went dead quite early on in his murder, and that even had the paramedics been as prompt as if he had been in the suburbs it would not have changed the outcome? Even our alternative worlds leave us anguished in the actual.

My loved one was murdered by an (South) African: young, male and by all accounts (certainly I, a black conscious theorist, must not escape this conclusion) a victim of his conditions. Where, oh where, is a clear and unambiguous villain when you need it most?

So, what am I dealing with here? This question is the conclusion I come to time and again. What, beyond the pain that constructs my reality, am I dealing with here?

Now, I am trained enough in formal logic to know that a conclusion is an element of an argument. All the elements of an argument are articulated in propositions. Questions, insofar as they are articulated to an argument, sometimes provide an occasion for advancing the elements of an argument, and therefore the argument. But questions are not, qua questions, elements of arguments. I should not, therefore, arrive at a conclusion stated in question form. I am, of course, permitted to restate my conclusion in proposition form.

But there it is, an element of a black consciousness: a conclusion stated in question form.
Released from sentences and propositions, with their drive towards clarity, symbolized by the full stop, my pain blurs at the edges. At the centre it remains sharply defined: I am bereaved and victim, the African male, by contrast, a villain and morally despicable. But at the peripheries, where my loved one has always resided (even in death he remains there) the pain requires active input from me to retain its character.

Speak Your Mind


Notify me of followup comments via e-mail. You can also subscribe without commenting.