A Gentle Way

A young man died recently, just a number in the never-ending list of victims of recklessly driving the dangerous roads towards the north. He had a promising bank career, a lovely wife and a little boy of less than 2 years old.

I am particularly found of the widow. For strange (visionary) reasons, I always associated her with a tragic Russian character. Visiting her, after the unexpected accident, was one of those heart-breaking experiences, because I was lead to grieve not only her pain but my own.

I just remember to lean towards the bed where she was reclined, hug her and let all the words I couldn’t say flow in that caress. My throat was very dry and my eyes were burning with tears. Pain. Knowing that we shall never have what we had before.

I also remember leaving with something good in my heart. I thought it was the possibility of expressing my own repressed pain, but I knew it was more than that. Soon I realized that my eyes were smoothed by the gentle Mozambican way. Even middle class families live a very simple, unpretentious life. A room is just a mattress and a few straw mats on the floor. Visiting women sit on those mats, oriental fashion. They stare at the widow, while men stand silently near the door. From time to time someone sadly sighs or a family member says something nice like: “Thank you for coming in such difficult moment…”

And so I left deeply moved by the gentle way people live and die in this country.

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