Nairobi News


BLOG: What’s the purpose of life when death strips us of everything?

What is life? What is our purpose here? Will we ever know when we achieve it?

This past week has reminded me how fleeting this thing we call life is and how we can’t possibly determine our future. Our plans, our dreams… they could all be for nought.

It started last Friday, when I saw a post on Facebook about the passing on of a former schoolmate. I had met her again while at university so the news was quite shocking. It had been a while, but I cried like I had just met her the day before. She was sick and died while receiving treatment. She was not yet even 30 years old.

Later in the week, I happened to stumble upon the recovery process of a body that had been found in on a footbridge in Westlands. The man had died in the gap between the pillar and stairs of the footbridge.


We couldn’t understand how he got there in the first place, it was so hard to reach him. It took like 10 people, strong ropes and a fire department ladder for the team to get him out. His body had badly decayed, beyond recognition.

I told my colleague that it was a sad way to die – all alone, your family unaware of your fate.

My co-worker told me that it was only sad for the family. The dead person didn’t know that they died alone, they are just gone.

I tried to argue that there are better ways to go than others, like peacefully in one’s sleep at the ripe old age of 100 years. He said that that was nonsense, it was all the same. The people left behind would be hurt the same way.

Today, as I pen this down , it’s just a few days after I found out that a person from my childhood, a neighbor and a family friend was gunned down by thugs. The guy was in his mid twenties, handsome, no wife or child, just starting out in his career.


I do not understand the senseless violence that was meted out against him to end his life. I’m still reeling in shock.

I somewhat understood what my colleague was saying once the unbelievable news sunk in. Death will visit us like a robber. It does not announce itself, but its impact is felt by those who are left behind.

The hopes and dreams of the deceased live on in those who they talked to, lived with and worked with and loved.

It is at this point that I realized the seriousness of wedding vows, “Till death do us part…”. We acknowledge that we will one day die.

All I can hope and pray for is a long life so that I can get to raise my daughter and see her stand on her own feet.

Which begs the question, what is life? Is it about making money, travelling, eating in gourmet restaurants- living to the fullest or leaving a mark in people’s minds and hearts?

It is up to each and every one of us, really. We should learn to live each day like it is our last. I have made a decision to do so, as we know not the hour or the day.

Rest in peace, Amos.