Yesterday was a hard day,

I woke up as usual,

Did morning things that mothers do,

As I head out to work,

I check my messages,

One of them disorients me,

It said, “Wairimu has rested”

I mumble to my house help,

Tumepoteza Mwalimu (We have lost a teacher),

And walked out,

In my disoriented state,

I went back and forth from my house to the car and back to the house three times,

First I forgot the car keys,

Then the gate key,

Then nothing at all,

I open my car,

I sit in there,

I cry,

Just like that,

A life had transcended to the other world…

In denial, I request my HOD to confirm from family,

Confirmation comes,

With instruction to disseminate the information to our colleagues,

The last time I wrote a tragic message,

Was when my dad passed away,

Mzee Kebenei amelala, I recall

I do the needful.

I head out,

To the world of daily toil,

I recall the times I have known her,

I went to college with her,

She had beautiful handwriting,

The to go to person when I missed a class,

She loved reading,

She willingly shared her novel,

She loved snoozing,

We teased her sleeping in class,

She still got the notes right though…

Once we graduated,

She started blogging,

And reading her blogs,

Encouraged me to start my own…

We registered for professional exams together,

Revised together,

Sharing teas somewhere near St. Paul University,

Together with a few other classmates,

Together we passed,

That was a big milestone in our profession,

We should have gathered and celebrated, No?


She traveled,

She pursued her passions,

From Furniture design, to clothes and bags,

Bags became her brand,

She was Wairimu of …

Nisisi… Carry us wherever you go…

We kept in touch, on and off..

I learnt she was dealing with stuff,

We discussed, I probed, she shared,

She was a private person,

I guarded that,

Then we started working together, at Kenyatta University,

First part time,

You have to be passionate about teaching to lecture part time,

But she did with so much dedication,

We shared studio moments,

She shared her passion,

She brought to KU professionals to interact with students,

Shared with students success stories,

Of those who ventured even out of architecture,

I admired her dedication,

I later jokingly told her,

I love teaching,

But I wouldn’t teach part time,

Then she joined us officially,

Then her health went south,

Then COVID came,

First lock-down,

Then I started visiting her,

Shared intimate conversations,

Of life experiences,

She shared her challenges,

I shared mine,

And she understood,

And in those moments,

We questioned, God,

Faith vs. Reason,

We never got to the end of that,

She introduced her entire B.Arch. class to her parents,

On the final day of our year 6 presentation,

That I learnt on the second visit visit,

This is Judy, She was in my class in JKUAT

Judy the small one,


This was a funny introduction,

Wairimu has rested indeed,

I got to our office,

She sat next to me,

I walked to her desk,

Her name, stared at me,

Declaring the emptiness,

I wanted to pull it down,

So it stops mocking the reality,

Of the desk she would never sit on,

I discarded the idea,

And went to wash my face instead,

The passages spoke,

Of the moments of ‘hi’ that will never happen,

The administrative duties needed,

Spoke of finalities of who she was to us,

And who she will never be,

Nimo, We called her that,

Is indeed rested,

And as I drove back home,

With the pitter patter of the raindrops on the windshield,

And the swishing of the wipers,

I cried some more,

Goodbye Ruth,

Life is not ended,

It is transformed…

They are not dead those who still live in the hearts of the living…

Rest in perfect peace beautiful,

The heavens have gained a beautiful soul indeed…