3rd December 2022

Is there a need for a tombstone?

Is there a need for a tombstone?
  • To live in the hearts of those we love is never to die

I fondly reminiscence the good old times I had with my grandparents. To be biased, my grandma. Far apart from my dad and mum, I had my grandmother who was caring, loving, understanding and above all, a great companion who took care of my needs.

Whatever parents fear to allow their kids to be around their grandparents for fear of making them softies, but looking at my grandma whom I give credit, she molded in me a spirit of hard work, helping those in need, respect for all and above all doing everything to the best of your ability. All this wasn’t a mere theory but something that has done practically. 

She was a mirror to all. She never went hungry. Her granary was full of enough food: maize, millet and sorghum, all obtained through her sweat. She had enough to give out to her already married daughters something that I perceived not to be quite right; they never toiled with her.

Anyway, my grandma never compromised with anyone when there was work to be done on the shamba.

I would wake up early at dawn only to find that she had my breakfast ready and a jembe or I ready to accompany her to the shamba.

A good character is the best tombstone. Those who loved you and were helped by you will remember you when forget-me-nots are withered. Carve your name on hearts, not on marble. — Charles Spurgeon 

Nevertheless, she is now gone. When I pass by her grave, a burial mound that is being encroached with green grass; underneath it lays someone who shaped the lives of many: whom children have been named after; my sister had not been left behind. 

My grandma didn’t need a tombstone. What was its purpose? To illustrate her brief history, she only needed her name that is still alive for us to enjoy her works and deeds that are full of reminiscences. 

In retrospect, it is easy for us to see the society has changed in terms of our social values. 

The society has gone s dynamic that most of us rarely do we have time for our close relatives or even our most close ones- our grandparents back upcountry. We only think of them during special occasions like Easter and Christmas, but still have not enough time to spend and share with them. 

For instance, how many parents let their children stay with their grandparents if I may say so? Definitely, with the current times that have been accompanied by changes in our social values, there is actually none.


This has been under the pretext of having no time even the coaxing of the grandparents to let them have their children stay with them. 

Definitely there is no time for them having that chance of knowing them.

We have to begin today to associate with them to learn about them, our generations and above all their creativity of their minds to pass on our cultural values; not only for us but the young ones to marvel at the beauty of our diversified cultures.