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Littledee: My sister was living with HIV

I grew up knowing she will always be there, but hey, I guess it happens sometimes. To me she was like my mum. She had been sick for some time and didn't understand why nothing was helping her. She had been moved from one Hospital to another, from traditional healers to the best private doctors in our country. Why is she so ill? I was only 15 at the time 2001. She was weak, pale, fluffy hair name all the symptoms.

I knew HIV/AIDS was there, but to associate it with my sister, there was no way, and it was still a taboo to talk about it. On that fateful day I went to school, she was asleep when I leave I never said goodbye. I come back in the evening and found the house quiet, it was just too quiet for my liking, I knew for a fact that something was wrong I asked them where is Susie Lipalesa? I checked the bedroom. I went there running to found my sister wrapped in a white sheet, she was dead. We cried together said a little prayer and was taken to a morgue. I slept early that night partly because I was sad and because I wanted to ask the LORD God how can he be so cruel, He took away my mum when I was a toddler and now my loved sister.

My sisters were talking amongst themselves saying they were praying for her to die because they know nothing would help her. I had to wake up and ask them sum questions. They told me she had HIV. It’s been ten years now so much is known about the virus and the stigma is no longer as bad as in those days. Thanks to all who helped in the fight against HIV, although I lost my sister I n her memories I had to do something. Professional and otherwise. I work in a small Hospital Laboratory, at the end of the day I always smile knowing that I am helping somebody to live a healthy life.  The journey of 30 years to me has only been of 10 years. To all those who lost the loved ones, it’s true that they are gone but there is something left for us to do. Rest in peace sister I will always, always luv you. I know you’re in a better place now and no virus will ever cum to you again.

AVERT says: Emotional pain and grief or bereavement are inevitable for people whose loved ones have passed away. Everyone should feel free to grieve or mourn for as long as they wish. However the goal should be to find ways to cope with these feelings so they do not overwhelm and prohibit moving forward with life. For further information, have a look at our page on Emotional Needs and Support.