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Friday, June 27, 2008

Father Forgive them! R.I.P. Kamau G.

One of my friends and colleagues from High School (Campion) has passed away. I do not know all the details, I do not even know exactly when his death occurred. What I do know is that I have lost another person that made my life better when I was a young one, and made the lives of others richer.

He was always smiling, he was a great chap. From the Pagoda to scrimmage to just shooting the breeze, waiting in the parking lot.

Like many of my friends whom I did not stay in contact with after high school (mainly because I left Jamaica) my image of him is always in Khaki uniforms. I can see it now, shirt slight ruffled because a whole day of school has gone through, everyone jostling each other, yelling out "AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH" when someone trips. There was nothing but joy back in high school. Even death was fleeting, we lost a friend our last year of school and we just celebrated their life and did not dwell on the pain. But now that I have gotten older, death hits me harder. I realize that, it is actually something I cannot stop, it creeps towards me. As I heard a couple weeks ago "Life is a terminal illness."

Kamau was always in my mind, incredibly strong. He was fast, I mean 'do not bother racing him, he will kick your ass' fast. When someone whom I can only remember as the epitome of fitness and vitality passes in a sudden shocking manner, it is hard to believe because all I can remember them as is living life to its utmost.

My friend Derrick said this as we were exchanging shock about the news:
"In my opinion people need to stop dying.

Don't die Aaron."

I love Derrick, he knows the best things to say. It put a smile on my face and reminded me, to just keep on living, and come what may...don't die!

I'm sure I could with time, sit down and write a better blog, a better memorial, but then it would never be as true as this one is, and never be as raw as this one feels right now. I miss the kid. I hate that my friends have to die. I know that they must, I know that we all must. I know I will. And when my time comes, may I face it with dignity. But for now, I must mourn another friend. I must say a prayer for his family, and I must face the shocking reality that I did not stay as close in touch with him as I should have.

Father, forgive me!

To all my other friends, I pray for you, I pray for your health, I hope we all live to the age where we can look back and talk about "When I was young we used to do this..."

Rest In Peace, Kamau Graham!


ron said...

Yo J...just came across your blog. Bowy...the Kamau thing is so unfortunate man. I agree with everything you said and though I also did not keep in touch with him since high school...anytime we ran into each other it was nothing but love and respect. Remember we used to call him "Superman"....of course cuz his athletic ability seemed so unbelievable then.

We just need to really LIVE life. Make the most of the little time we have.


Anonymous said...

I don't normally do blogs put I couldn't pass up a chance to comment on the passing of a friend..... I agree with all the aformentioned. I'm still taken a aback that I have to said something on his passing.
Kamau was the best all around athlete from scrimmage to pagoda to track and field. Believe me there was a reason for his nicknames "Superman and wildfire" He was the first in our form to be able to dunk on a 10ft rim. Not to mention on sports day he would rack up all the points for Gonzaga.....Ah those were the days. Like Cali J I left Jamaica and lost touch with friends and I've tried to restablish the link on FB. It is at times like these that stress the importance of friendships we've made in the past and that we can all take time out of our busy day to just call, msg or email our friends to see how they are doing. Something so simple could mean so much. My prayers go out to his family and friends who are all deeply saddened by his passing.
Kamau you will never be forgotten!!


Cali J said...

Blessings to you both. This is one of those moments when the Campion family near and far comes to get together as one.

Out here in Cali the closest Jamaican person I know to me is my brother and he and I live 2 hours from each other. We rarely see each other, I think is bout time that change.

I know many peeps hate social networks like facebook, but for a member of the Diaspora like myself, it is the greatest thing ever made. People have kept me updated on what is going on, helped with some of the confusion and the lack of news.

Part of the increased shock of dealing with the news was that when I first got it, I had to deal with trying to realize which of the Kamau's? We went to school with 3 Kamau's and I was loath to start contacting people to ask "have you heard about Kamau?" because I did not want to spread panic and share the confusion I had with others.

I keep scanning all the local stations/web pages for more details and I cannot find out much, if anyone reading this has details please let me know more. I tried a google search and it led me back to, the blog. (I have never been so frustrated to come back to my own blog)

Please all, say a prayer for his family, say a prayer for your friends who are still with us, and say a prayer for our country.

Again, R.I.P. Kamau G.

MarioG said...

What? Kamau? I am still in a state of shock, and all I can say is my prayers go out, and Aaron, this is what blogs are about...meaningful, honest self-expression, and it couldn't be written any other way.

Seke Baugh said...

Could not believe it when I got the message on Friday. I immediately started calling people to find out if there was any truth to it. I was really hoping it was all a false alarm, but then another call came in relating the shocking events that I personally did not want to hear. Its a great loss when an individual that you admired and looked up to has passed away. My God Kamau and I played on the same scrimmage field, pagodas, volleyball and basketball court on many occasions. I remember him as a great friend, athlete and a mentor.
My prayers go out to both his immediate and extended family. Kamua Graham you will surely be missed . Rest in peace bro.

Dwight said...

Great shock indeed when i got the call friday all i could ask was why dont know the details buts its sad another campionite with so much expectations life put out ....

Anonymous said...

Cali J,
Thanks for your blog.Well written. I've been scouring the J'can media since last night trying to find something but like you said, all we have is the blog. I didn't go to Campion so now I'm going crazy trying to figure out if this is the Kamau I knew.I didn't want to set off an unnecessary panic attack either. Of course it would have helped if I had kept in contact too. Was he the only Kamau Graham of the 3 you mentioned going to school with? Has anybody even got the details yet? I got quick and sketchy facts but I'm hoping the blog will give more. Thanks all.

Abeni said...

Well said Aaron. I have already lost classmates and it hurts real bad. You expect to grow old together and all that so it is just a lot of hurt and confusion when one goes so young

Stunner said...

Sorry to hear about the passing of your friend. It is always hard to loose a dear one. Sometimes the best of words can't describe the feelings.

Sharon H. said...

I agree with everyone, that the news about Kamau was very shocking. It is always sad to hear when another young person is taken from us so soon. I knew Kamau from Wolmer's Prep and also went to Campion with him. Like most of you, I left Jamaica right after high school so I lost touch with most people. I am grateful for social networks like facebook, and internet blogs, that keep us up to date on things. My prayers go out to Kamau and his family and friends. He will be truly missed. Walk with God my brethren, you are free.

Anonymous said...

Kamau will be missed. My memory of him is the same as those posted. Loud, indomitable and strong. I also remember him being very approachable and not drunk on his own press. Strength and humility is a rare combination.

Ours prayers go out to his friends and family.

Anonymous said...

Kamau Graham is a real good friend of mine... I worked with his father at the Travel Agency some years ago where he and I became real good friends... So much to say about how wonderful a friend he has/had been to me. I miss him so much. He had this distinct way of laughing and even calling my name...He was my pal...

For those who don't know, I received a phone call on Friday, June 27,08 to say that Mr. Graham's son, YOUR FRIEND, KAMAU died on Thursday, June 26,08. (UNBELIEVABLE) How? He drowned at Hellshire. I am still in disbelief...He was like my motivation in the past. we developed a r.ship where no matter if we don't talk in like's always like old times - cheese cake moments, burger king days, trying to teach me latin dance moves especially the spins, reading his poems for me (great poet) and not to mention to help me with math (never happened). He will always be my dearest friend... Gonna so miss him...

Moe rest in peace...


Cleopatra Coward said...

Man...(sigh)...I really don't even know where to start. I must say that Kamau and I worked at National Commercial Bank together in Accounts Dept. before he left for KPMG. They used to say I was the ring-leader for our little group - trio (Kayona, Cleopatra (me) & Kamau). I remember when we used to train for netball and he used to be "like Mike" - flying in the air and I used to say, "Man, how did you do that?" am really in a state of DISBELIEF right now.

I must say I got the news via "tagged" (something more like facebook) and I had to call one of our other ex-coworkers and asked if what I heard or was reading was indeed TRUE????? I vividly remember our days at NCB and this one time that stood out clearly when we had a "social" put on by the Vybes Club and we represented Accounts Dept. in a domino tournament - We won the trophy and personal medals. That medal will be polished and treasured in remembrance of "Mau" word...I need to know if this is true or if I am having a bad I really need to wake up??????? Someone, please answer me!

Big Sis said...

I met Kamau years ago when we were both members of a youth choir. Each older member was assigned a younger member as a "sibbling" and I got Kamau. We developed a wonderful relationship and confided in each other. He always called me "sis" and I called him "bro". I love you and miss you little bro. Please rest in peace.

Kamau Francis said...

Seke..thanks for for the call, though I didn't get a follow up.

I've known K.G. since grade 3 Wolmer's Prep, all through our years at Campion and even through to UWI. Saw him 2 months ago, briefly, since in our adults lives we are all too busy to slow down a bit. This is a shocker indeed...left lab early on Friday when it was confirmed. We used to live very near each other (walking distance) and many days were spent idling with the Atari console, watching T.V. or idling with Andre Foreman. In school, he was too fast..I could never catch him. Still remember when the runt grew past me, man was I worried, cause he was short, which meant I was a stump (thank God for the late growth spurt).

K.G. was always humble. Saw him in the latter years when we were at UWI (actually gave him a lift home) and when I asked him why he didn't drive, he said he didn't have a licence..didn't need one, since buses ran everywhere he needed to go.

Tis the end of a brief road, a road which I never expected to end. I've lost a friend...20 years is a long time, but not long enough.
Rest in Peace Kamau.

Shelli said...

Thanks for this Aaron.
This blog and these comments took me way back to high school...seeing Kamau strutting along the corridors - a string of his latest lunchtime victims hobbling behind :)
As a 3-2 girl, we'd only hear tales of these gravity-defying feats that took place on the courts at deep dean. and it wasn't until a small group of us actually ventured down there to witness it, did we really understand why y'all called him Superman. :)
He was super indeed.

So Kamau, for all the Street Fighter matches, slam dunk displays and support for the girls during netball season...thanks :)

DLowe said...

I can't explain the shock when I got the phone call with the news. All I could think about was the high school summer days when I would walk three houses down and spend hours chilling, playing backyard cricket, football, dominoes, basketball and pool with him. Those were the glory days. A great friend. I will miss him. I know you're in a better place Kamau. Peace. DLowe

Anonymous said...

Thank you for this blog. I have been looking for details regarding his passing on the net and found nothing. But it really doesn't matter how he went....he is gone forever. At least here we can cherish him and share a few fond memories.
I knew kamau for several years. We attended church together, extra lessons, and he dated a couple of my friends. Many a day was spent shooting the breeze and running jokes. We went through quite a bit together, and he was one of my closest friends. Moving away meant less contact, but when we did buck was like no time had passed. I will miss you "MOO". RIP friend.

Kamau Francis said...

Saturday July 12, 2008, UWI Mona Chapel, 10:00 a.m. then Dovecot.

Kimz said...

It still hasn't sunk in... we rolled with the same circle of friends for yeeeeaaars... always a hail and a hug and a quick catch up anytime we passed... bout a year ago my mom went into business with his dad and it was all laughing and jokes when we realized what was what and who was who and just how small the world is... the phone call that night is still ringing in my ears... seeing his father and the uncontrollable tears is still heartbreaking.... tomorrow will be a difficult day... but we were blessed to have been counted amongst his friends... the pool table will ever be the same without you Moo... you are loved and will be eternally missed... our prayers are with your family, your wife, and to anyone who has ever been touched by the beautiful spirit that was you... "was" feels so strange...

to everyone in the church tomorrow... we will be there with you, both in body and in spirit... hold your heads high, and celebrate the life that we were all so blessed to have been touched by... the family has asked for cheerful colours, let's honour him properly and respect their wishes... donations are being taking towards Bustamante Children's Hospital... let's give of ourselves in honour of a good friend... and a good man, gone too soon, but not forgotten... Love you KG, K.

Kayona said...

Kamau was a dear friend as Lady Patra (Cleopatra) stated in her blog we coming from NCB days although they were short they were wonderful..... Kamau or Mau as we would call him was fun loving....He loved life and he lived each moment to it's fullest....Cleo remember OCHO RIOS party I still have it on video tape when you guys were dancing on the pool deck OMG!!!!! I cant believe friend Kamau.....even now tears are in eyes for a fallen friend....I dont think any of us are really prepared to handle the issue of death especially the untimely one of one so young and full of life and love.....knowing Mau, he would probably be saying hey whe yuh did deh all this time fe tell me dis to me face.....but life sometimes put you in a position of reflection to take you back to whats really important in life.....everyone comes into your life for a season and a reason and then they are spirit is so sad....I lost a wonderful friend.....Kamau drove all the way to Montego Bay for my wedding and even ushered (although he was slated to) but just goes to show, he had one of the kindest spirits I have ever come across.....He was happy, and more often than not brutally honest.....I LOVE MY FRIEND, although he is now asleep and cannot hear, but I hope and pray the angels will take all of our heart felt messages to him so that he will know that he is dearly missed...... Imagine I came to Jamaica for a surprise visit at which time i was really hoping to see him and his wife (who I would have been meeting for the first time) but I was the one who was in for a horrible shock....i came down the wednesday and I heard he passed on the Thursday OMG!!!OMG!!! its still hard to talk about someone so dear to me who has touched my life in some many being gone forever....My heart goes out to his family and especially his will never be alone because his love will be with you always through the love of his friends......He was truly remarkable!!!! Love yah Mau.....
PS...Please could someone email some pictures of the funeral as I had to return before funeral email address!!!!
I must say however that when I heard of how he passed, for all of you who know Mau my first response was that is not the Kamau I know, he loved life and the joy of living too much...AND THIS IS THE KAMAU I WILL ALWAYS REMEMBER....Full of Live, Full of Love, Full of Joy and Laughter....a precious soul my friend Kamau....Love, Hugs and tons of smooches KG from your friend in this world and the next..Kayona RIP babes.....

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Cali-J ueber alles in der Welt. Some think that I am mean; (I call them friends), in fact I am not that mean. What I am is sarcastic and dry to the sandpaper level. I have friends that I have never said a kind word to their face, but I praise to the ends of the earth to anyone I know and will defend them to the end. That’s just how I roll! My boys know that I am down for them, my girls know that no matter what I will keep them safe (and occasionally flirt with them [If you are a female friend of mine and think I haven’t flirted with you it just means you didn’t notice, it was extremely subtle or…not yet ]). No one is safe from my sarcasm even my own parents; hence of course as a kid I spent a significant amount of time in punishment. I treat people with respect if I think they deserve it – everyone starts off with the same amount of respect from me (a lot). You don’t need to earn my respect; you have to keep my respect.