Monday, August 09, 2010

The Day After The Nightmare Began

Many thanks to those of you have left comments, words of encouragement, or even phoned to offer your support. Knowing that I have people who care is a gift that I appreciate greatly at moments like this.Your advice on how to cope, to process this event is also appreciated.

Yesterday was really messed up. I went to my friend's house after hearing of the murder, but didn't stay long as his wife had to go to jail to take him toiletries and warm clothing. Ridiculous, I know, but I'd never considered that the state doesn't always provide all the amenities to prisoners while they wait to be charged for their crimes. I went back late afternoon, and we spent the evening together.

It seemed to bring the wife comfort to talk to someone who cared for her husband too; who was as puzzled as she was. Because in a situation like this, no one wants to hear that the killer was a good person to some people ( and I can understand that too) and conversation is all about condemning the crime.

My friend's wife and the widow of the dead friend also met and talked. The widow is a home-maker, and used care for the couple'skids sometimes. She seemed to find comfort in holding my friend's baby while they chatted, cried and reminisced about their husbands' antics during the good days. And yes, it's a messed up world we live in!

Spent the morning with the wife today, chatting about her plans, cooking and freezing way too much food ( to set up her up for the busy days ahead) and baking. I think she wanted me to say it was OK for her to consider moving back to her hometown. She owns a house there ( inherited, no bond), and if she could find a job there, she'll cope better with taking care of her children on her own. Her older sister is in favour of the move, and promises to help her get settled and help out with the kids.
"You're his friend, and I don't want you to think that I'm abandoning him while he's jail," she said.

I don't. The children and their security have to be priority, and they are renters here in Joburg, and her salary won't cover rent and living expenses and childcare. We may not like it, but the state will make sure that he has a roof over his head and he's fed. As for the rest, she'll have to write him letters and maybe come visit once in a while.

So now the waiting begins. Or maybe, I should say, the abandonment of my friend begins. Because deep down, I think none of us can /will do anything to end his incarceration. The wife says she can't pay bail (first hearing is tomorrow), and the one friend who's well off enough for the bail not to impact him does not have the will.

Like us, he feels that this was a terrible thing and we all have to wait for the law to take its course. And I'm having a hard time seeing myself going to Sun City ( ahem, Johannesburg Medium A Correctional Centre) to visit him, because I am so angry with him I would probably scream at him and slap him and the police would have to arrest me too. Because, WTF WAS HE THINKING?????
Maybe in time a visit will become a consideration.


tiah said...


Tamara said...

I'm so glad your friend's wife has people like you that muck in and help with the practicalities of coping with this surreal situation. You're right that the law must now take its course, but hopefully you'll get to a point where you feel able to visit your friend, even just for closure on his perspective.

Damaria Senne said...

You're right; at some stage I will have to visit with him and ask him what happened. I think the frightening thingfor me is that I still think of him as a friend, not as someone who can and did kill. And a part of me is not comfortable with that, because before this, in my life, people who kill were not people I know. They were not people I care about. They were strangers I could easily judge and leave to the justice system.

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