Bradley

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Last year on a day like this – 28th June 2015 – a three year old boy who had been out of school with the sniffles asked his dad if he would resume school the next day. It was a Sunday night. The family had just had dinner. The dad lowered his Sunday paper slightly and said, “Yes, now go see if your school bag is ready.” Off he scooted.  

The next day the school bus that had just dropped this boy home reversed over him and crushed him to death.

That boy was called Bradley.

I heard the news on social media while in the office. It was late afternoon. My son was only a year old at the time. I was horrified! Thinking about a school van running over my little boy made the tips of my fingers so cold. For the longest time after that I thought about Bradley’s dad on and off. What space was he in as a father? How much damage had that done to him as a man? Did he see his son in his sleep? What do you do with your dead son’s baby shoes? Ben 10 boxers. Do you pack away his toys in small sad boxes? Does the echo of his laughter ever leave the walls of your house?

Two months ago I tracked him down. I called a pal, Kevin, who lives in Nyayo estate where little Bradley lived and asked if he could trace his father and get his number for me.  He didn’t, but he got me the number of a lady called Risper who had organised a vigil for the family. I asked Risper to ask Bradley’s father, on my behalf, if he was in a space to talk to me about that loss. He said it was cool.

    ***

I meet Robert Paul Onyango in their red bricked offices at Capitol Hill Towers on a glum Friday evening. Robert is a lawyer with Rachuonyo and Rachuonyo Advocates. He’s tall and dark, clean shaven and wears thin-rimmed spectacles. We meet in a small boardroom, just big enough to swing a cat in. Outside, rain pours in thin, furious sheets. Floods sweep twigs and debris down the street. Cars sit in a long, winding jam on Cathedral  road below, their wipers waving incessant goodbyes.

Robert slumps in his chair. He has a watch on each wrist. After niceties I say, “Tell me what happened that day.” He sighs, pauses for a second, and says, “Do you mind if we close the door?”

So he closes the door to the boardroom and opens another very dark door packed with grotesque and horror, white in the belly like a fallen reptile.

He remembers that there was a fire in Gikomba market on that day. His wife was in her last trimester of pregnancy with their fourth son. He had on a black suit and a blue tie. He can’t remember the socks. Just another day in the office. At 1pm his wife – Irene – rang his mobile. She was screaming hysterically: “Call home, call Bradley, call Jackie!” He hung up and, standing at the window, confused, he called their nanny, Jackie. Jackie was screaming incoherently as well. He could hear screams in the background. Chilling screams. Rising hysteria.

That’s the thing. You can be sitting at your desk in the office pushing paper while, unbeknownst to you, death is dragging away your child. And you remain completely oblivious how your life is about to change forever.

The screams froze him, made him weak. He asked one of his colleagues, Sharon, to drive him because he was confused and his heart was hammering away under his chest. They drove right into Mombasa Road traffic, all the while his hands were shaking and he was praying loudly in the car. “I had never prayed loudly in my life but I begged God,” he says, “I told him repeatedly; God please let me find my boy okay. Please, God, let my son be okay.”

Sharon assured him. She kept saying he will be fine.

They finally got to the AAR center in Nyayo estate to find a big crowd gathered outside. “I got out of the car and walked inside, and the first thing I saw was my pregnant wife, holding my son, holding Bradley, screaming and telling me, ‘Imagine this boy is dead! Imagine this boy is dead!’ I stood there, numb, looking at my son with confusion. He looked broken, his teeth were disfigured, one of his eyes was looking away in an inhuman position. I couldn’t move. I couldn’t understand. Comprehension was not possible. Bradley can not be dead. I saw him THIS morning! He had his school uniform on. I saw him…

He stops talking. Silence descends in the room like black fog. His eyes avoids mine, finds a spot on the table and settles there. He slowly runs his tongue on his lower lips, a sign I would later recognise as him fighting back emotions. I sit back and stare out the window; trees sway and lash in the storm. While Nairobi is flooding outside raw emotions are filling the boardroom, climbing up our knees.

“Did you hold him?” I finally ask.

He went to where the police were standing and spoke to them. He can’t recall the conversation but he can recall the curious crowd pressing in. His son had become a public spectacle. A freak show. These people would go back and sit around dinner in their homes, with their children and shake their heads somberly at his tragedy and then retire to bed. But him? That was his whole life lying right there, with crushed bones and punctured lungs.

He went back to where Bradley had now been covered in a white sheet. His poor boy covered in a white sheet! Like luggage! They wanted to take him to a car to transport him to the morgue and he said firmly, “Don’t touch him, I will carry him.”

So he carried his boy for the first time since he had stopped breathing. He held him in his arms. He held Bradley who wasn’t Bradley anymore but a bundle in white sheet. Bradley still in his school uniform, the uniform of death. He carried him outside to the waiting car. Bradley was going to leave Nyayo estate a bundle of white sheet.

“How did you feel carrying your dead son?” I ask.

He looks at me and says, “Have you ever carried a dead body? Your own blood and flesh, your dead son? Death comes with a lot of weight. I had carried this boy countless times; to take him to bed, or when we were playing around, but I remember how heavy he was, abnormally so. I also remember how broken he felt. Like his bones had been disarranged and moved about in his body.  I could feel how my boy had been crushed by that school van. I remember wondering how much pain he had felt. It made me sick and sad. It truly made me so sick to imagine that son had suffered dying.”

Bradley was taken to the morgue. Robert went back to the AAR center and asked those doctors if his son had felt pain. If he had died quickly or had he suffered under that school van. He wanted to know. He needed to know.

Robert and his wife have two other sons; Jason, 5, and Martin, 9. When he went back home he was faced with telling his sons that their brother was dead. But word had already gotten to them. Jason said, “I was told Bradley is dead and was taken to the hospital. When will he come back?” He was at loss. How do you explain to your sons that their little brother is dead and will not be coming back again? How do you explain to them the concept of death when you haven’t quite grasped it  or comprehended it yourself?”

The boys cried. Their mother cried. There was a lot of crying in the house. The house became hollow like a dead tree trunk. You opened a door or a closet and grief spilled out and submerged everything. Every fabric stained with sorrow. Joy fled Robert’s household.

“I called my dad, who was over 400kms away in shags,” Robert says. “By 9pm he was at my door. Having my father around during a time like that was very reassuring because you don’t know what a man is supposed to do in situations like those. Nobody prepares you on how to handle the death of your son. My step sister never left my side, and I have never found a way of thanking her. My step mom came around, we are tight. We are all tight. Having family around was greatly comforting. I never had to do anything. My friends, my boys, took care of everything, all the arrangements. Great guys. They knew I couldn’t function. I was numb and confused, like I had just entered someone’s nightmare. I watched things happen like a dream. I was worried for my wife. I thought I couldn’t afford to bury one son and then lose another if my wife miscarried.”

Back in the boardroom his phone suddenly rings. He holds it up and says, “Sorry, maybe I need to put this on silent.” I say it’s fine, pick it. While he speaks into the phone the rain abates outside. The sky turns a spooky black-grey, with sombre clouds that look like what the devil uses to wipe his brow. Street lights come on outside but the light doesn’t chase the darkness in the boardroom.

“How was that first night?” I ask after he hangs up.

The first night – and many days until the funeral – the boys all decided to sleep with their mom in their bedroom. They piled in with her in their bed and she held them desperately, clinging to them, her remaining boys, the ones death hadn’t perched on. He spent the night in the boys’ bedroom. Robert is a tall guy, about 6’3’’. He crept into Bradley’s bed and curled up there like a fetus. The death of his son had shrunk him into a boy.  In his dead son’s bed he lay still, staring at nothing without seeing anything.

“I was so scared.” he mumbles, biting his lips. Pause.  “I was so scared,” he repeats, this time to himself.

Those words reverberate in the room like a ricocheting bullet, looking for some form of sanity to embed itself in. That admission, the first sign of emotion, strips him of everything he has been since I first met him. He stops being a lawyer, a father, a husband or even a man. He simply becomes Bradley’s dad.

For a week he couldn’t sleep with the lights off. Darkness terrified him.

He barely slept. He stayed up, lights on, thinking about his dead son.

“What exactly were you thinking about those nights?” I ask.

“I constantly heard the sound of a school van’s engine and the sound of breaking bones as the van reversed over my son. I heard it over and over in my mind. It was like rewinding a movie scene.” he says.

The funny thing about the sun is that it always rises even after the darkest days. And the sun kept rising on the darkness that embraced Robert’s family, day after day. On Wednesday, after persistence, Robert’s wife, Irene, said she wanted to go to the morgue to see her son. So they went.

“The morgue attendants advised us that it wasn’t a good idea to see the boy because they hadn’t patched him up since it was a police case. But my wife was adamant, she said, ‘This is my son, dead or alive, I will see him in any form.’ So we went in the morgue and he was brought out, broken and bloodied, and Irene held his small hand in both her hands and she cried and cried. She spoke to him and apologised for not being there to save him, for not being there when he needed her the most. I couldn’t bare watch her in that kind of pain.”

“When did you cry through this whole ordeal?” I ask.

“I really wish I had. If I was to turn back the clock, I would cry. I would cry before anyone and everyone, and not care what people thought. I didn’t cry because I thought that because I had sons, and because my wife was expectant, I needed to show strength at that time, to show hope. By refusing to cry, by not showing too much emotion, I later came to realise that it hurt me seriously. It damaged me.”

“How so?”  

“I realised that I was angry at everybody who was trying to reach out to me. I didn’t know that I was getting into depression. I was in pain, but sometimes you can be in pain yet you don’t even know it. A friend told me to seek help and I laughed, because come on, isn’t counseling a mzungu thing? But then I saw one eventually, and it helped me deal with some bits of the loss.”

“When did it really sink in that your son was dead?”

“When we were driving from shags after the burial and I looked in the rearview mirror and one seat was empty at the back. Bradley’s seat. We were a family of five, now we were a family of four. One of us was missing and was always going to miss. That got me very emotional.”

“Life has changed so much since I lost my son,” he says. “I have changed personally. I can never sleep before midnight. I stay up late in the sitting room. My wife thinks I stay up watching football, but I stay up to talk to his picture on the wall. Sometimes I bring the framed picture and put it on the table and I talk to him,” he looks at me and chuckles, “it sounds crazy, doesn’t it?”

“I don’t think so…” I mumble.

“Sometimes I pray, and I pray through him because I believe all children go straight to God when they die

“So when you sit in the living room alone talking to him, what do you tell him?” I ask.

“I tell him that we will never forget him. That we still think about him every day. Sometimes before I travel I look at his photo and ask him not to allow anything to happen to me on the road.”

We don’t say anything for a while. The sky outside is lit, the skyline of the city center glows under a warm amber of light. Fireflies.The footfalls outside the door have become less. Corporate Nairobi is shutting down. It’s closing time.

“God never prepares men to lose their children,” he says. “Women are expected to wail and cry and lose themselves in grief, but not us. I wonder how other men behave when they lose their kids. Do they go through the same things I’m going through? I ask myself these questions often. You know, I wish I could meet men who have gone through the same…yeah, I’d like that.”

“Did you ever meet the driver of that school van that killed Bradley?” I ask.

He shifts in his seat. “I saw him at the clinic the day it happened. Rather, I saw the back of his head. He was seated talking to the police, holding his head. I have never seen his face.”

“What’s your feeling towards him?”

“It was an accident, yes, but I’m angry – ”

The boardroom landline rings and he walks around the small room and answers it. “They are closing up the office, maybe we can wind up?” he tells me after he hangs up.

“Yeah, sure, of course. When you think of Bradley, do you wish there are certain things you had done for or with him? Do you have regrets?”

“He kept asking for a bike and I thought aah what will a small boy his age do with a bike anyway? So you know how it is, I kept stalling him, telling him that I will buy him one soon and I was going to when he’s slightly older. Sometimes I wish I had bought him that bike. I think about that sometimes…yes.”

“Have you ever seen that school van again?”

“Oh yes. KBY 281H, I will never forget that van. It paralyses me whenever I see it. It’s hard enough seeing any school van in traffic, messes me up. I look in buses and see other children and I think of him. It’s tough. Some mornings when I’m seated with my sons in the car while we wait for their school van to pick them up, I see the van approach and I steal a glance at my boys to see if they recognise the bus and I know they do because they always silently follow it with their eyes. I always wonder what they are thinking but I can’t bear ask… it needs strength to ask certain questions…I don’t have that strength.”

“It must be tough to experience that…”

“Yeah, sometimes I look at it driving around and I say, “How can they allow that van to come back here, to continue carrying other children like nothing happened, like it didn’t crush my small boy to death?”

Happy first anniversary, Bradley.

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    1. At a moment like this, silence seems to be the only expression that fits. What can we, as mere men, say to a grieving and shattered heart? We speak today because we have a living hope. Death is no respecter of persons. Death is no respecter of youth. Death is a painful intruder and a pernicious reminder of our human condition. But I stand before you today to declare that we have a living hope and that causes us to rejoice greatly. You see, our hope today is found in the fact that Jesus is no longer entombed. He lives. And because He lives, bradley lives. Because He lives, the grieving broken heart has hope, and reason to rejoice.

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      1. God gives n he too takes away. Though he never causes death, he allows it to happen and we can’t question his decision for he is supreme. Losing a loved one n not to mention yo own blood z so devastating n it calls for a lot of strength to endure that pain. I remember that day watching news n I looked at my son n I was lost of words. But to Bradleys parents, all happen for a purpose n we only need to interprete our problems positively n for sure God is faithful to feel the gap left by the innocent soul. Let’s leave t to him, bradley z safe n happy wherever he is for sure. Glory be to God

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  1. I would say that if I was in his shoes I’d have lost my mind ages ago, but I honestly don’t think these are the things people know how to react to until shit hits you

  2. oh Jesus,so sad, so very sad….Happy First anniversary Bradley.May God continue to comfort Robert and his family in the most special way.

  3. Oiii. This is so saddening.Gave me mixed emotions. May the family continue to find refuge in God. RIP BRADLEY

  4. Really, really sad one Biko, but a reality check .. life is really short. May Bradley’s soul continue to rest in eternal peace. May the Lord continue to grant the family comfort and strength..

  5. Wow is all I can say and not the type that comes
    With amazement but the type that comes with nothing else to say,
    No one is ever prepared for death it’s so sudden even when you have prepared for it
    For month’s.
    I can’t even imagine how it feels and honestly I hope I never get to know..
    Happy first anniversary Bradley
    Your family won’t stop missing you

  6. “I have ridden in a hearse three time. All the three times the vehicle has found its way into my father’s compound. I have sat through three funeral services, didn’t hear a thing the preacher said, I have sat there staring at caskets, each bearing the body of my brothers. Nothing prepare you for such moments. Nothing prepares you to watch your mother cry, to watch your father try be strong because he is a man but you know he is devastated. Even for a chatterbox like me, words simply refuse to leave your mouth” I feel for Bradley’s dad. Like him i never got to cry, i only found solace when i wrote about it on ”3 Graves Later”. Happy anniversary Champ.

    1. That piece touched my soul in a way i can never describe!! Pole sana….May perpetual light shine upon their souls & may they rest in eternal peace. May your family continue to find strength, love & comfort in the Lord. Pole..

    2. I have just read your article Ndegwa and it is truly saddening. Let God give you special peace from above my brother.

    3. Really sad. May God give you the strength to continue walking on and focus your energy on living and carrying on from where they left

  7. Loss is the hardest thing that can happen especially a parent losing their kid.And like Baba Bradley says he wishes he could have cried and cried,it helps.
    The pain of loss falls on both men and women on equal measure, and it hurts like hell.Men,lose yourself in your grief,cry, wail do your thing but holding back hurts more.
    Baba Bradley and family, may God continually comfort you.

  8. The pain of losing a child is a dreadful and unbearable experience. Happy first anniversary Bradley, as you smile with the angels little one

  9. Pole sana Baba Bradley…i buried a child three years ago and its one of the hardest things i ever had to do…leaving your baby in a grave alone as you go back home… God will see you though…

  10. The time is 10:18 am and I’m sitting here in the office trying to fight back the tears welling in my eyes right now.
    How does one get over the loss of his son? His own flesh and blood? Too many times we hear about these tragedies on the news but we just move on with our lives. Rarely do we ever get to really understand what the affected individuals go through.
    I have felt Robert’s pain and anguish. I hope talking about this helped comfort him.

    RIP Bradley. And may God continue to comfort Bradley’s Dad and his family.

    1. I am a wreck as well! It was extremely difficult reading this piece in the office for me as well. Couldn’t stop crying yet I had to pretend that I wasn’t. Rest in Peace Bradley!

  11. Happy First Anniversary Bradley, My uttermost condolences to Robert and his family ,
    I can only imagine that pain.May God guide you and help you to grow stronger..
    Really Sad story… Cried all through… 🙁 🙁

  12. I have cried through as I read this just like the day I watched this on TV.Nothing prepares a parent for the loss of a child,God grant you strength baba Bradley,happy first anniversary Bradley……smile with the angels

  13. This reminds me of my uncle whom I lost in January after he got shot in Lodwar. My favourite uncle-Ken. He also felt like a big brother to me. Father of three. His wife was damaged. His children love me. I love them too. I have never seen my grandma that sad. One week before I had lost yet another uncle from my mother’s side.My grandfather’s health had gone south for about 4 months before my uncle Ken had passed on. I say noone is ever prepared to face death. It hits hard.

    To Robert and his family. Stay strong. God is with you.
    To Bradley. Happy anniversarry. Continue to rest with the angels.
    Bless!

  14. Tragic! I can’t even imagine his pain. Life has dealt me oftenly but i recover.,always do but I’ve always though if anything happened to my daughter I don’t think there’s a way back up from that. So i can’t imagine what he went and is still going through. Also, I think he was a great parent. For the bike, kids always want sth if not possibly anything. Had he gotten the bike he’d have started wanting sth else. He was a great parent who lost a part of himself. Very sad!

  15. I also do not understand why they would return that same bus to that same route that is psychological torture for that family. Can’t the school not send a different bus to pick up the children of that estate? That’s so crass of the school.

    1. This level of gross insensitivity is appalling!! We really should petition the school to get that bus off that route. The trauma for those children must be massive. That constant reminder is not in order at all.

  16. The pain of such a loss never leaves, you continue living until at some point you learn to function with it. May God walk with him and his family. You have captured the pain and grief perfectly.Great piece.

  17. So touching. I know what Bradley’s dad went through, Because I’ve been in those shoes myself. But I came to learn that at our weakest points, God’s strength and power becomes manifest. Happy first anniversary Bradley

  18. i’ve read through it with my heart pounding. losing a child is unimaginable to a parent. May God give them strength to overcome this tragic loss

  19. Biko you got me all emotional today, I am not a mother yet, I can’t say I know how it feels but I can only imagine. All I could think of while reading was my nieces and nephews, oh lord, and to get to see your little one lying in a pool of blood, I can’t fathom your grief. I hope you find comfort in each other as a family as you get to relive your baby’s loss. God bless you and rest Bradley’s soul. Great piece.

  20. There’s no name for a parent who looses a child. Very sad. Robert and Irene may God hold you in His arms and engulf you with His comfort one.
    Bike, a very poignant piece that captured the emotions of the father.

  21. A very telling experience. My friend just lost his son last week through chocking. It is sad to lose children that age. It is sad

  22. That father……..”God never prepares men to lose their children”….So poignant so true. Society does not equip or allow men / the boy child to feel and grieve which is so unfortunate. I thank God Robert sought helpthough only God and time will heal. Rest in eternal peace Angel Bradley.

  23. Very sad. It’s not easy to talk to people when they have lost someone; incomprehensible even, to find words of comfort for those who have lost little people who were meant to grow up into big people; not easy to break through the weight of sadness; and shoulda, coulda, woulda’s that surround them. Physical death as much as it is separation of the body from the spirit that lives on, is as personal an experience to the one who has passed as it is communal for the ones who are left behind.
    We pray for Bradley’s parents..Bradley is on the other side, blissfully happy in a place that holds God’s presence, that knows no pain, and whose beauty is unmatched on planet earth….but his parents need the strength to go on without him..so my prayer is that Christ Himself will bear their grief and carry their sorrows as He has promised in the book of Isaiah… may the God of all comfort be with the family.
    Happy Anniversay little Bradley..

  24. I cried reading this….may God continue giving Robert and his family strength, comfort and many happy memories of Bradley..

  25. May the Almighty God give the family peace… Such a traumatizing ordeal. I wouldn’t wish that on my worst enemy

  26. This has left me all too emotional.for the first I’ve tried to put myself in the shoes of that couple that lost their three children and grandchild in an accident in vain.Happy anniversary Bradley and may God heal all people out there suffering such loss.

  27. Am sitted at my desk crying, and thinking how hard it is for a parent to bury their child. God’s peace to Robert and his family. Bradley, dance with the angels (look for my mummy and give her a big high 5 from me….) Rest in Peace Baby Boy. It is well.

    1. Mukami..that bit about Bradley giving your mum a high five just wrecked me…and i cried for my mama too…
      u

  28. This is sad really sad. It pains when a young soul dies.
    “God never prepares men to lose their children,” I wish God prepares us for the loss…
    Happy first anniversary, Bradley and may your soul continue resting in PEACE.

  29. “I believe all children go straight to God when they die…” God bless baba Bradley for his strength sharing with us this

  30. There is a new Kikuyu song called ‘Handu Haria’ (or that place). Its a narration of how places or moments remind us of occurrences in our past. I can feel a lot of ‘that place’ in the life of this father. But he remains an angel and prays for his brothers and parents from heaven. He is in their lives as though he never died. I choose to keep him alive with the father till midnight.

  31. Biko, i have waited for this piece forever. Thank you for writing Robert’s heart so well. Irene and i were in high school together. When i first saw the message in a whatsapp group a year ago, i had no idea it was someone i knew. But i kept thinking about this family for the next few hours. So when i got how, i couldn’t do a thing. I had to go to the house. I remember finding Robert in the living room with a few friends or relatives. I had never met him before, he didnt know me either. I only remember him saying, i am ok guys, its my wife i fear for. Please go and see her. She is in the bedroom. I walked to the bedroom, that’s when i realized, i know this girl. She was in a daze. She might have cried all day. With a few other people, including the residents association, we rallied the estate and put together a vigil service for Bradely. I have never seen my neighbours get together like they did during this season. Now a year has gone by. Another baby has come. But Brad will never be forgotten. Thanks again Biko. I was glad i could help you get in touch with Robert.

    1. Thank you Risper for your help to Bradley’s family and for facilitating the sharing of this story. It is painful beyond measure

  32. So sad…As a mother, I don’t even want to imagine the pain of that family…sleep with the angels Bradley

  33. Wow, just wow Biko, I was crying as I read this. I pray for Bradley and his family. May our almighty God grant them peace. Rest in peace Bradley and watch over your mommy, daddy and brothers. They love and miss you dearly.

  34. Reminded me of my late brother. He was only 10years old.Happy Anniversary soldiers we love & miss you. Gone but not forgotten.. Crazily missed. I believe children go to heaven & so did Bradley & my brother Lameck&every other child.. Pole sana kwa familia.

  35. Oh the sting of death! Even the mightiest men are dented by it. Indeed, no one prepares a man to deal with such loss, only God can comfort. Perhaps it is also a lesson for us to teach our young boys how to express themselves emotionally, but in a manly way…Thank you for this heart rending piece, a reminder of the fragility of life. Thank heavens for the counselor, may light consume the darkness and bring peace, hope and forgiveness to Bradley’s family.

  36. This is a sad heartbreaking story.
    God grant peace to the family.
    And may Bradley rest with the angels forever.

  37. The things you see when you look outside a window biko! Amazing.
    As a father this made me stop and think..
    Indeed God doesn’t prepare men for the loss of their children.

  38. Very sad, as a mother can’t imagine such a thing happening and the intensity of the pain he and his family have gone through. Makes me feel like hugging my four year old son so tight. As a parent it makes me feel so helpless that there’s no way one can keep their children safe from all kinds of danger,hurt and pain. So sad. May God be with them

  39. I am extremely saddened by this story.Being a father and knowing how much I love my son ,I really sympathise with baba Bradley. May he continue to rest in peace.All we can do is to continue loving our children and thank God for their lives.

  40. I am in tears.. Too painful, too hurtful, too sad. I dont know what else to say but share with Bradley’s family pain. Even if its an ounce of it. Because I cannot possibly feel what you felt. Just know that Bradley watches over you.RIP sweet Brad.

  41. God never prepares men for any loss.Scratch that God never prepares anyone for any loss.I lost my mother 12 years ago December 12 2004.I was thirteen.Shit!You never look at life same way again.NEVER.
    Happy anniversary Bradley.

  42. It is hard to even comprehend the pain of loosing a child. It is a pain that demands to be felt (not my words,I quote a book but how true it is).

    Bradley is in Heaven. As the dad said, all children go to Heaven. May he find comfort in this and in time, healing.

  43. Very emotional. RIP Bradley and wishing Robert and family strength on their first anniversary. Remind me of 24th January 2009 when i lost my elder bro.

  44. Oh noooo.I just cant stop crying.at some point i felt i should stop reading and looked back at the number of biko’s articles i have always broken down reading. Jadudi’s story..but that was different.Biko’s mum when she died..when biko writes her anniversaries.but that is because i also lost my mum apparently called Jane as well. Then this one Bradley….oh no..I have never broken down this bad and so openly in the office. I feel the pain..I feel the HURT….My heart is aching. This is so devastating..What i have learned all these years is that there is never really a formula on reacting to death…some go numb,some wail…but the pain and hurt is always constant…May God give grace to baba and the entire family…So sad.terribly sad

  45. I’m in tears, I just couldn’t finish reading about Bradley. I put myself in mr. Onyango’s shoes and thought about my daughter. How do you move on? May Bradley sleep well with the angels.

  46. Some mornings when I’m seated with my sons in the car while we wait for their school van to pick them up, I see the van approach and I steal a glance at my boys to see if they recognise the bus and I know they do because they always silently follow it with their eyes. I always wonder what they are thinking but I can’t bear ask…” I feel like screaming….

    1. How could the school administration allow the bus to continue operating in that route after such an incident?
      It is very insensitive of them. Am soo mad right now.

  47. As I read this sad article I was reminded of two other incidences that a school bus crashed the kids right in front of their doorsteps as the person receiving them watched in horror & shock. May Bradley’s family grow stronger and may God comfort them continually till they meet again.

  48. The saddest thing about death I always say is that life must go on. But how do you even go on after losing a child? Just thinking about mine as I read this made tears well in my eyes and I really had to fight them coz am in the office but man, all I can say is may God give Robert and his family insurmountable peace and comfort. Rest in peace Brad.

  49. Touching, Biko, You have done great just talking to The father,the opportunity to speak about it is relieving. May Bradley continue resting in peace..

  50. Its a sad story. Rest in Paradise Bradley.Dance with the Angels..Sending Prayers and love to Bradley’s family

  51. “Nobody prepares you on how to handle the death of your son”. Robert may you ind peace. I vividly remember Bradley’s death and the horror that surrounded it. Happy First Anniversary Little Boy

  52. Well, Now this shook my core, heck I was jinxed, the read sunk my heart sombre. I find solace in Bradley’s soul forever confined in a peaceful resting place. Robert, one door might be forever closed but I pray your family finds closure. .

  53. I remember that day. My sibling lives in Nyayo, with her babies. When the story first hit the estate, it was a kid had been crushed by their school van. We all went into panic mode. Then the story reached us that it was a boy…named Bradley. My sister’s tois are baby girls. But my friend and neighbour has a kid called Bradley! Panic reloaded. Then we were told it wasn’t that Bradley. It was another Bradley. In the same court. I remember what we felt. I can only imagine how Bradley’s family felt….is feeling……up till this day. Shine on your way, Bradley. Dance with the angels, at Jesus’s feet.

  54. I have cried all through reading this piece and I can’t imagine what Bradley’s family went through.Rest with the angels baby boy.Death is incomprehensible and shattering.

  55. Rip.It was a tough time for the parents. However Bradley united the community. Nyayo residents came together in a manner that may never be seen again. Rest with the angels.

  56. Here’s to Bradley, and to his broken dad who I’m sure Bradley would like to be happy, and to his mom whose pain will never go away, and to his brothers who must miss him so…and I’m sure are yet to understand it all, here’s to silent tears; and to God who pray may He wipe all the tears and hug the family.

  57. we leave all to God He gives us the streangth to go through
    all this, may Robert, Ireane and the children find peace
    so that Bradley’s soul rest in peace

  58. Bradley is definitely watching upon you Bob and nothing bad is going to happen to you or your family. No parent should ever have to bury their child. Read through the piece with tears welling up in my eyes. I don’t know if men are wired to show emotion or breakdown but deep down we all need our “safe place” where we can retreat and have a good cry. I didn’t cry for my dad since being the first born I had to be strong for my mom and siblings (try telling a nineteen year old to step into daddy’s shoes) but deep down all I wanted to do was have a good cry. Nothing ever prepares anyone to deal with the loss.
    Rest in Peace Bradley

  59. I am in tears as i read this. May God protect our children, i cannot begin to imagine the pain these parents went through. OH GOD PLEASE HEAR OUR PRAYERS WHEN WE PRAY. Continue resting in peace baby Bradley . May the parents have peace and strength… to live for the other kids.

  60. Happy first anniversary Bradley.
    May God continue healing Baba Bradley, Irene and the boys.
    Nothing really prepares one for the loss of a loved one.
    Was reminded of the couple in Ruai who burried all their 3 children and a grandchild.Death…so sad.

  61. Worst part is that there’s no word for a parent who has lost a child. Robert’s grief is palpable. May God give him and his family peace. Rest in peace Bradley. Was the driver ever prosecuted?

  62. There is no right time to loose a child, whether young or old, the pain is unbearable. May God give you peace and grace as you move on with your life. RIP Bradeley

  63. Man! You made me cry! I lost my sister when I was young boy. Now I am a father and I cannot even bear the thought of loosing my kids. Do Rest in peace Bradley

  64. Woke up this morning with a spring in my step ready to take on another day and after reading this… I can’t stop the tears streaming down my face. Life is truly very short, and I hope his family, Robert especially can find closure and peace to live each day with the joy and happiness that was once in their home. May his little soul rest in peace and keep watch over his family.

  65. I just couldn’t hold back tears as i read through this article.May the Lord strengthen Robert’s family. RIP angel Bradley!

  66. so Sad …it needs more than outer strength to overcome this ..may Robert and the family have courage to overcome this and may Bradley find peace wherever he is..

  67. Too damn sad. RIP Bradley, Happy first anniversary. May God give his family the strength to live with this

  68. I remember when the news broke and it touched a place in my heart that only the death of a child can. I prayed for the family incessantly for the next few days. I was not lost to the fact that this could happen to anyone, even me. I always did wonder about them….thanks Biko for the story.May God’s never ending grace and peace sorround Robert and his family now and forever. Bradley is dancing with the angels.

  69. The memories are so hard to swallow, I have cried yet again. Little Bradley, continue resting with the angels!

  70. This article made me think of my little boy. I cant imagine losing him. Its painful for a parent to lose a child. I pray for the parents to be strong and eventually that they may heal of all their pain.

    No parent should bury their child.

  71. I condole with the bereaved family and everyone else who has had to go through such tragedy, my advice to yall people esp to the people of faith pray using Psalms 91, Psalm 121 and Isaiah 54:17 and any other scripture to do with protection etc over your beloved I have found it help.

  72. My heart is heavy and my eyes are red now from crying. I cannot imagine being in Robert’s shoes but I still admire that he opened up and talked about something so painful. Many people just shut down and disintegrate from the inside. Robert is talking about it: That takes courage. Bradley, rest in peace. Always be kind to people;many of them are carrying burdens you cannot begin to imagine.

  73. Robert, I pray that you and your family get healed. This was a difficult experience. The part about lights, i really gets to me because i have done that before. May you be comforted.

  74. Great write up Biko! Thank you for doing this in Bradley’s honor a year later and for highlighting the dad’s perspective. As a parent, this got me thinking deeply.

  75. my heart is heavy.it pains so bad i can only imagine what Irene went and maybe still goes through.Pole Robert.you now have more than 40+million people sharing your pain.we cry with you,my brother.we pray for and with you.

  76. My heart goes out to you Robert (Baba Bradley) and to your family for what you had to endure one year ago. May God continue to give you and your family peace and comfort. Keep talking to Brad, and thanks for giving us an insight of your feelings through Biko.

    I still remember seeing the update on ma3 Route on twitter as I looked at the traffic update, and chill that went through my body then. I remember thinking about the parents of the boy at the time, thinking of my own. This has just become more real. Thanks again for sharing your story.

    Happy first anniversary Bradley. Gone, but not forgotten. Your light is still shining.

  77. Indeed there is no name for a parent who loses a child.I am a mother of two,and I can not imagine the pain…oooh how I have cried reading this,may God grant Robert and his family comfort in the knowledge that Bradley is with the Angels…happy first anniversary Bradley.

  78. Bradley,Rip,this article,a
    Masterpiece..I remember how my brother passed on after feeding him n giving him medicine around 7pm that Sunday evening February 2016,and the night was long and difficult to bear,and I think I never got enough time to cry,
    But I must say God is indeed a great comforter,,,I can’t explain how but He’s indeed a comforter..shalom.

  79. I have cried reading this piece, the loss of your child can’t be described. May the family find healing.

  80. Thank you Biko for giving Robert the audience, I wish I could get mine, I lost my daughter 11 years ago to choking. The pain does not go away.

  81. saddest I have read!! Am a parent but I cant even begin to imagine the pain of these parents…. God grant them healing and closure….

  82. Wah!!! I have 4 young boys and this has made me so scared! Wah! How do you even handle that?! I have cried. I don’t know what I would do…

  83. Robert Paul Onyango, may God Help you and your family find peace, and may Bradley rest in eternal peace. I felt your pain to the core, I can’t even begin to imagine what you went/are going through.

  84. Happy Anniversary Bradley.I bet you found a pretty brown boy* I don’t know if people grow up in heaven* there..his name is Victor.
    Tell him mum is sorry she left him and went to the shop.And we your siblings are sorry we couldn’t save you when you died in the house…16 years on but we’re still sorry Victor.And we love you even dad who never talks about you.
    Rest in peace Bradley….I bet God got you the best bike there

  85. I am so sorry baba Bradley.
    So so sorry for your loss.
    So sorry for mama Bradley
    So sorry for Bradley’s brothers.

    I have nothing useful I can add right now but just to tell you all from the very bottom of my heart, my POLE SANA dear virtual friends.

  86. I pray for Robert and Irene and the boys. May God grant you the peace and will of acceptance. May little Bradley Rest in Peace.

    Biko…..this one got me completely. I wilsh never to reach such an article ever again.

  87. I can’t even begin to imagine how Bradley’s parents feel, loosing a child cannot be easy. But they can rest assured that he is in a better place. He served his purpose in their family short as it might have been. I’ve been to Nyayo a couple of times and I think they need to build a play ground since even to date kids just play on the roads especially in their skates. It makes me cringe every time!

  88. I couldn’t stop my tears when reading through this post. Such a pity. Death is shameful and just like someone commented it is a burden we have to bear for loving our loved one. It’s been four years but I still shed tears for the loss of my mama. I also ask my mother to pray for me when in difficult circumstances. she was a prayerful woman, I believe she met her maker. I also went through the anger fits trying to prove to everyone I was not a helpless orphan. Fought with everyone and anyone who seemingly undermined me. like Bradley’s dad I also regret of what transpired before my mama’s death. I wish I had done things differently. I can’t imagine what he is going through for losing the son. Death is a scar that marks us for ife. it changes us. Am not the same person I was before. but just as I found healing I pray Bradley’s dad finds it too.
    Biko this is the second time our posts are somewhat similar. Am honored. You are all welcomed to read my own experience hope it will help some. and hopefully baba Bradley
    https://cessyiel.wordpress.com/2016/06/21/dealing-with-grief/

  89. Happy Anniversary Bradley.I bet you found a
    pretty brown boy* I don’t know if people
    grow up in heaven* there..his name is
    Victor.
    Tell him mum is sorry she left him and went
    to the shop.And we your siblings are sorry
    we couldn’t save you when you died in the
    house…16 years on but we’re still sorry
    Victor.And we love you even dad who never
    talks about you.
    Rest in peace Bradley….I bet God got you
    the best bike there

  90. Too sad. Rest with the Angels Bradley. To Irene and Robert may you always find comfort in our Lord Jesus. With Him all things are possible.

  91. My emotions took the better of me on this, i have felt your pain. As parents the loss of a child is imaginable, i read this and immediately shared the link with my wife, as today is our anniversary together we will not celebrate us but your life Bradley, and mostly celebrate your Ascension into heaven. God bless your family and may he give strength to your dad to heal.

    Biko…. can we have the school change the bus that plies that route?

  92. Time never quite heals that wound i should know its been 20 years and i still cry like its today, death changes you in a way even you cant explain i guess thats the price we pay for love, rest with the angels bradley say hello to Edward if you happen to bump into him,to Robert and his family, some days are better than others, but you keep on, i got this from somewhere hope it helps
    Do not stand at my grave and weep
    Am not there. I do not sleep
    Am a thousand winds that blow
    I am the diamond Glits on the snow
    I am the sunlight on ripened grain
    I am the gentle autumn rain
    When you awaken in the mornings hush
    I am the swift uplifting rush
    Of quiet birds in circled flight
    I am the soft stars that shine at night
    Do not stand at my grave and cry,
    I am not there i did not die,
    By Mart Elizabeth Frye

  93. It takes courage to speak up about your pain, Robert, especially in a society where men are erroneously supposed not to show emotions. I have cried alot. I may not have heard this story before but I felt your pain today. I will pray for your family to find peace and comfort because even though I didn’t know Bradley personally, he is in my thoughts.
    May you, Irene and your boys learn that GOD’s strength is manifested in our weakness.

  94. RIP lill Champ. I was at the vigil and I cannot forget the mood that had engulfed our Nyayo Estate. Made me yoto change schools for my lill Kwe. She rode with you in the same bus. She had just been dropped,. The news sent a cold chill up my spine. RIP

  95. am fighting back tears as I read this post not because am a man bt mainly because am reading it in a public place coz I can’t begin to comprehend what Bradleys dad went through. my wife is due in 15 days n the thought of that van reversing on my little sunshine in unbearable…my deep felt condolences n may he rest in peace. Happy anniversary Bradley

  96. The pain in this article is tangible… Well written and well told. Robert sorry for your pain,May God give you all the strength you require to sustain yourself and your family. Wouldn’t be so bad to start a support group for grieving dads. Biko Zulu pls rally the school to atleast change the bus to a diff make or at the very least a different colour and plates it’s horrible for this family to continue to see such a raw reminder of their loss day in day out.

  97. Bradley, I never met you. I knew your dad. We grew up in neighboring estates in Eastlands. I knew your mother but not in person. I wish I’d met you, Bradley. I know how your dad feels seeing that I have 2 kids too. I hope God gives your dad, mum and brothers the strength needed to be strong. Roba, whom I nicknamed Rebello while working together in the same building (Jubilee House/Place) sorry for your loss man! God knows you at

  98. To Robert,Irene and the two boys…nothing to say except that the cycle of life catches with up with us all.Yours was too soon too painful and I have cried as I read this as if nawajua nyinyi wote.Be strong.I have never been religious but what can I say except this… may God carry you through this.Rest in peace boy,till your family meets you again.

  99. This has stung, I don’t know what I would do if I lost my son. Bradley watches over you Robert… and to every man, it is okay to cry, not as a sign of weakness. But a show of love for the loss of a loved one. A sign of strength in itself, that something profound has happened.
    Rest with the Angels little Bradley

  100. So sad, the lose of a child is so painful. Happy anniversary Bradley and may God rest his soul in eternal peace. May God’s comfort and peace be with Robert, Irene and family. A peace that surpasses all understanding.

  101. I have shed tears from the beginning to the end of this story, like I knew Bradley or his father. The emotions are unbearable, I feel sorry for his parents n at the back of my mind m still wishing this is just a story you made up, that no boy was crushed and no father is agonising over the lose of his son….. Yes!

  102. Irene and Robert, what u went through and still are is heartbreaking to say the least. Even when u do not have answers, only regrets, remember God blessed u with Bradley and God took him away. God is still God, through the pain and healing. RIP sweet baby Bradley.

  103. Nothing prepares one for such sad news. I was once in the same shoes that baba Bradley was in. My cousin died and I decided to stay strong for his wife and son. One month after his burial and we were all back in town that is when I realized I should have cried just like the rest. I was hurting so much on the inside. I almost slipped into alcohalism. I learnt one thing from his death, nobody cares whether you expose your weak side especially if a loved one has departed among our midst. One week after the burial no one will even remember how you cried and fell on the ground like a small kid. All they will remember is the departed soul and not what I would dare call sideshows.

  104. It took some time to stop crying after reading this post today Biko. To Mr. Onyango may you and your family find healing and Bradley is resting well in God’s hands. I remember this story and it chilled me as a parent when you think of your child in a school van. love your children and pray for them every day. the rest we leave to God.

  105. May Bradley and all those who have gone ahead of us rest well. May his family eventually experience peace and accept that he is gone.

  106. So sad. All through as I read his story, all that was on my mind was my son. I would be so broken if I lost him. This is why I know even talking about it must have been the hardest thing for him to do. Rest with the other angels Bradley.

  107. May Robert and family find peace in Jesus name. I’m fighting back tears in the office Biko, Happy first anniversary baby Bradley

  108. wow….May his soul rest in eternal peace, and let perpetual light shine upon him. Amen….May the Lord comfort the family forever.

  109. I remember this story. Oh my! I literally felt the pain for this family. This was truly a sad day for so many people.Every time I find myself in Nyayo Estate, I remember little Bradley’s story and my heart breaks into pieces for his family. Keep seeking our Good Lord during this time. Happy first anniversary Bradley. This article reminds of when one of bestfriend’s lost her child and I traveled in darkness to be with her. I felt so very helpless! What words of comfort do you tell a grieving parent? So all we did was hug and cry until we could cry no more.

  110. All broken hearts on this earth still beats, yours beats but bruised. Happy first anniversary, Bradley

  111. The shoe can’t even fit!! What?? This is just too heartbreaking! To the family of Bradley I don’t really know what to say. I would say may God comfort you because I believe He can, but I feel like that in itself is not enough to say! Sigh.

  112. I saw this on the news when it happened and I have never forgotten it. I can’t even begin to comprehend what this family went through and I really feel for them especially the mum being in the last trimester and having to go through such deep pain. Thank God for seeing you through cz I knw how bitter the taste of death is. Men please, allow yourselves to go through the motions of grief and cry all u need to and dobt listen when people tell you to be strong because you are BROKEN at that time and you’re no longer just a man…..you are the man that loved that person. You may end up falling into that deep dark hole called depression.

  113. You welcome your child with joy and love, you embrace them, then they are torn from your love, from your embrace, from life so painfully… How does one cope with that? May Baba and Mama Bradley, as well as his siblings and family find peace, somehow…

  114. Biko thanks for telling Robert’s story……May the good grant him and family the courage and strength to bear the loss.

  115. And then they are angels who come to us for the experience of being
    human .When they leave we have no idea what hit us. Rest in peace little
    angel.

  116. The comments that readread, “Happy first year anniversary Bradley.” What do they mean? Am I missing something here?

  117. By refusing to cry, by not showing too much emotion, I later came to realise that it hurt me seriously. It damaged me. Reading this made me re-evaluate my pain. 2 years on, i thought i would never consider “talking to someone” . But reading this, exposed me to what a shell pain and loss can make one be. When a loved one turns to luggage . Thanks for sharing . Brad is in a better place, free from pain. Does every one who looses a loved one go back to ask the doc if he felt pain or it was fast and painless ? I did too.

  118. Aki Biko. Imagine I lost my phone on Sunday.A male friend in the pretense of looking out for me, over drinks, suggests to put my phone in his pocket. I had no place to secure my phone. No handbag, clutch or pocket. So later on when a bit tipsy, he excuses himself to go to the loakrooms. An hour later I realize i was robbed. Since yesterday i have been bitter at him and myself. Taking out my anger on anyone. Nimepasha makanga mwingine hapo City Stadium until an idle crowd started to boo me. Reaching CBD, I realize I need to calm down . So at a friends office, I scroll my FB page and find this. As we speak i am in tears. Bradley baba. Mungu anisamehe. Robert and your family are going through pain. Pain. Nawengine wetu hapa we just dont realize how blessed we are. I dont even know how it feels to loose a child. No where in the bible talks about a parent burying his/her child. I feel for this family. Robert is a trooper. Mimi mwandishi hawezi niuliza za kifo. Nakulenga viserious. I dont think i have such gutts. All i can say is Rest easy Angel. Robert and Irene May God grant you a peace that surpasses all human understanding. As for me i just gatta chill. Nimesob and i dont even know these people.

  119. Now why go ahead and cause that lump in my throat. I got no kid but imagining that pain is scary!
    How does one even start to reconcile with that reality?

  120. Raw emotions… May Bradely’s Dad and his family find peace; May joy come back to their home once again. Happy Anniversary Bradley!

  121. Nothing prepares you for death of your child..true.Am all in tears right now.May God put a hedge of protection over ALL of our children because we can’t do anything on our own.POLE SANA BABA BRADLEY AND FAMILY

  122. It is very sad,I shudder at the very thought of it,a close friend lost a kid through an incident like this,she didn’t cry,she just stared,during the burial ceremony she sang,”it’s well with my soul”,but 2 years later she told me it is never well,the grave is always a constant reminder that a part of her left, since the accident happened next to my house,I relocated,the images that came with passing there everyday were too much for me,and yes,my friend insisted on carrying the child to the hospital but she was already dead by the time they got there,surely nothing prepares you for the pain.

  123. I remember hearing the screeching sound of the bus but didn’t think much of it, then the nees broke. At first I was angry at the minders in that bus, every time I left the house i had to see the spot where little Brad died, the blood still there covered by a piece of wood.. I see Brad’s dad every morning when I leave for work and I wonder how he manages to wake up and pull through…sigh rest in peace angel

  124. am in tears…. i wish death prepared us…i wish there was something like a sign..a warning……….just something…rest in peace Bradley……PRAY FOR PAPA AND THE REST OF US UP THERE.

  125. Thank you Biko for sharing this story with us.. sad but encouraging at the same time. May God continue comforting the family.
    Rest well angel Bradley. God loved you more.

  126. May Bradley rest in peace. I followed that story keenly and in infuriated me thoroughly because firstly it was a careless accident, secondly the concerned school behaved funnily opting to rush into defense in complete disregard of grieving parents, thirdly my daughter attended the same school with Bradley, it could have happened to any other child in the school.
    Did the school do some sort of memorial? Prayers? A minute silence?

  127. Nothing ever prepares us for death, imagine taking your child to the hospital, a few hours later you’re informed that you’re needed in the ICU counseling unit. Death has struck.

  128. As the little infants come forth immortal from their dusty beds, they immediately wing their way to their mothers’ arms. They meet again nevermore to part. Hvn 45.

  129. Thanks for being bold to share your story, God is the great healer he will go through all this. For the author thanks for the follow up.

  130. RIP Bradley .For sure these are raw emotions , Prayers for the family . The father still needs professional help to overcome ; He is still deeply in mourning . May peace be unto the whole family .

  131. I thought i knew grief till i read this. And so many comments in a single day. I just could not help myself, i had to leave a comment for Bradley. Happy Anniversary.

  132. True…death comes with its own weight. One never recovers from loss but finds a way of coping. Only the walls around you know how you cope

  133. Death! Oh death!
    Biko how did you manage to conduct that interview and not completely break down?
    May Baby Bradley rest in paradise and may our good Lord comfort his family in the way that only He can.

  134. This piece totally wrecked my emotions. However, i have learnt one thing through all loses: Never question God about why He let it happen.He might give you an answer you don’t wanna hear.
    He gives and takes away, blesses be His name.
    Rest easy Bradley, the candle keeps burning.
    Baba Bradley, may time lesses the depth of the pain.It never goes away but it sure gets better.

  135. A well written tribute to Bradley. Mad respect to the Dad for baring his feelings to you. Thanks for sharing them so respecfully.

  136. Another sad story that I wouldnt read again. This plus the one you wrote to your mum some weeks back..they break me. They remind me of my lowest moment in life. Life is so sad when people die young..it robbed me!

  137. That was such an emotional story…Bradley, please look down on your dad and give him the peace he needs to continue with life.
    I am also wondering how Bradley’s mum is… granted she cried but i bet she will always wonder ‘if only’

  138. Where we cannot reach you with our words,May the Lord do it for you.To be absent in the body is to be present with the Lord.

  139. Sooo sorry to Robert, Irene and to your sons for the loss of Bradley. May God give you solace, taking each day at a time and forever holding dear the memories of Bradley. The blow of death is one that compares to no other.

  140. Life opens a different chapter every day and many at times we don’t how to handle what it throws at us but God gives us comfort for He knows everything happens as He alone has planned. Happy first anniversary Master Bradley!

  141. Thanks Niko for sharing this. I had to stop reading to control my tears. Nothing ever prepares one for death. When I heard the news I was devastated since I knew Robert personally . Baba Bradley and Mama Bradley I dont have words to express hope but I pray God grants you peace that transcends human understanding. .

  142. Damn! so devastating even to read. i cant imagine losing my little boy. woi. fighting tears in the morning tho! poleni sana to bradley’s family n everyone who has buried a child or a loved one.

  143. Rest in peace baby boy. May God comfort you baba Bradley, mama Bradley and your boys. May you find peace and hope in the fact that you will reunite with Bradley when the time comes. I can not even begin to imagine your pain. Hang in there.. Be well

  144. Baba Bradley and Mama Bradley, May God uphold you. I have more gratitude today because of you guys. I cry with you today too and I celebrate the gift that is Bradley.

  145. Baba Bradley,
    Pole sana for what you have had to go through with your wife and the boys! My heart is broken thinking of your turmoil!

  146. This same thing happened to missionary friends in Tanzania when their toddler ran into the driveway and was run over by his own father. The mum was my friend and also expecting. Their faith carried them through this. It was horrific

  147. There is a reason why I always read Bikozulu posts late in the evening when I am alone, there is too much content to absorb that I can simply squeeze to fit a busy 11am.
    When it’s sombre, I need time to think through and empathize, when it’s humour, I need time to feel the jokes and the puns and the sacasms and mostly as they are, when it’s life lessons, I need time to assimilate that too…

    Thanks for sharing Roberts perspective Biko.
    It’s something to think about this first anniversary of Bradley’s tragedy.

  148. I am crying openly. I am seeing Robert and imagining his pain. His wife and seeing her hollow. Please Robert get your wife and children to counselling too. Biko,ask the school to change the route of the bus please. How insensitive can they be!! Rest with the angels Bradley!!

  149. This is so emotional i had to stop like three times to finish reading…Pole sana baba Bradley…nothing prepares a prent especially for the death of a child…and there is no better way of mourning…its all God’s Grace that one can go through this but a piece of you dies with your child.

  150. I found myself crying hysterically on reading this, being a mother of 2 boys, it gives me chills to imagine anything happening to them. Dear God, watch over our little ones. Any parent out there let’s learn to always cover our children with the blood of JESUS always!

  151. My Aunt lost her son the same way. Up until today I’ve never been able to acknowledge it. I didn’t attend the funeral. Completely switched contact with my Aunt until I met my Uncle in law outside Hilton. I just didn’t know how to even start saying sorry so I blurted out that I got a job. For heavens sake! He honestly just continued talking. Maybe this could help him. I don’t know

  152. Rest in Peace Bradley, Rest in peace baba. Sad. days like this you remember to stay steadfast in your faith because we shall all meet again in the end.

  153. i was fighting tears the whole time when reading this.I cant begin understand what Irene an Robert are going through,loosing a child is unbearable.I pray that God gives you strength to keep going.
    Happy Anniversary Bradley,keep dancing with the angels baby boy!

  154. What a sad story. I like though that the father has found, is finding strength. I wonder what is going on with the driver. Does he wish he would meet Robert and Irene, apologize and bring closure to what must be digging a whole in his heart every day? or does it? Did he forget everything and move on to the next career, or was he put in jail? Biko if you can, find him, hear him, if he agrees.

  155. Happy Anniversary Bradley i cant even imagine how it felt.Never cried this much.To the parents it is well May God be with you…Rest in perfect peace Bradley.

  156. Reading this has moved me to tears. Children are lovely happy little people. I hope Bradley is happy in heaven. May he rest in eternal peace and may God continue to be with this family.
    Great work Biko

  157. Rest in Peace Bradley. May God comfort this family now and in all ways. Reading about Bradley again has brought me so many tears. Happy Anniversary little boy.

  158. Jackson Biko,if you ever doubt that you made a difference in the world,if you ever wonder whether your waves made a ripple on the face of the earth;now know that it did. Read through these memoirs of fellow men and see yourself,then proceed to present your claim before your maker. Thank you Biko. The Lord be with you Onyango’s

  159. I’m broken by this story. Thanks for raising the veil on the grief of a man. The grief of men is a very silent space.

  160. May Bradley,s soul rest in eternal peace.
    To his dad it is never easy to the kids its I can not even begin to explain, my elder son is scared for life. I lost my son called Bradley in 2005 (he was two and half years old) due to chocking. As a family things have never been the same 11 years down the line we cry, talk to him walk with him etc. I reacted same way as the wife and literally carried my baby when everyone tried to as me to let go and I can tell you I talk to him until today. Loosing a child is one burden that is heavy to carry, a scar that we must painfully bear and to Bradley’s family we pray for you. Biko I wish we could get a forum where we could sit down and share experiences and help each other through the difficult period.

  161. Its a sad and hard story to read. Death, no one can prepare you for it.
    Thank you for sharing Robert’s story.

  162. RIP Bradley. I feel for Bradley’s dad. I almost killed my own one year old son while reversing at my compound, the kid escaped with a broken leg. The trauma has been real and after reading this story I am grateful to God. But I always imagine what would have happened.

  163. No parent should suffer the pain of losing and burying a child. Its heartbreaking what this family went through. But blessed are they that mourn, for God will comfort them. May you find perfect peace in God. He will heal your broken hearts and rest assured that Bradley is in heaven…dancing with the angels.

  164. No parent should burry a child,struggling to finish the above story with goosebumps all over my body and so much pain in my heart I have no words but pole,God comfort the family! I just want to go home and hold my Cesc and not let go! In my prayers and thoughts!

  165. I could not read through, I could not stop crying, where he says; he asked to carry his dead son.
    I will come back to continue later, let me go wash my face. Its teary.

  166. My heart goes out to him, this is so sad. R.I.P Bradley.
    This reminds me of the family that lost three children and their grandchild at a go, I wonder how that family is coping now.

  167. i have a daughter,ive never known the pain that comes with the loss of a baby,and i cant possibly comprehend what Baba & Mama Bradley feel,every year,on 28th,personally i dont think id ever really truly move on,its a life changing experience,everything would suddenly become hollow.

  168. Every other day I see these idiots with their small noisy jalopies racing on estate roads like maniacs, and I am sitting here thinking… maybe they should read this piece. No one should have to bear this kind of pain.

    1
  169. Biko, Thank you for giving this grieving Father and family a voice to share their pain. This is probably the most meaningful piece you’ve ever done. May God comfort Bradley’s Dad, Mom & family as only He can.

  170. It’s extremely sad to experience such ordeal.May God always comfort Robert’s family.Happy anniversary Bradley. Biko,kudos for the great piece.

  171. Biko, you have a way with words. I felt every emotion in this article. Robert, my sincere condolences to you and your family. Bradley, rest with the angels.

  172. Tragic. May baby Bradley Rest in Eternal Peace and may his parents find closure.
    Barely two years ago, I received that same call from the mother of my child. That foreboding call that no man ever wants to receive. She was screaming saying “I can’t see my baby, I can’t see him. He’s gone!” I didn’t know what to think so I simply asked “Where has he gone? What do you mean?” And she went into a hysterical fit “I left him out here. I went into the house to pick a sweater for him. Coming back two minutes later, he was not here, he was gone. He is gone!” Then she broke down in relentless tears. I was worried. But as men, we’re not wired to show worry. We are wired to play calm even when things are not good. So I told her to try and locate him. I’m sure he’s just around the corner. Go find him please. Then hang up. It was a few minutes to 2 pm on a dreary Wednesday afternoon. I was in campus back then. Right in the middle of the exam season. At exactly two, I was scheduled to do my paper. I was sick worried. Kept wondering why this was happening now of all times. And I prayed aloud too, asked God to protect my son, keep him safe. Have mercy on us God, I kept repeating. Before I got into the exam room, I called the mum one last time. It was a friend of hers who picked up, said in the calmest voice ever “We’re at the hospital but everything is okay. I’ll call you back in a while.”
    The rest is history.
    I lost my son that day. No words can express what follows after that reality hits you. After you finally accept that your child is gone. It’s the most painful experience any human being has to face. It has been barely two years now but the pain never goes away. It’s as though it just happened. The tears never go away. The wound never heals. And at times you find yourself asking God why. Why he took your offspring away? But what hurts most is that you were never there to protect your child from the grim reaper. Did he/she suffer in the hands of death? And now that he’s gone, still a toddler, does he have someone to look after him up there? Something else that hurts most is the memories. What you did together and what you didn’t. The expectations you had, that your child will grow up and make you proud someday. I had hopes and I worked hard, dividing my time between campus and this wonderful boy who was an angel even on earth. But one September afternoon, all my dreams crumbled like a pile of cards. What I have come to realize and what I would like to tell Baba Bradley is this: God knows best. And God has his reasons. Maybe you haven’t figured out these reasons…but in God’s time you will. Trust me. You are not alone and if you ever need someone to talk to regarding your immense loss, just hit my inbox @[email protected] Blessings.

    1. Jeez, so sad Tim. I can’t imagine what one goes through but I know, that with time, God heals you and you will find your footing. It’s just never the same though.

    2. Tim you are a great man. Indeed God has a reason, and He’ll give you peace. may the young boy enjoy his life with the Lord, i believe there is life for the l;ittlr ones. for us all

  173. Death comes with a lot of weight….its a mystery and leaves this big holes in our heart,I just cant imagine the pain of burying your own child! I just can’t, I can’t

  174. Nothing can ever prepare you for the loss of a child. NOTHING. Lost my first born and only daughter suddenly too. 3 years later and I am yet to recover. The pain is indescribable. The devastation unreal. BUT GOD! Pole sana baba Bradley. May we find peace in Christ who conquered death.

  175. this reminds me when a neighbor once took my daughter without saying…
    …he went with her for hours leaving me & my wife confused!
    ” Nobody prepares you on how to handle the death of your son.” i understand that feeling of losing child though mine was for some minutes.

    Nice piece Biko.

  176. Tried fighting back my tears but I just couldn’t … But just as Baba Bradley said, men don’t act tough, there’s a time for everything… When it’s time to cry, cry… Holding back your tears destroys you from the inside… Rest in peace Bradley (another Angel in heaven ) and may the Lord be with your parents and siblings… I know that you are in a great place because in heaven, there’s no sorrow, no death, just happiness

  177. I am a mother of two beautiful babies.
    As I read today’s article I got so overwhelmed trying to place myself in baba Bradley’s shoes and u couldn’t fathom how such s thing could happen to anyone.I sobbed like a baby and I was at the garage.i didn’t care much about the strange glances I received.
    God doesn’t put you in a situation that you cannot handle.Be strong Robert and Irene.My prayers go out to your family.RIP Bradley.

  178. In tears as i read this… so sad.. To Bradley’s dad and family.. God knows the pain you went through.. he is always watching over you…Bradley will always be watching over you..

  179. I pray for Bradley’s dad.Thats a huge loss, and worse, not being able to openly mourn. Thanks biko for giving him the chance to open up, and for writing this, it makes us grateful and sensitive to those around us( i have cried).I hope he cries in the arms of his wife and sons, they need to be vulnerable to each other, talk about Bradley, share their anger, frustration, sadness, beautiful memories and love. God will heal their hearts, I know.This father needs to teach his sons now it’s ok to cry, there’s no weakness in expressing ones emotion that way.its human, it’s love.Bradley is in heaven.My deepest condolences.

  180. My heart reaches out to you Richard and your family. I pray that with time, you will find the kind of peace that only God can give. And for you Bradley, rest well little one

  181. This tears me apart to pieces – let me cry for you Bradley. Having a boy of peer to Master Bradley I don’t want to fathom what his dad, mom & brothers went through. Grace doesn’t even abound.

  182. Am at a loss, this has hit me hard. When my Mom died, her mother kept on saying, “I wish I could switch places with you my child.” She kept on repeating this,we dint get it then but now being a Mom myself, I can’t imagine the pin of loosing your child especially in such a manner.
    My heart goes out to you Baba Bradley and your Wife. Am so sorry for your loss. I pray you find peace in the Lord.
    Baby Bradley, rest with the angels swittie, you were too perfect for this earth.
    Can’t stop the tears.
    Thanks for the article Biko, you helped Robert more than you will ever know.

  183. The whole of Nairobi followed up this story well on the main stream media. All parents were deeply touched & kept following up on the same as if it were a series. I however can attest that the mainstream media did not bring out the colors as Biko has done.
    We can only say pole to Baba & Mama Bradley and pray that no parent ever gets to bury his son/ daughter.

  184. I have cried a river but i know the good Lord will continue blessing them and giving the family strength to deal with this . continue resting Bradley

  185. This isn’t a happy anniversary. It’s a sad milestone where you realize that life has moved forward even while you grieve. One day you will hear the birds again, think of how Bradley made you smile without big destroyed by the grief. One day you will laugh again and not feel guilty. We can never be prepared for death and the way it spares no one. All we can do is keep the love alive in our hearts and minds and believery against logic that we will see our loved ones again. I pray that this family finds more happiness than grief in the coming years. Thank you for sharing.

  186. I’ve been holding in so much. I lost a sister and a mother. Oh man. I feel… I don’t know whether to post or just delete this comment.

  187. RIP Bradley!
    I dread the month of July. It will soon be 5 Years since I lost a Daughter in a Tragic Loreto Convent Msongari Freak Accident on July 29th 2011. I eprsonally dropped my beloved Daughter Zena Flavian Ondachi on that fateful day. The excitement for the School trip was overwhelming and almost contagious. I dropped her some few minutes to 6 am in the morning and nothing prepared me to how that day would end.As a Family we have never recovered from the debacles of that fateful day as Zena, then 13 years Old was larger than life. We learned of the tragedy from Media (Radio). Loosing a Child brings a pain that is unfathomable. When one looses a parent he/she is orphaned. If it is a spouse one either becomes a widow or a widower. However when one looses a child the dimension and difficulty of describing the status is so profound that I have not found the name for that. Bradley Family be strong. God is in charge and in control

    1. It shall be well with the Ondachi family too. I am no parent, but I pray to God, I never have to bury my own child. May the will of God be with you and your family. As you have rightly put, there is no name for a parent who has lost their child.

    2. I’m so sorry for your loss Ondachi. I remember Zena as I was a younger parent of the school at the time. Shocking as it was to us, I could not even begin to imagine what the you would have felt at the time (and still feel today). I can only pray that God’s comfort and peace continue to surround you and your family. Continue resting with the angels Zena. You have gone, but you’ve not been forgotten.

  188. Sometimes life can be pretty harsh.Today we live in a world where we have no value for life.
    Losing a little boy whose journey towards life had just began is the most painful.Biko’s story has just ignited the,inner feelings of parents,
    but all we can do now,is to keep praying for the family,so that GOD can give them the strength to overcome the pain and the loss.At some point,
    the family has to let go and let him get his peace back home where we all belong!RIP.

  189. Reminds me of when I lost my son.I was in a foreign country,he was just a month old,no,exactly a month old.I came to the house and they had laid him on the floor.”The weather is okay,you wont need a morgue”. I just lost it all over again at that point,watching my only,first,cute baby lying on a cold floor in winter weather that was about 3 degrees.I hated death,I could kill death at that point it he was bold enough to fight with me.It been five years now,I can tell this story,back then i would just cry.I would hide and cry because no one would understand why i’m crying over “something that happened a while ago”. God has been faithful,I’m much stronger now but not strong enough to live through it again.RIP my lil’ Adrian,peace and comfort to everyone living through the unfortunate ordeal,the demise of their precious lil’ ones.

  190. Bradely sadly joins my late daughter Lyron in peace. She was run over by her school bus in mysterious circumstances in Kahawa Sukari on May 26th 2014, she had just turned 6. The school bus that ran over my daughter on occasion still drives past me, as a father the anger and rage I once had is now replaced by inner peace. There’s something Bradely, Lyron, Zena, and all children resting in peace whisper into God’s ears that yields divine inner peace in parents.

    While there’s no earthly explanation to why God would let such things happen to innocent beings, I can only urge Baba and Mama Bradely to be strong, you have each other, be each others strength and peace.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EjiGDXAHOsk
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RL2BnfkUNrE

    1. Gone but not forgotten. Rest in peace Lyron, Bradley, Zena and all the angels. May God continue to comfort you all.

  191. I had to gather all my strength to read this story since yesterday. When it first hit my email and reading the preview I just couldn’t bring myself to read it. It’s too heart rending. May little Bradley continue to RIP and May the God of all comfort be with the family.

    1. I lost two sisters,one when i was 3 n the 2nd when i was 5 yrs old,i dont remember much but i can never forget the haunted looks on my parents faces and their grief

  192. Biko, I understand the gravity of the story. But why, pray tell, would you need to to swing a cat in a room?

    1. It is an idiom. Of a very tiny room you say…not enough room to swing a cat. Meaning very little space available.

  193. I have cried for Bradley, for Bradley’s mother, his father, his brothers.
    The silence that death carries is too loud not to hear. I watched my mom grieve over by brother, heart wrenching. Poleni sana. In all, God knows best. rest in Peace Bradley.

  194. It is very painful to loose your beloved one .Hard to explain to the young ones what might have happen.

  195. Biko, this is a heavy piece, one most are reticent about. Bradley was truly his dad’s diamond. May God strengthen Bradley’s family immensely. Bradley, you are cherished.Rest in comforting peace !

  196. My brother died last year. He was murdered, ruthlessly. His birthday was on 28th June. This has taken me back to a very dark place….

    1
  197. Bradely sadly joins my late daughter Lyron in peace. She was run over by her school bus in mysterious circumstances in Kahawa Sukari on May 26th 2014, she had just turned 6. The school bus that ran over my daughter on occasion still drives past me, as a father the anger and rage I once had is now replaced by inner peace. There’s something Bradely, Lyron, Zena, and all children resting in peace whisper into God’s ears that yields divine inner peace in parents.

    While there’s no earthly explanation to why God would let such things happen to innocent beings, I can only urge Baba and Mama Bradely to be strong, you have each other, be each others strength and peace.

    1. The rage that washed over me every time I saw the van and the driver that let my son get hit on the face by another van on January 14th 2014! I can’t put it down in writing. Yes they tried to reach out to me to apologize, but I couldn’t take it. I remember telling them that I’m not in a good place to listen, let alone discuss the circumstances under which my son was hit. It has taken the Grace of God to have the peace that I have now. I have forgiven, but not forgotten.

  198. May God comfort your hearts Bradley’s family…I have cried and said a prayer for you! No parent should bury there children.

  199. What do you tell a parent who buries their own child?
    What do you tell a parent who had such big dreams for their child?
    What do you do to help them pick themselves up?

    May God be with you and your family Baba Bradley. Yes, you are and will always be Baba Bradley.
    It is well.

  200. Wow…God comfort you and your family. My heart trembles even as I read this. No one should ever go this.

  201. Am crying now. Those descriptions of a bloodied body, broken bones, a father slowly slipping into depression, a wailing and expecting mother, sad brothers. I can’t. A tear for Bradley and his family. Rest in peace dear one. Happy first anniversarry. I hope the dad has seen a shrink.

  202. I read this story on Tuesday when it hit my mail. I decided not to comment because well, whats there to say? Its Saturday today and I have not stopped thinking about this, especially when I see school buses on the roads. This story haunts me. So here I am commenting. I have not read this story again since Tuesday though. Today I just scrolled down to the comments section. This is not the kind of story you want to read and re read. They say when you grieve it helps you get through it a bit easier. Maybe commenting is my way of grieving with the family.

    RIP Bradley.

  203. I had not read an article here in a while.so I thought I’d come and have a laugh.Now am in bed crying and crying.this was the most devastating thing I’ve read.I CNT even imagine. Baba Bradley is so strong.I admire how men can hold it together in such tough times.its good to know it devastates you too and the lack of tears doesn’t mean you are not destroyed.often us women think men are not as sensitive or destroyed by the loss of a child.We just grieve dofferently.May God comfort that family and May Bradley continue to sleep with the angels.

  204. It all came back, my brother’s memory and the pain I never stopped feeling. It’s been 5 years but it still pains the same. I wish Baba Bradley would maybe talk with my dad, I want to talk to my dad but I have not the courage. I didn’t cry when we lost him, and that has made the sorrow even deeper. I pray for peace to the family.

  205. Painful reminder of my third son’s accident. My boy was four years and yes while being dropped off to school in the morning, had his entire head get the impact of the van. It was scary, I was crushed! My handsome son. That call that came at 7.10 a.m that January 14th morning, the rush to the emergency at the nearby hospital and the later rush against time to Aga Khan Kisumu in my bathroom slippers and a sleeveless top! I would never forget. Shouting and praying loudly while running! I lost it, my mind, I totally lost it… One of my friends came in her night gown with one side of the sandal. Reaching the hospital gate, the wailing women, the blood, the police, the crowd and you are at the centre of it… the accident scene is scary. I couldn’t be let in the emergency room. They told me “you cannot see him” I would have fainted. I cried troughs. My son cried from 7 to 10 a.m. as they stitched every little piece that remained of his forehead. The ride to Aga Khan Kisumu! God…that was the longest ride of my life. My small boy survived, millions have been poured into multiple corrective surgeries to give him back his life and is still on-going. God Bless those doctors. Prof. Khainga of Aga Khan Nairobi, Dr. Wanjeri at Gertrude’s, may God give them longer lives as they continue to work on my boy. It has been a long walk. Life has never been the same again. It is God who gives you strength at such times. My family, my small church community and the Sunday school, we thank them. Just like Roberts family, I remember shouting to the driver of the van hysterically asking him ‘are they all dead’, coz the van was carrying my other two older boys a 9 year old and a 6 year old. A portion of his skin from the thigh had to be cut off and taken to his head to cover his exposed skull. The surgeries are aimed at giving my son back his life, but things will never be the same again for him. This I know as a mother, I can only assure him. As his head took the impact and changed his appearance forever. The many questions… like when his brothers shave maw hawk during the school holidays and he can’t because of the graft that is still being worked on by the doctors… Its tough for a mother. But God has been faithful!

  206. Death is the worst thing that can happen to anyone.I lost my dad when I was in form 4,just a few months to do my exams.When people expected me to be strong I was hurt cause no one understood the pain I was feeling.
    Thank God he gave me peace to deal with it.To baba brad..I feel you and your family..sorry for your loss its not at all easy.Happy first anniversary Bradley..Biko whether you realize it or not your helping us deal with let out the pain slowly.
    Many are through this but they do not talk about it or are still in the stage of denial.God be with brads family and God bless you biko

  207. Oh Bradley, one year old angel am hoping peace is abounding where you’re at.
    I have a kid brother,Maxwell an intelligent kid for his age (aren’t all kids blued eyed these days). Anyway since the turn of the year ‘Maxi’ hates bording his school van he prefers I drop him off at school each morning. The conversations we have each morning,which range from ninja turtles, home of lightning to his new classroom block, were all that ran through my head as I read about papa Bradley. Nearly teared up. More strength to you Papa Bradley.

  208. I read somewhere that having a child is like having your heart walking around out there… And then this happens. I can’t even begin to imagine what this father is going through. May God comfort him and his family:

  209. Kenyans should understand counselling is not just a mzungu thing…imagine how many people suffer and have no idea how to get help?

    RIP Bradley…

  210. The tears Greely flow as I read this sad and heartbreaking piece from Bradley dad. No parents Gould ever go through that, but as it is God is the giver and taker of life. He knows best when He takes us through the lose of a loved one. To Robert, his wife and sons, may God continue being the source of your strength and your comforter. And may little Bradley, now your angel in heaven, continue resting in perfect peace. Happy Anniversary Bradley.

  211. This brought out too many emotions …..too many to bear without a pause, how much so must it have been for them. How sad it is when death this life stains.

  212. I couldn’t finish reading Bradley. I have been engulfed by emotions to smithereens. Next time kindly put a caveat! Rest in eternal Peace Brad.

  213. I feel for the dad and the family. At times like this no fellow human can do or say anything to make you feel better. Only God can comfort. May He comfort you.

  214. Parents are not meant to bury their children, so when it happens it is the most heartbreaking thing ever; But God is always there a time like that to comfort and strengthen the family.

  215. Im so sorry for your loss Baba Bradley. I do not where one finds the strength to move on or to continue believing in a Higher Being after such a loss. I do know that Jesus wept on seeing Lazarus gone. Not just because He loved that family and felt their loss, but also because I truly believe death saddens our Lord. And God Himself watched as His son passed on on the cross. It is not an easy comfort but I am comforted that Bradley is in heaven as Our Lord said, Let these little ones come to Me.

  216. RIP Bradley true no one prepares us for death,may God give Robert and his family comfort…av been assuming my daughters request for a bike too,assuming her age after reading this moving article am getting her one asap..

  217. Just catching up on this story and I have never been so moved. This reminded me of the pain my mum went through when she was called by the school (Moi Nyeri Complex) over 6 years ago being given the news that my sister had died due to asthma attack. She was broken. I had never seen my dad cry but seeing him cry took the life out of me.
    Even after hours of her bedmate banging the matron’s door and ringing the bell, nobody bothered to open and she was gone. Worse is, my sister body was in the bus wrapped in a blanket and laid in the back seat.
    We sued the school, the story was all over the paper on National Tv, but at the end of it all would it bring back my sister? No. We try looking for answers and trying to get justice served but sometimes it’s just not worth it. Forgiveness goes a long way as well as letting off the anger and giving yourself to God and that’s the only way you will find peace, happiness and justice.
    I just want to assure Robert that all shall be well. The pain barely goes away but God keeps opening doors even you yourself sometimes cannot fathom. It’s been six years for us and prayers have been our source of strength and leaning on the positive side of life. The blessings God has brought upon our family is tremendous. Robert, there is Hope. Believe me. There is hope. It shall be well.

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  219. This touched me in a way I can’t explain.
    There are 3 pieces that Biko has written that touch me in different ways.
    1. Visa Denied
    2. His account of his mum’s death/funeral
    3. Bradley.

    I am a father of 2-year old twins and nothing scares me than the thought of loosing either of them. This story hit me at my most insecure place.

    Thanks for sharing.

  220. Very very sad indeed. RIP Bradley. May God continue showering the family of Robert and Irene with unending peace that comes from Him alone.

  221. “Grief is like the ocean: it’s deep & dark and bigger than all of us. And pain is like a thief in the night. Quiet. Persistent. Unfair. Diminished by TIME and FAITH and LOVE…”.

  222. Today I managed to finish up reading this. Everytime I tried reading it …I just had to stop somewhere… super emotional.

  223. Finally av finished reading this today..it has taken me over a month to finish reading this coz of the emotions..Brad is at peace with his master…To baba and Mama Brad may u find peace too.

  224. What do you do with your dead son’s baby shoes? Ben 10 boxers. Do you pack away his toys in small sad boxes? Does the echo of his laughter ever leave the walls of your house?

    He crept into Bradley’s bed and curled up there like a fetus. The death of his son had shrunk him into a boy.  In his dead son’s bed he lay still, staring at nothing without seeing anything.

    “When we were driving from shags after the burial and I looked in the rearview mirror and one seat was empty at the back. Bradley’s seat. We were a family of five, now we were a family of four. One of us was missing and was always going to miss. That got me very emotional.”

    “Life has changed so much since I lost my son,” he says. “I have changed personally. I can never sleep before midnight. I stay up late in the sitting room. My wife thinks I stay up watching football, but I stay up to talk to his picture on the wall. Sometimes I bring the framed picture and put it on the table and I talk to him,” he looks at me and chuckles, “it sounds crazy, doesn’t it?”

  225. That crushed my heart so badly. I wish them comfort and strength of the Lord. It’s so sad and hard. I’m a father of 3great kids and can’t imagine loosing any of them. So sad.