Photos:The Saddest Story On The Internet Has Come To An End
Finally,Janet Ciru Akolo,the singer,mother,wife and wonderful Kenyan who passed away on 24th February 2015 has finally been laid to rest…And it was a sad sad day….For family,friends,fans,supporters and general Kenyan internet users.
Janet’s story exploded on the internet after her and her husband’s very exemplary marriage story was published by the Daily Nation-by Stella Cherono-both online and on the newspapers. Janet’s story of survival amid pain,laughter amid medicine and smile amid medical trips drove millions of Kenyans wild….And they shared her story thousands and thousands of times across social Media…to celebrate the life of one very meritorious life lived.
But what captured and enchanted Kenyans most was Walter’s own story. Walter Akolo met Janet in 2002. At a High School Drama Festival event….And whats funny is that,as narrated by Walter himself,Janet and Walter were both actors in their respective schools’ plays…And the interesting part was; Walter was acting as a woman. And Janet was acting as a man.
And after that meeting,the two of them grew real close….And in 2007,just some 5 years later,the twosome got married. Defiantly.
Kenyans were captivated by Walter’s conduct throughout his marriage,his resilience,stoicism,patience and deep deep love for his mentally-troubled wife who would exhibit endless psychotic behaviors and who had attempted suicide TWICE after the birth of her last child.
Walter,throughout all of these challenges and almost ceaseless extreme medical upheavals,still remained by his wife’s side…Loving her,holding her,treating her,praying for her,nursing her and protecting her…It was even revealed,at the sombre funeral,that Janet and Walter were practically inseparable. They were a tight,unbreakable bond..And Walter would,even many years into their marriage,still call Janet “Sweety” even in the presence of parents or visitors.
Walter himself,decked out in a sharp,black suit, gave his moving tributes…And he spoke like a man. A stoic,strong man,who,even though he had just lost the love of his life,still could manage to stand and talk. And accept the inevitable. I watched him talk…And my heart sank. Deep.
Janet had been suffering from Post-Partum Depression (PPD), a condition that affects some women soon after giving birth.
“She would lack sleep, be extremely irritable, have hallucinations and sometimes even experience episodes of psychosis,” Walter told the Daily Nation last week.
But even before that,Janet had actually been diagnosed with Major Depressive Disorder nine years earlier, but the couple had managed to keep her condition under control.
Walter even had to quit his job to care for and nurse his frequently sickly wife,Janet. And their two kids,Tiffany and Tedd Akolo who is now only 3.
But what made Janet’s condition deteriorate was the PPD…And,after many years of struggle,suicide attempts,midnight outbursts,hallucinations and endless painful medications,Janet,who was born on 29th June 1985,finally breathed her last on February 24th 2015 at 2.30pm. She was only 29.
You can read the whole story HERE.
And yesterday,after we all read her story,cried,fell in love with Walter,shared it and sighed deep,I attended her funeral at All Saints Cathedral.
There was a massive massive crowd of people….some of whom couldn’t even fit in the packed church auditorium. And,person after person,Janet was showered with illuminating praise…From her former classmates in Buru Buru,her community at USP(Users and Survivors of Psychiatry),family,workmates and in-laws.
Janet was later laid outside the Church after a very sharp and poignant sermon by Evangelist John Kilahaof Nairobi Christian Church where Janet was a committed born-again member.
Her Bro-in-law Christopher Akolo had earlier on,tearfully,read her eulogy as her other relative Ken Akologave the vote of thanks.
Hundreds of people then poured outside and queued to view Janet’s body for the last time. I queued too…And,even though I had never met Janet,after vying her lifeless body,lying colorfully in that lily-white casket,I felt like I had known her. I felt like I viewed a friend….someone I knew.
The procession then moved to Lang’ata to finally inter her body at the Lang’ata Cemetery….I couldn’t make it to Lang’ata though.
I,however,bought an RIP Janet t-shirt….And will keep it. And treasure it. Forever…I hope.
Fare thee well,Janet Ciru Akolo. I didn’t know You. But now I do…..You,sweetheart,shall be missed…
Even by strangers like Me. Lala Salama,Mama Tiff.
Walter,May the Lord comfort You…Guide and guard You…and may He console You better than all mortals ever could…You are a strong Man. A model husband…We shall imitate You and aspire to love,persevere,hope and stay as loyal as You.
Once again,REST IN PEACE,Janet Ciru Akolo.