This one is by Marcella Andre, on the occasion of the passing of Antigua and Barbuda media mogul, her boss and friend, Winston Derrick of the Observer Media Group which transformed the Antigua and Barbuda media landscape by liberating the airwaves with a historic victory against the State for the right to broadcast, a costly battle that took them all the way to the Privy Council, ushering in a new media climate with ripples throughout not just media but the social and political landscape:
When the dust settles….as it will,
We will all ponder…as we are wont to do…
about life, about meaning, about love, about who we are in the grand scheme of things,
spiritual beings, experiencing a temporary physical journey,
we will talk about where we were and what we were doing when we got the news
“ah who ah call me at this hour?” said one colleague “Jacqui wake me up” said another.
We will talk about how we felt, and how we feel.
Through haggard and tired looking faces, we will all cry.
We will think of the conversations we had with him, about him, because of him
We will look at those around us and listen to their stories
We will crack jokes and repeat his famous phrases “look, jus cut he off!” “George!!!”
We will think of the “family” we have gained because of the opportunity he afforded us
We will think of his raucous laughter, his straightforward stare
We will think of our lives and try to come to terms with the fact that …
We will no longer see him here.
In the moment, we will write poems quoting Shakespeare and the Bible
“What a piece of work is a man, how noble in reason, how infinite in faculties, in form and moving how express and admirable, in action how like an angel, in apprehension how like a god! the beauty of the world, the paragon of animals—and yet, to me, what is this quintessence of dust?” Hamlet
“what is man that you are mindful of him, the son of man that you care for him” Psalm 8:4
We will hug our family and friends a little harder and longer
We will have fleeting thoughts that “none of us come to stay”.
We will try…. not to think of the future, of how? … we will go ooooonnnnnnnnnnnnn
Of our own mortality….uh….no.. not yet…”we not goin down dat road” not yet…
We will think of the meaning of legacies and the power of ONE
All imagined or real hurts and affronts will immediately be laid aside as…
Say one, say two, Cuss you now and hug you later was synonymous with Winston.
But for now,
While we try to see our own faces and those of others
through the collected specs of a yet dusty reality
While we try to comfort others who may appear weaker…
during our own passing moments of strength
While we think of his wife and family, each one of them…Georgie…
While we consider our own private moments in his company
While we try to forge a brave front through the calls, the emotional fatigue,
the VOICES… of so many people, of a nation mourning and recalling,
While we consider with a wry shake of the head how some are always ready to bestow flowers…after the fact
While we embrace the pain of a loss that will echo often, unexpectedly, fondly,
throughout the remaining fabric of our individual lives,
While we gather, to do something, .anything …
make some coffee, make some tea, answer a phone, read a text , call a friend
For now .and for all times, we must remain grateful,
We must recall how he made us feel….
Each person in their own way.
While we embrace the unwelcomed pain… and sadness
We must embrace also the love, the warmth, the laughter, the joy he shared.
We must summon our own courage, our own truth, our own strength
We must be honest; we must be frank and brave.
We must recall how blessed we have all been to have been touched by Winston Derrick.
When the dust settles, we will all be wiser, stronger, and we will hummm along to a sweet tune as he often did.
The knowledge that ONLY LOVE is perfect will sustain us
For, what is man?
Go in peace… and with Love Winston. May your ancestors welcome your return, may unity here, with us, reign as among the silent wishes of your heart.