afterlife/Shelly Paul
Image by Shelly Paul

What do you tell someone who lost a loved one recently? How do you console someone in bereavement when, even the most eloquent of words seems trite and superfluous? These were the questions that arose in my mind when I rang up my cousin, who had just lost his father.

Although not very close, my uncle was a permanent part of the childhood memories of my summer vacations. His departure was sudden and came as a shock to me. So one can imagine the blow it dealt to his immediate family – my aunt and cousins. On the day before his unexpected demise, he spent most of the day in the house of his eldest son, who invited his siblings and their families, at his father’s request.

When I heard the news, I knew I had to call him to offer my condolences. That’s when I realized

An uncomfortably strange first and last name, a middle name that could evoke fear in some. Then there is the discussion of his degree of whiteness and blackness, inexperience, Bradley effect to name a few. Despite all these attributes, Barack Obama a Professor of the Constitutional Law, seemed like the oddest of ducks to run for the Presidency. He simply did not seem to fit in to the formulae of a typical American running for the President.