When words hurt…

With all the recent coverage re the late Terri Schiavo it is no surprise that those who know of my mum would make comparisons between the two.

Even I was forced to re examine mum’s situation.

The Busia Crash received a lot of publicity in Kenya and what should, under normal circumstances, have been a private affair, became a public matter.

I am incredibly protective of my family and while I was a little uncomfortable with the publicity mum was receiving, I soon realised that most of it was actually done with a lot of sensitivity.

There were and still are strangers praying for my mum. We received emails from people we did not know and to this day I know for sure it was this support and prayer that has helped our family get through what has been and still is a painful and traumatic experience.

Recently however it appears that there are some who are happy to just speak and type without any regard for who may be reading.

Last week a fellow Kenyan blogger, Kibet, who writes as part of the group blog Virtual Insanity wrote a piece about Terri and mentioned my mum as part of his analysis. Nothing bad was said; in fact the writer said that he was still praying for mum. I was slightly taken a back by the reference but realised it was done in good faith. I posted a comment to let them know that as Dr Kihoro’s daughter I had shared my views on the differences between mum and Terri.

I thought this was to be the last I would hear.

I can not even put into words the anger, shock, disgust and hurt that I felt when Mshairi emailed me and told me that another Virtual Insanity blogger, Natizzo, had written about mum. It was written in relation to Terri and the author starts off by saying that they are happy Terri is dead because “it was long overdue�. Then they go on to mention mum and this is what they wrote:

It’s got me thinkin about Mrs. Kihoro. If one goes for so long without significant brain activity, your brain is jus operating on the equivalent of reserve. Minimalist synaptic responses and voltage, which are far below what is need for comprehension, understanding, and thought processes.

How on earth can this writer comment on mum’s brain activity? Or any aspect of her medical condition, in such a careless way?

If the writer is mum’s doctor then I excuse me while I file a suit for breach of confidentiality.

If on the other hand this person is not mum’s doctor then excuse while I berate them for their insensitivity and callousness.

I am not saying that no-one is allowed to talk about mum. I have no control over this. What gets me mad is when someone does so without any regard for the feelings of those who are directly involved.

What has pissed me off even more is this last sentence:

Don’t hate me for this. My brain thought it, and my fingers typed it.

I get the impression that the author knew full well that members of Dr Kihoro’s family were reading their blog. The author also knew that their words were offensive yet still carried on to write them.

It appears like a cheap hit and controversy generating stunt at the expense of the feelings of others. This is my response:

Damn you Natizzo if you thought you could use our situation for your sorry attempt at controversial writing.

Believe me when I say that I and the rest of my family are sickened by your words.

Believe me too when I say I am taking what you wrote personally.

In case you missed it…

YOU ARE TALKING ABOUT MY MOTHER! MY MOTHER. Who also happens to be Mshairi and Nyak’s older sister. We are ALL taking it personally.


Do you have any clue what we as a family have gone through?

Do you appreciate the pain involved?

Do you even care about the daily hospital trips that my family has made for the last TWO years?

Did you spend one moment thinking about how much it hurts us to know that mum is not the same lively person she used to be?

Did you pause to consider what effect your words may have on those who love and care for Dr Kihoro?

I doubt any of these thoughts passed your mind and if they did I get the impression you just brushed them aside, all for the sake of a controversial piece of writing.

I would never wish what we are going through on anyone but I ask you Natizzo to put yourselves in our shoes for a minute.

Read what you have written from our perspective and realise that those careless, thoughtless remarks have caused me and the rest of my family a lot of pain and distress.


  1. says

    Well said, Kui. I feel very distressed by all this. The fact that we do not discuss or write about our beloved Wanjiru on a daily basis on our blogs and elsewhere does not mean we do not hurt every day, hour and minute since the accident.

    Mama JunkYard Says: That is exactly it Mshairi. Sometimes people forget that this is real.

  2. says

    Pole sana MJ. I wonder why people get so vicious and they don’t ask themselves how they would feel if they were on the receiving end.

  3. Mich says

    I definately agree with your post and share your outrage. People must be free to their own views on such issues but the feelings of those involved must always be paramount.

  4. says

    Dear Kui, as admin at Virtual Insanity, I would like to apologize for your pain at nattizzo’s blog. I have since spoken to him about it and will let him clean up after himself. He did not mean any harm though and I hope you can find it in your heart to pardon him.

    Mama JunkYard Says: Thank you for the apology Kui, I really appreciate you stopping by and saying sorry

  5. ciru says

    that comment is just the height of stupidity!

    Has Kibet diagnosed Dr Kihoro to ascertian her condition? Did he look at her charts to confirm that there isnt ‘significant brain activity’?

    just goes to show that little knowledge is a dangerous thing.

    Mama JunkYard Says: My sentiments exactly

  6. says

    am so sorry for yu all for the effect of that piece of controversial writing posted by an insensitive write. i feel yu all in a real way and believe me, i know how much it hurts. while we may all strive to be better bloggers, lets leave controversial stints for the sake of hurting peoples feelings. MJY hope yu feel better soon.

  7. Nyakehu says

    My Dearest MJY, it is just one of those things that people tend to do when they think that is alright to comment about someone they do not even know. You know where one is past pain about Mamma Mia that you just continue to do on a daily basis because if you stop to do some idiot will never espouse his half baked theories. The thing that annoys me is that people do not know what their writings do to the family and friends. Thank you for speaking on our behalf, I do not think my heart is strong enough to read this stuff yet

  8. says

    Pole sana. We sometimes say things without realising that our opinion might be just that:OURS – shouldnt be shouted out loud.

    Hope you all can find the strength to get past these comments.

  9. says

    Life is not clear cut as people assume it is. Life aint black and white-its about how dark or how light the grey is.
    So,many people like to make stands on issues based on logic, intelligence..or personal deductions…and as good as that may be in a debate…it never is the case in reality.
    People should keep quite about certain topics especially if they have NO idea what kind of emotional burden it carries on the affected people.
    (personally abortion,euthanasia,religion,marital break-ups,teenage pregancies…. i stay clear)
    So as much as Nattizo didnt mean to offend anyone…he was speakin from an ignorant perspective-an outsider trying to look in…u have every reason to be saddened Kui…but there are plenty of such people out there.

    Be strong

  10. Denis says

    I know Im a tad late in all of this, u know, being VI admin – really just saw your post at lunch today..(suffice to say the remainder of it hasnt sat very well).

    As admin i personally apologise for OUR insenstivity here, it saddens me that we are bringing pain into peoples lives by careless remarks. I will speak more about this on the blog.

    You have every right to be mad..I just hope u can give us (all of you) a chance. Be well.

    Mama JunkYard Says: Deno, thanks for stopping by and thank you too for the apology.

  11. says

    I’m sorry you have more pain to add to that which you already bear, Kui. But I appreciate you talking about this if only so that I could discover that Mshairi and Nyakehu are your aunties, which I had not previously known.

  12. Medusa says

    I’ve seen and felt first hand the pain such crude and careless remarks cause. Also having a family member that needs constant medical attention and care, I can imagine what you go through. Love is a beautiful thing, trust the love you all share..nothing else matters really.

  13. says

    How shall I say this…You are such a brave young lady.

    You know I haven’t been around your blog very long, but in the short time that I have, I’ve noticed that you are a caring and compassionate person. I’ve learned that there are some people that don’t think before they speak (or type). This is no excuse for their ignorance, but the reason they do what they do.

  14. says

    Take heart. Our prayers are always with your mum and your family. Foot and mouth syndrome seems to have become a national outbreak — don’t let infestations of the malady in others break your spirit.

  15. Kaki says

    Wow! Like when I was at mashada, I am constantly amazed at how immature and insensitive some people can be. Payuka-osis is a real disease.
    Reading your posts and knowing you really helped me really look at the Terri Shiavo case differently and life period.
    Hope you know that for every a-hole, you have a hundred people who really love you and are praying for your family.

    I am so glad the admin of the site stopped by.

  16. wanderer says

    The insensitivity portrayed in that blog is quite appalling, like most have said, the majority of us are with you and your family in constant prayers.

  17. Jose says

    Kinda reminds me of the say “think before you speak”. It seams like Natizzo writes just for writing sake. You and your family needs to be strong…we are behind you wishing u well.

  18. says

    I am glad you posted this. I think we should all learn about this. I didn’t really have an opinion on the Terri Schiavo, but your words just made me see things in another perspective (which was probably overlooked by many).

    Your mother and family are in my prayers. Stay strong!

  19. says

    Insensitivity by mindless bafoons is something that we can expect. It is unfortunate that this idiot took on a personal matter that he kne wvery liittle about. May his testicles be infested with fleas and may his arms grow small..too small for him to scratch.

  20. says

    MJY i know how u must felt about the writer, First let me say i’m reallysorry for the accident during Terrys time many people wrote about your mum in relation i can only wish for her quick recovery, only don’t despair

  21. says

    I dinn kno that is your mum Kui until jus now. Am so sorry for you and ope yu and ur family will find strength to pull thru everyday. Personally ahve bn thru that and worse and having someone yu love helpless is beyond grief and am shocked at the blogger who posted on it. But hey you know some ppl gotta open their mouths even when they have nothing to say. Be strong, hang in there, i believe better dayz are coming. I’ll be praying for yu en ur family.