A week ago, we have carried a heavy burden of grief on our hearts. Our souls have refused to be stilled. Our spirits have sunk under the unbearable weight of an unexpected shock. The silent tears of despair have watered our cheeks. Crying has not been enough to contain the pain we feel.
Days have not been plenty to cope with the tragedy that has befallen us. Memory has served only to remember that which we preferred to forget.
It is not the years in a life that count, it is the life in the years. Had Desie Heita, our deceased colleague and friend, been old and tired, we would have said his time had come. Had he signed that sooner or later we would lose him, we would not have questioned our loss nor wondered at his departure.
But death has struck suddenly and without notice. We may never know the truth surrounding the circumstance of his death, but we look at the midnight stars to seek for understanding. An understanding that maybe our pain will be less inflicted. That is why we cry.
Although a week has passed since his death and nothing has happened to dull the pain that we feel, we celebrate his life as much as we remember it. He was simultaneously a genuine friend and a trustworthy colleague. Not very many people embrace that characterisation all at once.
Here was a man who owed no one an apology but reached out to everyone. Such men are rare. That is why we cry.
With us lies the still body of one who just recently walked among us, laughed with us and smiled at us. His body may be still, but he lives. He lives because we live still, committed to do what he was committed to do: to practice the art of journalism.
As the fraternity mourns, we should remember what our profession stands for. Reith reminds us that “our responsibility is to carry into the greatest possible number of homes everything that is best in every department of human knowledge, endeavour and achievement, and to avoid the things which are, or may be hurtful. It is occasionally indicated to us that we are apparently setting out to give the public what we think they need – and not what they want, but few know what they want, and very few what they need. In any case, it is better to overestimate the mentality of the public, than to underestimate it”.
Desie reflected the responsibility of the media correctly and with distinction. That is why we cry.
It was a privilege for most of us to have been a part of Desie’s life. His was a life well lived. He was a determined, collaborative, goal-oriented and caring person who loved life and all that it offered. Einstein once remarked that “The value of a man should be seen in what he gives and not in what he is able to receive.” Desie Heita was a man who gave. He gave much to his work – the long hours, working when he would have been off-duty, etc. That is why we cry.
In the never-ending life of tragedy, the Lord our God has made it easy for us to live an ever-ending life: For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.
*Audrin Mathe is Chief Executive Officer of New Era Publication Corporation and colleague of the late Desie Heita. He delivered this eulogy at a memorial service held on Tuesday in Windhoek.
New Era Reporter
2018-10-12 09:22:10 9 months ago