As New Years Eve approaches and we fondly wave farewell to 2012 and welcome, with open arms and a sigh of trepidation, 2013, many people will be reflecting on the loved ones they lost in the last 12 months.
"It is a time for reflection" said grief counselor Happy Owangi "many people will have mixed feelings, a new year, new hope and new chances ahead but they will be no doubt thinking of those they lost last year" added the rather chirpy counselor, herself no stranger to loss.
One man who will no doubt sit and reflect on the loved ones he lost in 2012 will be marketing manager Kevin Hunter, 45, of Newark, New Jersey.
He lost his mother, Mabel, in June, and has never reconciled himself that there was possibly more he could have done.
"I mean, one minute she was there, the next she was gone" said Kevin, his voice etched with emotion as he buries his head into his hands "I mean, I dropped her of at the bus station and told her exactly which bus to catch....and that was the last I saw of her. She has been lost ever since, no doubt crisscrossing the country on a series of greyhound buses, confused, hungry and no doubt stinking of piss."
Kevin blames himself for allowing his 98 year old Alzheimer suffering mother to embark on a road tip, solo, from New Jersey to Vegas, with no ID in her possession, money or any way of contacting any of her family.
"I lost her" he sobs "I lost my mom!"
Luckily for Kevin he has the support of Happy, a refugee from Nigeria who herself lost an Uncle in a busy market in Nairobi in 1987.
"I know what it is like to lose a loved one, he just got lost in the hustle and bustle of market. He was gone for six days, but in that time we were worried" smiles the surprisingly attractive woman, who has adapted well to Western culture, her hair slightly tinted bronze, her figure hugging blouse revealing a fine and well rounded chest, that rose gently when she breathed. Her jeans, tight around the buttocks highlighting her sensual hips and her feet adorned by fashionable and rather risque high heels.
Not bad I thought, not bad.... and I wondered if Happy hadn't arrived to these shores 10 years previously whether or not I would be silently aroused by her presence, her smile, her accent and her kind of vulnerability that begged the question in my mind that she would probably be honored to know that I, a professional white male with teeth and hair, found her alluring. I wondered if she was still living in Nairobi, clad in a flowing yet dirty dress, wearing a headscarf and talking in a foreign language if I would find her half as attractive?
I mused whether or not this passing infatuation with the grief counselor would develop into maybe a brief sexual encounter...then I remembered that she may possibly have AIDS and that would not go down well with my wife, if I caught the disease, especially over the holidays.