“Love is how you stay alive, even after you are gone.” 

When I taught in Ghana, I became close to some of my students. They were FraFras, the local tribe in Bolgatanga. The students to whom I was the closest were Grace Awae, Francisca Issaka, Bea Issaka and Francisca Ateri. Francisca Issaka lives in the United States. The others stayed in Ghana. Grace spent time between Accra and Bolga. Bea stayed in Bolga as did the other Franciska. On my first trip back, the only one I didn’t see was Grace, but she met me at the airport on my second trip. We traveled Ghana together. Grace saw places she had never seen. When we reached Bolga, Bea joined us for our explorations. Both of them were in their 60’s but still called me madam. I had the best time. We laughed a lot about their school days, and Grace told me how she used to sneak into my backyard to have her hair plaited during the week which was against the rules as that was only supposed to be done on the weekends. I told her I always knew and even sneaked a picture. She laughed for so very long.

This morning my friend Peg called me. She told me Grace had passed. She was in Bolga, had trouble breathing and was taken to hospital where she died. I have no words.

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7 Comments on ““Love is how you stay alive, even after you are gone.” ”

  1. sprite Says:

    Sending hugs and good memories to get you through these dark days. (Is Grace the one who was going to come visit but couldn’t get a visa?)

    • katry Says:

      Yes, Grace tried twice to get a visa and was refused each time with no reason given, but it was Trump time. I am so very saddened by this.

  2. Bob Says:

    Sorry to hear of the loss of your friend and former student. Unfortunately, as we age many of our friends and acquaintances pass on. It’s the one curse of long life. May her memory be a blessing to all those who knew her. RIP.

    • katry Says:

      Thank you, Bob
      I have so many memories of Grace, many old and many new. Her mother had a pito house. Pito is a type of beer made from fermented millet or sorghum and drunk in northern Ghana. Each pito house brewed on different days. I visited the house and had my first taste of pito. I drank it but wasn’t a big fan. Grace was in her 60’s. Her mother had quite a long life so I hoped Grace would too. Grace is the first of the students I loved who has died.

  3. Rowen Says:

    My condolences. For me, and I suspect for other Coffee regulars as well, your life in Ghana and the friends you made there are vivid presences in your posts. Thinking of you.

  4. Birgit Says:

    I’m so sorry, she died too young. Thanks for stories and pictures!

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