Grieving to death: Cecy Gaitho dies 50 days after son's demise

Cecy Gaitho

Cecy Gaitho with her son Martin Gaitho. Martin was crushed to death at a road construction site in Kidfarmaco area, Kikuyu on June 5. 

Photo credit: Pool

Her son’s death in early June sparked a domino effect of disbelief, denial, heartache, immense grief, and eventually, her own death early Monday morning.

This is the sad tale of a heartbroken mother, Cecy Gaitho, who despite putting on a brave fight to ward off the uncertainties that came with her six-year-old son’s death, still succumbed to grief after 50 days, her close confidants say.

She had shared a meal with her friends, just hours before she locked herself in her room with a charcoal stove last Sunday night.

Knowing that Cecy was teetering on the precipice of life and death, after she told them, and even posted on her Facebook timeline that she had no reason to live after her son’s death, her friends did not want to leave her alone for one moment.

A group of friends often visited her, the latest of which was last Saturday.

They stayed with Cecy at her home in Kinangop the entire day. They left for Nairobi at 7pm, but one of them stayed behind to be with Cecy.

Prepared food

Barely hours after her “chaperone” left; she gave up the fight. On Monday morning, when her sister went to wake her up, she had died.

“Cecy was fine, she even prepared some food for her parents. At 11:38pm, she posted some photo(s) on her (WhatsApp) status and we made fun of life. She did it between midnight and morning,” one of her friends who was present at their “last supper” said.

Was there more they could have done to prevent their friend's death? her friends wonder.

“We tried taking her out to prevent her from being alone. We visited her as frequently as we could. One of us literally stayed with her at her home since the baby died, until last Sunday evening. They were sharing a room and a bed and she (Cecy) only took her life after the lady was gone,” a friend told  Nation. Africa.

Cecy's son, Martin, died on June 5, after his head was crushed by a culvert at a road construction at Kidfarmaco in Kikuyu, Cecy posted on Facebook on June 14.

“I feel so helpless. We are trying to follow up with the construction company for negligence but they are not even cooperative. To imagine I have to go through court processes for his justice is too traumatising. I am somewhere between feeling empty, helpless and lost. I keep hoping my baby will come back,” Cecy had said.

Her woes, the Nation has learnt, were deepened by the fact that her efforts to get her son’s father to meet the child a week before his death, bore no fruit. She had shared with her friends that the man kept saying he was not yet ready to see the child.

“He was never there the entire time, but showed up on the day the post-mortem was being done,” her friend told the Nation.

Being a single mother who had pegged all her hopes and energy on her only child, the loss of her son dealt a heavy blow to her, said Ms Veronica Kinuthia, a counselling psychologist and administrator at the Kenya Counselling and Psychological Association.

Single parents

“The boy was everything to her and his demise crushed her. She must have wondered why she should live if what she had lived for had gone. That is what most single parents go through when they lose their child.

“There is also societal labelling from the community and also feelings of guilt that she could have done something to save her child. Blame game, denial and not letting go could have added to her grief,” Ms Kinuthia said.

The grief that comes from losing a child lasts for years, said Ms Kinuthia, and many struggle with the loss their entire life, with the grief deepening. Some, however, learn to cope with it, she added. 

Cecy’s family declined to comment on her death, with a representative saying they were yet to process what had happened and their focus currently was on ensuring their daughter had a peaceful burial.

The Nation also learnt that Cecy had sought a lawyer to help her get justice from the construction company that she blamed for her son’s death.

Cecy will be buried on Friday, July 29, at her home in Kinangop, a source close to the family revealed.