I want to believe

“One death is a tragedy, one million is a statistic.” Joseph Stalin.

I admit: I do terribly with grief. I timeout without even realizing it. I curl into a little ball of emotion and keep to myself, bemoaning the temerity of the day: how can life go on when there has been such grief to stop the Earth from spinning? I may smile. I may put on a brave face. I may comfort you. But in my mind’s eyes, I am sitting amidst the garbage wearing nothing but a tattered gunny bag, rubbing dirt into my hair and refusing to brush my teeth. Mad man style.

I don’t know about you but last week, I immersed myself in the news of the mall attack – I pored over chilling personal accounts. I watched every ‘exclusive video’ and ‘raw footage’ there was. I combed through photo galleries. With my family around the dinner table or with friends over a beer, we analysed and assessed, pondered and postulated, replayed and rebuked the Saturday event.

But by Wednesday, four days after it had gone down, two things happened. First, I realized I had emotionally immersed myself far too deep through the material I was allowing to enter my mind. Early mornings, between prying open my eyelids and getting out of bed, I found myself lying for extended hours in one position, reflecting and (pardon my borrowed media house lingo) struggling to come to terms with the senseless loss of lives following attacks on the affluent mall. I was disturbed. I was shaken. Sweet Jesus, I was terrified.

Second, no news was forthcoming about those who had been left behind after Saturday. There were still so many unanswered questions; too many conspiracies, even more theories. International media houses were saying one thing, our Ole-guy was issuing press statements on yet another – what was going on? So I did this thing I like to do to find closure: I make up my own endings.

I make up my own endings because there exists such truths far too great for our mortal hearts to bear, let alone to understand. Because deep within the heart of man, there resides evil. Evil, when it incubates then floats to the surface, causes man to forget that only He who gives life has the right to take it away.

I want to believe that in such moments of chaotic unrighteousness, a peace and silence unknown engulfs us. I want to believe God, in His grace, separates our physical being from our spiritual being in an ease as surrendered as going to sleep. I want to believe He guides our hand then stands with us as we watch ourselves leave this world. I want to believe that when the final breath escapes from our lips – when the soul and spirit are separated from the mind and body – we are there with Him and He with us. I want to believe there is a cushioned fall when our lifeless bodies hit the ground. I want to believe when the chaos end and when we shut our eyes for the last time, the peace and silence prevail for eternity.

Above all, I want to believe He takes us away before Death does.

And with this self-found closure, I got down on my knees and said my final prayers. I sealed the box of this grief then returned to the normalcy of my routines.

I held on to my made up endings and beliefs until Friday, late morning. When the office girls and I perched around a desk for a loose catch-up. Naturally, the conversation steered toward the painful events of the week. I shared my beliefs then excused myself from the group. It was still too soon to return to the sealed box.

Later on, my colleague Tichi* asked me about these very beliefs, “You said something about those final moments of life?”

I nodded, “Yes. What about it?”

Tichi tells me she has a response to my questions; that my beliefs aren’t as short-sighted or as skewed as I had earlier imagined.

“Oh yes?” I said.

“Oh. Yes,” Tichi said, “Come. Let me show you.”

And we sat there – our seats turned to face each other and our knees touching – she coaxed me to speak with her patient nods and reassuring eye contact. I directed my questions at her with the forceful intent of a tennis ball aimed at a practice wall. And she took each question, contemplated it then took a few moments to reflect before she expressed her views.

Tichi didn’t laugh or seem surprised. She didn’t think my beliefs absurd or wildly imagined. She answered each one as best as she could. I have to be honest though; I had heard all these things before. But what made her responses so complete was that she punctuated each one with quotes and verses from the Scriptures. We leaned in forward – so that our foreheads were now touching – to read from the Bible app of her hTc cell phone: Hebrews to Genesis, Revelation to Daniel, John to James; she took me through each one so that every question I had was addressed in these verses, one way or the other.

I found myself speaking too fast, revealing too much; unearthing deep-seated, private and personal beliefs about the evil of man. Tichi listened. And listened. And listened some more.

I felt cared for. I felt understood. I felt wiser. I felt at peace.

Do you have such friends – religious friends who compliment their monastic yet empirical persona with an enviable mix of wit, urbanity and realism? Friends who untangle your logical quagmires with Scriptural simplicities? Friends who engage your concerns instead of dismissing them with blanket and banal responses like, ‘That’s life.’ Or, ‘What can we do?’ Or, ‘If it’s your time to go, it’s your time to go.’ Friends who stretch their thoughtful dialogue beyond the horizons of your intellectual landscape? Friends who, when life has dealt us an unanticipated and unacceptable card, take it with an uncommon laxity?

Do you have such friends? I do. And this new one was seated opposite me as I spoke. Its friends I hold close because life is happening. Life is happening. Life is happening; cannon balls which will knock the sense and sensibility out of us are soon coming. You need such friends in your quarters to shake off the dust and move forward.

After our hour long téte-a-téte, she gave me a booklet to peruse in the meantime. (I am doing so as we speak.) We meet again this Friday to… I don’t know… talk some more.

I revisited my earlier theorem and replaced the words ‘I want to believe’, with the word ‘hope’. In the process, my self-made beliefs blossomed to mild declarations of hope. Hope, Tichi had said with real emphasis, is the last thing to die.

“I thought you said it’s Death?”

“Death is the last enemy to conquer. But hope is the last thing in our hearts to die.”

Allow me: I hope that in such moments of chaotic unrighteousness, a peace and silence unknown engulfs us. I hope God, in His grace, separates our physical being from our spiritual being in an ease as surrendered as going to sleep. I hope He guides our hand then stands with us as we watch ourselves leave this world. I hope when the final breath escapes from our lips – when the soul and spirit are separated from the mind and body – we are there with Him and He with us. I hope there is a cushioned fall when our lifeless bodies hit the ground. I hope when the chaos end and when we shut our eyes for the last time, the peace and silence prevail for eternity.

Above all, I hope He takes us away before Death does.

Hope. Hope is the last thing to die.

To the tragedy of the sixty seven plus, I hope you at last found peace and silence.

10,000’th view

Comments (14)

  1. Shi

    Above all, I want to Hope He takes us away before Death does…. this is deep Flo,,, for lack of a better word… Your writing is amazing.. indeed we hope that God held their hands…

    • fra

      Yeah, thank God for Tichi.

  2. artfullyContrived

    Glad to have you back. Last weeks silence made us apprehensive.

    Good piece, Good writing. Emotion packed.

    You describe emotions we went (are going?) through.

  3. Mystery

    From the fact that l got lost in the story and was carefree in the look out for style, punctuation etc means the story took me over. Awesome piece, as usual. Thanks for steering away from politics as most bloggers would have done. l also want to believe that…….He takes us away before Death does.

  4. Nemo

    Wow, deep. After reading this, you have evoked feelings and thoughts I believed to have dealt with. I cant say I’ve moved, more like I’ve suppressed my emotions and fears. It was like all that what was going on was a movie i watched and now its time to move on.

    Thanks Flo for showing i need to deal with it. I need to face the issue.

    P.S. Loove your writing. Keep at it

  5. Austin mukolwe

    Your writing is just amazing. Keep it up!!

    • fra

      Will do Austin. And thank you for dropping by.

  6. Shekyn

    This is hands down the best article I read about the Westgate Siege. Keep writing gal. You were born to do it. xoxo

  7. Carol

    This is one piece that has honestly moved.me, my dear I love your writing, continue giving us more, God blesst

    • fra

      Thank you Carol. Keep reading.

Leave a Reply

Subscribe to our content

Florence Bett-Kinyatti


Columnist Saturday Nation Writer Craft It Author of best-selling ‘SHOULD I?’ and ‘HOW MUCH?’ ~ Guiding word: Overdrive Subscribe to our Newsletter👇🏾 eepurl.com/igmN8P
  • Dear God, 
It’s me again.

I don’t pray as often as I need to, You know that. I don’t kneel by my bed in child-like humility, as Muna does. I don’t whisper a prayer in the morning. Or at noon. Perhaps just in the evening. 

This going-to-church habit is a constant false start. So is reading the Word. 

I’m often guilty but I also know: You and I have a language only we can understand. 

I speak to You through this gift You bestowed upon my Kale shoulders, this gift to write in colour. It’s a gift that sometimes feels like a curse, a burden I have no choice but to pursue. 

Yet other times – most times, actually – it’s the very breath of my essence. Everyday I sit to write, when the words flow from my head and heart through my fingers to the page, I feel You next to me. 

You are here, Lord. Hovering. Lingering. Swooshing about in Your regal robes, like a character from Bridgerton.

Sometimes You get so close I can feel You breathing on my neck and I’m like, ‘Err, God, do You mind, personal space?’

And You chuckle uncomfortably. ‘He-he, of course. Of course.’

I’m here to tell You, Thanks!

I hosted my first in-person event last March, Lord, thank You to all the lovely ladies who granted me their time and full attention. 

I’ve carried them in my heart since and every day, my prayer is that You bring them closer to the life of abundance they each seek. To their own version of wealth. 

I always call them by their name: Becky. Purity. Lindsay. Wangui. Naomi. Shiqow. Mercy. Liz. Winnie. Polly. Nduta. Lynet. 

And Mike. 

Dear Lord, I’m prepping for my next in-person event in June, Inshallah. 

Walk with me as I get there. 

Love always,

  • Highlights from our first-ever in person event hosted by Craft It and @financialfitbit 
Thanks to all the lovely ladies — and gent, hehe — who honoured us with the privilege of their time and attention. And colourful energy. It’s been weeks since and it’s only now that I’m coming down from the high. 

Thank YOU!

🎥 @mikemuthaka 

#craftit #author #MakeYourMoneyMatter #personalfinance #money
  • I am a woman.

I’m strong. I’m brilliant. I’m like a comet shooting across the sky, I’m so bright you have to put on shades to see me.

I’m almost 40, I’m almost fully realising myself as a woman and the power of womanhood I possess.

I’m so powerful that if KPLC connected me to the national grid, I’d power up this country and we’d never have another blackout.

Ho! Ho! Ho!


To recognize and celebrate International Women’s Day today, I’d like to recognize and celebrate eight women.

I have eight things to give away to each of these women:
a) Two tickets to my upcoming event on March 18 with @financialfitbit Theme is ‘Make your money matter’
b) Three autographed copies of my book ‘Should I?’
c) Three autographed copies of my other book ‘How Much?’

To participate:
1. Like this post
2. Tag women who deserve a win of either event ticket or book (tag as many women as you like)
3. Tell us what you’d like her to win and why she deserves the win
4. Make sure your tagged women follow @_craftit and @financialfitbit 

Here are the rules for the giveaway:
— One woman, one win
— Winners will be contacted via DM
— Giveaway closes at the end of this week, Inshallah, on Sunday 12 March
— Only open to people living in Kenya

All the best!

(Swipe right to see the women I’m celebrating.)

#craftit #internationalwomensday
  • My 2022 word of the year was Wholesome. 

Wholesome meant engaging in moderation and in pursuits that didn’t leave me feeling yucky.

An example: there’re weekend nights I’d go out then have too much to drink. On the drive home, I’d tell GB to stop the car every half mile so I could throw up on the side of the road. Then I’d take three working days recovering. 


No more of that nonsense.

Now I have only two doubles of Singleton whiskey and chase it with water. I eat less food and I eat better. I take my supplements. I treat myself to an early bedtime and arise with my body clock, no alarm.

I spend a lot more time hanging with my kids, Muna and Njeeh. 

I buy fewer things. 

I play the piano. 

I created a disciplined routine for my work and take Thursdays off. 

You catch my drift…

Wholesome has become my lifestyle. 

(By the way, I was asked, ‘Where does this word-of-the-year come from, Bett?’ I don’t know about other people but for me, the words present themselves when I’m journaling. My spirit tells me what it needs; I must be still enough to listen and brave enough to obey.)

My word for 2023 is Overdrive.

My two books have unlocked new opportunities for me as a writer and creative. As an urban brand. I’d honestly not foreseen them. 

I know that if I adjust my sails to where the wind is blowing, these opportunities will translate to wealth.

Last Friday, I listed all the work I’m already doing and all the new opportunities – potential and realised – knocking at my door.

I asked myself, ‘What am I taking up here and what am I dropping?’

The response, ‘None – we go into overdrive and smartly pursue them all.’

#craftit #urbanguide
  • Years ago, my best friend said to me, ‘Bett, we’re almost 40 – forget makeup, let’s take care of our skin instead.’

I had to laugh because this was coming from Terry. Terry my Kisii pal, this fine gyal with skin the colour of honey, the only practising SDA in my circle. 

Terry had spent her 20s and early 30s sleek with Arimis. That’s right, the milking jelly with a lactating cow on its logo. 

Arimis addressed all her skin pickles back then. It was her problem fixer. Her Olivia Pope. It’s the one thing that always said, It’s handled.

Now here she was preaching to us about a consistent skincare regimen in the AM and PM.


It wasn’t until Terry shared her selfies on our girls WhatsApp group that I stopped laughing. It wasn’t until we stood next her – and took these selfies – that I reeally stopped laughing: Terry’s skin was youthful and toned, plump. Hydrated. Moistured but not shiny. 

It looked like it had been kissed by the Greek goddess of radiance. 

So we gathered around her feet and said, ‘Forgive us, master. We are ready now. Teach us everything you know.’

She did. 

Terry and I now spend plenty of time before work and before bed squeezing out little portions of expensive skincare products from expensive tubes, we layer them on our face in a calculated measure.

This serum here is for the circles under my eyes and the fine lines around my mouth.

Turns out I’ve been giving away too much of my face: I’ve been looking too hard, laughing too easily.

I’ll have to spend the next year into my 40s with my eyes half shut and laughing little. I'll have a resting bitch face.

Don’t blame me, blame the retinol.

And age.

#craftit #urbanguide #urbangirl
  • I’m Bett. I’m the author of your favourite books about money. I’m hosting an in-person event in March, Inshallah: This is my personal invite to you.

#craftit #moneymaker #moneyinkenya
  • I am hosting my first money event this March, Inhsallah. It’s the first of quarterly events I have planned for the year. 

(Give me a moment here so I pull myself together long enough to write this. I’m smiling very hard right now, ha-ha, I look like a donkey.)


The event will be in-person. On a Saturday morning, a loose three hours which, I am certain, you’d have burned on some other pursuit you couldn’t account for later. (I’d probably be oiling the hinges of a squeaky door or decluttering my sock drawer.)

My guest host for this edition is Lynet Kyalo. 

Lynet is a personal finance coach under her brand @financialfitbit She also hosts @getyourbagrightpodcast 

Buy your tickets from our Market.

Early bird tickets are discounted until the end of this month.

Limited slots available. 

#craftit #millenialmoney #moneyevent #moneymaker
  • Sometimes I sit down and read my own book. 

Odd, huh?

Reading my own stories is like an out-of-body experience. Or getting introduced to myself again. An outward journey inward.

It’s fascinating.

I also read because I need to improve my writing for my next project.

We call them the Elements of Craft: things like sentence structure and punctuation, word placement, story length etc, they all inform your reading experience.

This is what makes the book easy to read, and has you turning the pages.

Cop your autographed copy and #betteryourmoney 

#craftit #howmuch #millenialmoney #moneymaker

Seraphinite AcceleratorOptimized by Seraphinite Accelerator
Turns on site high speed to be attractive for people and search engines.