Wambui Kamiru Collymore, the widow of the late Safaricom CEO Bob Collymore, now says she has been experiencing loss of her sense of smell since her husband died last year.
In an interview with the Sunday Nation, Ms Collymore says she first lost the sense of smell after the death of her husband on July 1, 2019, as a result of grieving and trauma.
“I lost my sense of smell. It returned a few months ago and then disappeared again; so it goes and comes. In grief, a number of things can happen. You can lose your sense of memory; your eyesight can be blurred. Grief is a chemical reaction in your body and it has a chemical effect on your senses. (The loss of sense of smell) was an indicator of the magnitude of the trauma of death,” she says.
Mr Collymore died last year, and was cremated a day after, in strict adherence to his will where he had scripted what to be done after his death.
The only thing that he left open was the cloth he was to be cremated in, a choice he left for his wife. He was cremated in his ‘purest form’, according to his wife.
“He used to say, ‘I do not want to hang about. It’s like I’m done; don’t keep me around’,” says Ms Wambui Collymore. “He scripted all of it.All of it except what outfit he would be cremated in, and that was my choice. And I chose to put his body in a Mudi suit, which is a white linen suit with flowers on the front of it. And he was brefoot, with no Jewellery; none of those other possessions. Just him, in his purest form.”
Ms Collymore, who believes that she has been mourning for two years, since her husband started talking about his death a year before, says that she has learnt to cope with life and accept what it offers.
“I think there is another part of grieving. There is acceptance as part of grief, and it’s also coming to terms with the fact that the grief is not going to go anywhere; it’s always going to be part of me,” she says.
Bob Collymore died of myeloid leukemia, a type of cancer that affects blood production in the body.
This July 1, it will be the first anniversary since the CEO of East Africa’s most profitable company died.