HOW DO YOU GRIEVE? Dámilọ́lá Ọládòyìnbó
Sometimes, life hits us with the most unexpected, unprecedented and totally unassumable. 14th March would make it 18 years since my favourite uncle passed away. I suffered chronic insomnia for 13 good years. One of those nights in final year I was up. My ears were plugged and at some point Diddy and Faith Evans’ “I’d be missing you” started to play. For some reason I still cannot explain, I put it on repeat and after listening to it the fourth time or so, I burst out in tears. Uncontrollable, inconsolable tears. I picked a pen and wrote a piece for my uncle. I simply blurted out thirteen year old feelings and I kid you not, for the first time since was a child, I had a sound night rest. Then the healing began.
Fast forward 2017, I lost a very dear friend. We sat together in Church on Sunday and by Monday, Brother Emmanuel was gone. I was devastated. I did not blink for a whole week. By the end of the following week, I put my feelings into writing and that night, I was able to take a nap. Then Mercy’s mum passed and I had three sleepless nights. I was able to scribble something the fourth night and that was when I not only realized insomnia is how I grieve but also the fact that writing gives me closure. I cannot begin to imagine how much I would have to pay a therapist if I did not find that out on my own. Being a trained social scientist who absolutely understands individual differences, I have occasionally thought about asking the HOW DO YOU GRIEVE question. How long did it take you figure it out?
May we not grieve this year.
May the Good Lord comfort those grieving.
May He also grant us the serenity to accept things we cannot change, courage to change the things we can and the wisdom to know difference.
Thirteen years have been a long time, I know right?
But it still feels like yesterday
A day I still wish the calendar skipped
I was young and the slightest inkling of death I had was that
It’s a journey of no return
I won’t ever forget that moment I realized one of my best people on earth
Was made to walk down that road
Just two weeks before then
He had celebrated his 25th birthday
It was a huge one!
I had so much fun
And subconsciously looked forward to his wedding
Little did I know
That I was building castles in thin air
The news sent chills down my spine
I remember vividly that silly thing I did
And how a part of me was convinced
That someone would show up the following morning
To tell the entire family
It was a prank taken too far
Days turned into weeks
Weeks into months
Months into years
Then slowly and gradually
It sunk in
He was gone for real
I’m not the kind to “overthink” in horrible situations
But a day does not go by
Without a couple of questions run through my mind
Like why the brainiest die young
Or why bad things happen to good people
That shooting star I knew
My multi-talented “nigg”
The professor who never had a B.Sc
The billionaire who never earned a dime
The vacuum you left grows larger by the day
And I’m beginning to doubt those who say
Time heals every wound
Everything you taught me I’m putting into good use
And I hope someday I’d make you proud.
Caveat: Dear reader, this article does not grant you the liberty to go all personal with me and bring this up when we meet or see. I would feign ignorance and make you feel like you are crazy. Thank you as you comply.