When Grief Strikes

I have been absent online the past one week, I could not bring myself to post anything while my uncle lay cold and the family mourned him. It was the respectful thing to do. I needed time to be with family, and to grieve with them.

Usually I have a lot to say at all times, but on the day my uncle died, I froze with the phone on my ear.

I had been meaning to go see him at the hospital. For two days I postponed my visit; First time, I did not have enough money to travel to his hospital and the day after, as I was about to leave, I was informed that my uncle was being transferred to a nearby hospital and so I should wait for him to be settled. The next call after that was to inform me that he was no more.

The news of his demise numbed my entire body. I didn’t know what to say, I felt regretful for not having seen him, but also sad that he was gone. I felt sorry for my cousins, his kids and I couldn’t figure how and what to say to ease their pain.  

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Photo credits: Videezy

I am quite close to my maternal uncles, by the virtue that geographically they are closer to us, my siblings and I have been loved and disciplined by them in equal measures. They have actively participated in our upbringing and for that we are quite close to them and their families. The loss of my uncle was particularly difficult because of what he meant to my mother. You see, my mother is the youngest girl among her siblings. My uncle had practically raised her, and they had a unique bond, almost like that of father and his little girl.  

Everyone in the family was sad, but I could also read thanksgiving for the time we had in earth with him. I specifically remember how his last born daughter spoke fondly of him at his funeral few days ago. There are speeches that people write when a man dies, then there is the truth, the one everyone can relate to, the one everyone will miss. We listened to her eulogize her father and we knew we all had lost someone worth mentioning.

Most of the time through the whole process I was in disbelief and didn’t know what to do to take away this pain from all these people that I love and who were grieving. Somehow the burden of seeing my people so sad sat on me and it numbed me.

I learnt a few lessons during this season. Lessons that often come quietly.

  1. Life comes and life goes, it’s important we make the best out of it. It’s important that we leave our best life yet, so that when we are gone we leave behind an impacted people. People who won’t have to compose a tribute, because your life was a testimony and it is easy to remember what you stood for.
  2. Do not lose a chance to tell someone that you love them. This life is too unpredictable. Don’t wait for tomorrow, only NOW is guaranteed.
  3. It’s not in our control. We’ve got to find the strength to carry on, and to carry with us the many memories we shared with those that depart from us.
  4. There is always grace, and no one is loved less because of losing a loved one. We’ve got to believe in that love, we’ve got to believe that grace will carry us through
  5. It will still hurt, the pain will never go away, but again with grace, it shall be to us as it is meant to be

Rest in eternal peace uncle. May the heavens receive you and the earths never forget you.

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