When Is Mourning Enough?

Childhood is a shield. You’re shielded from loss, protected from the emptiness that comes from it.

I still remember vividly the first time someone close to me died around me and I was aware of death; He was my favorite uncle, my mum’s immediate elder brother and I saw my mum cry for the first time, and I couldn’t make sense of it. I was well aware my Uncle had just died but I didn’t actually get the grasped the concept of the finality of death. So when i see how broken my mum was, I was so sad about the fact that my mom was sad but not that my uncle just died and it was final. I was like it’s just death and will be well again? Right?

But that’s how mourning is. It doesn’t make sense.

I was in my late teens when my father died; he’d been sick but not for long. it happened so fast and was at the hospital for a few days in my home town before he was referred to another state and I didn’t even have the time to go and visit him as it was all too fast and I had to stay back home to take care of the family business while my mom and 2 of my older siblings went along with him.

And because I had been with him everyday while he was still in the hospital back home before referral and I had seen how much pain he was in and I couldn’t bear to see my father, who was the fittest person I knew at 59, now in so much pain and frail all of a sudden, so I put off going to see him immediately he left thinking before I will go see him in 3 days time, he would have improve so i wouldn’t see him in as much pain but He died the day before I had finally decided I would go see him.

It was on a sunday and I was at one of the shops when my sister walked in and I was so surprise to see her because she was supposed to be in another state with my mom and dad. She walked in and before i could ask what happened she said let’s close the shop and go home for a family meeting that they needed more money at the hospital and I was the one who could sign for it (I was my dad’s next of kin and power of attorney {long story}) who I stood up and we close up and too a cab home. what I had failed to noticed was how swollen her eyes were. we got home and I saw crowd and could hear my mom wailing even before I stepped in the house and then & there I knew the worst had happened and my world came crashing down, my legs somehow got a life of their own and i was just walking and going without even thinking about where i was goinng as i had no destination but i just needed to leave as I wanted no one to touch me or hold me or console me. I got to a place and I just collapsed and lay on that ground and WAILED like I never had before. I felt cheated and broken and a whole ther emotions I can put a name on.

it was months later before my siblings and I could arrange the funeral. it was from one tribulation to another and I never really got closure, till today I still struggle with thinking about how our last conversation would have gone. I wonder if I’d have handled it better if I got my last goodbyes, my last hugs, my last kiss, last laugh or even if I had had our last prayer session together like we did everyday even while he was at the hospital back home.

At first, it was just an empty feeling that grew bigger and then I went back to school (it was my first year at the university) and just cut everyone off. I was angry all the time at everyone and everything around me and mostly at my dad for leaving me (he was my best friend) Then my first year examination came, and I could barely get out of bed, mostly as I’d spent every night crying. I got the worst grades ever that semester and somehow I knew my dad would be disappointed at my grades and I remember saying to myself “that serves him right for leaving”

It was years before I could bring myself to visit his graveside as I was angry and really couldn’t bear to look at his grave.

It was then my graduation day, and little pockets of parents flashed their teeth and hauled containers of food for their kids and I stood there so sad because I refused inviting my mom and siblings because who I really wanted was my dad.

It’s been 10 years, and not a day goes by that I don’t think about my daddy smiling as he told us stories an histories (reason why I love historicals) and how we all danced every morning during our family devotions.

I’ve gone through some phases; first, I was in denial about the finality, and then came the pain and guilt ( I blamed myself for not being there at the hospital for not praying more even tho I spent every waking sec praying for him) And then came ANGER! I was SO angry at God, my dad and my whole family for making me stay back home and mostly at my dad for leaving. How could he have left us alone? I was stuck here for years just battling anger and depression and never talking to anyone about it. I made so many horrible decisions during this time and I just could not get past the ANGRY STATE.

I can’t state that i got past that stage but I only recently realise I had successfully worked through all of the pain and anger and finally got hold of my life to change it around

And now I can finally say, Then came acceptance and hope of one day waking up and not feel like I have my heart being ripped out of my body by an unknown force. But usually, that circled back to anger every once in while.

Whenever I get an offer from an older man to take care of me, I get so angry I could have sworn there was something that announced my vulnerability to them.
Maybe it was just my big bossom, as I’ve heard many times.
“You sef! How come your boobs can be this big for your age? How do you expect us to behave? growing up was a struggle trying to keep these nasty advances at bay.

When you’re young, you’re conditioned to believe that you grow old with all your friends before you die. It was only rare instances people died in their youth. Now that I’m grown, I know better. We were just removed from it at the time.

People die. I’ve lost some people that really hit close to home in the last couple of years, and no, It doesn’t get any easier.

it’s not the loss in itself that rips you apart and keeps you in bed most days. It’s the guilt from all the things that you never got to do. The things you assume you could have done tomorrow.

All the times I said I would visit my cousin whenever I was in his city and never got around to it before I left the country. I sometimes didn’t return my friend’s call as quickly as I should have and sometimes I forget to.

It’s the thought that it could be you each day, and sometimes, the anxiety cripples you. It makes you wonder what the whole point of chasing your dreams are. After all, what is the point? Why are we even here? How do you earn death in your prime? or dying in a crash?

The thing with mourning is, there’s no expiration to it. Because the people you love are truly, gone forever. As time goes by, everyone around you expects you to move on. Of course, we move, but how about those times I want to ask my father about a decision I’m making or just wants to tell him about a new book I had read? or just hear him talk and laugh? Or when I remember my dearest friend who was looking forward to raising her own family?

When is mourning enough? When is the right time to stop?

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