‘It is better to have loved and lost, than never to have loved at all.’
Alfred Lord Tennyson.
For someone who has lost close family and a friend, the death of my friend Ansa hit me very hard. You think you get used to the hard blows life deals you, but each time it’s different and more painful.
Leaving Ansa at the mortuary was one of my most painful experiences in life. It seemed so unfair, so wrong that we were all going to walk away and leave her in the cold. I woke my hubby many times at night, asking him to take me back, so I could be with her and keep her company. He reminded me she wasn’t actually there. So I googled, (my friends know that google is actually my best friend) I wanted to know what was happening to her as she lay there.
It was the second time I was losing a close friend so I wondered if there was a row call, was I next on the list? Why were my friends dying? I wondered also if it was connected to me? Was there something about me that led them to their deaths? It sounds crazy but that’s what loss does to you.
People, particular in this part of the world, like to dictate how you should live. For the longest time, her picture was my screensaver and it bothered a lot of people, time has passed, they would say. Well, time hadn’t passed for me. Time stopped still when she died. It upset me that people moved on so fast. Upset me even more that they expected me to. Leave me the hell alone! I wanted to scream so many times.
Recently my friend’s husband called me to say he was remarrying. Not Ansa. The other one. It broke me. He didn’t understand why, after all I was the one who’d encouraged him to. She died leaving a week old baby and a toddler. I often told him the babies needed a mother but he wasn’t ready. Four years after, he finally takes the step. I’m happy for him and for the kids but it reminded me that my friend’s chapter in this life is closed. Permanently. Death is so final. Too final. Particularly when you are not given a chance to say goodbye.
But here’s the good News, the pain gets easier to bear. Not a day goes by that I don’t think of Ansa but it’s no longer as painful as it used to be. I dwell more on the good times we shared. She was a very good person, Ansa. Very good person. And I carry her goodness along with me, always.
Twitter has recently been thrown into mourning by the very untimely death of Chiedu Eze who was clearly loved by many. Nigeria has also been mourning the many deaths in Benue State; men and women, young and old allegedly slain by Fulani Herdsmen. As Nigeria continues to kill her own, it is my prayer that God grants everyone the fortitude to bear the loss of their loved ones.