Mr Tola had booked a session with me for over a month but he never showed. Just when I was about refunding him, he sent me a message saying ‘I am so sorry for my silence, when can we see?’ During our meeting, he looked at me with tears in his eyes and said ‘why would she die? Why would she leave me alone? We didn’t plan it this way; we were supposed to grow old and gray together. Why would she die?’Mr Tola’s late wife had passed on on the operating table while having a Caesarean Section (CS) for their son.
He couldn’t understand how she passed and left him. He didn’t understand how she could be that ‘cruel’ to him. He said she was truly ‘selfish’ to have walked out on him from life. Mr Tola spoke about his anger and pain at her death, like she was right in front of him and could hear him. He spoke like he wanted to get an apology from her despite the fact that she was dead. At a point, he was referring to her as ‘that woman’. He also became angry at himself for allowing a CS.
Grief is a multifaceted emotion, it drags along with it so many other emotions. Grief is a person’s response to loss. People respond in so many ways to the loss of a loved one, so there is no ‘textbook style’ for responding to loss. People laugh, cry, go quiet or withdraw from others, get angry, scream and people become depressed and suicidal while grieving. Grief can lead one on a destructive path if care is not taken. And that’s why, it is not appropriate to tell people how to grieve, your duty is to be there for them because they need you and they might not be able to say it.
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Mr Tola was going through one of the many other emotions encompassed in grief, which is anger. It is not rare for people grieving to be angry with themselves or at the person they lost. This anger is in two phases:
Why couldn’t I save the person?
Why did the person die? Why didn’t the person save him/herself?
It is important to note that there are certain things we have no control over, if it was within our control, many of us would choose life eternal on earth regardless of the issues we are going through. However, when people transition from earth, we need to understand that they have gone on to rest. Knowing that if it was up to them, they would still be here should also bring us a level of peace.
The dead cannot respond to the questions on our minds, we need to get help with healing from their death and our pain.
Ibukun Akinbamijo is a visionary who keeps adding value to men and women. She is the Founder of The Evolution Center; a coaching platform that offers edifying courses engineered towards the training of men and women, to help them live a holistic life. She holds a Bachelor’s degree in International Law and Diplomacy, and a Master’s Degree in Political Science. A Certified Life Coach, Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP) Practitioner and an Emotions Therapist. She is also an Emotional Intelligence Specialist. Ibukun is a ball of fire who has authored 2 life-transforming books with a number of other book projects in the works, as well as being an Accredited Mediator and ADR Registrar who specializes in peace and conflict resolutions. Connect