loss-grieving

My mum passed in 2012 and honestly, nobody was prepared for her death. Her loss left our family shattered and I had to deal with my pain quietly and for six long years.

Being Raised By My Mum 

I have got to admit, I am a mama’s boy. I was raised almost exclusively by my mother because my parents were separated.
There is a huge age bracket between my siblings and me, so that meant that at some point growing up, it became just my mother and I left at home. Everyone else was either studying at the university or had begun a life of their own.

Just The Two of Us

Every single day I felt my mother’s love and I knew I was always her priority. There were many things that I adored about her. For example, the fact that she was extremely hardworking. She was a serial entrepreneur and that meant trying many businesses and failing a lot.  The fish and snail farms were not exactly successful and eventually, we ate the stock ourselves. Nevertheless, there were other businesses that thrived. The pure water factory, the flour wholesale business.
My mum would wake up in the middle of the night to run the pure water factory herself whenever power was restored; to save on diesel during the day. She was a shining example of resilience and one of the reasons I excelled at school was to make her proud. Then in 2012, she died suddenly; a few months after my graduation.

Grieving 

No jokes, I was shaken to my very core. My mum was always there and now she was not. In trying to cope with my loss, I built a wall. I was so hurt by my loss that I did not want to ever hurt again. I was determined not to get so attached to anybody ever.

Reading Saved My Life

In January, I read Michelle Obama’s Becoming. I felt her pain when she described the experience of losing her roommate and friend Suzanne Alele to cancer at 26. Similarly, In Phil Knight’s Shoe Dog. Phil, the man who founded and built the Nike empire, shared what it meant to lose Steve Prefontaine who was a friend to Phil and a brand ambassador to Nike in its early days.

This evening, as I rounded off Gabrielle Union’s book, We are Going to Need More Wine, I started to get emotional as she described the last hours she spent with a friend who was dying from Breast cancer.
I thought, Shit! We are all going to die. It was an aha moment for me. I think that we forget that loss is ubiquitous. And that the pain of loss is the same.

There is a quote from Paul Kalanithi’s book When Breath Becomes Air that comes to mind a lot:

Even if I’m dying, until I actually die, I am still living

The truth is that there are other people in my inner circle whose death would hurt like hell and one day (hopefully very far away), it would be my turn and it will hurt some people like hell.

This is what I have learnt. You will be useless to the world if you try to inoculate yourself from pain. Every pain has a purpose.
I will close with a quote from Alicia key’s Album, the Element of Freedom which I think buttresses the need for us humans to rise above our pain.

 

“And the day came when the risk to remain tight in a bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom, this is the element of freedom”-Alicia Keys*.

Olutobi

My superpower is creative engagement; whether working as regulatory affairs professional at a pharmaceutical company or as a fashion art director. Malcolm Gladwell calls people like me, "connectors".

I try to read at least a book a month, I have a green thumb (not literally) and my favourite quote ever is " remember to play after every storm".

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