August 7th made it 17 years since my father passed. I was 11 and he was the center of my world. I have gone through different stages of grief and with each one, I think I’m finally over him; until something else happens to prove me wrong.
8 years after he passed, I still believed that I would see him one day. I don’t know how I nursed that belief as an adult, but I really thought I’d walk into the room one day and he’d be seated there, so we could have a conversation. Throughout those 8 years, even if I cried when I missed him, I had not accepted that it was final. My NYSC took me to a remote village without GPRS; my relationship with God was good and I guarded it jealously. That’s why I think the experience I had there was God’s way of helping my mind let go, even just a little more. I began having dreams where my father and I would cry our eyes out, knowing that we wouldn’t see each other again. We’d hug each other tightly and tell each other ‘I love you’. I used to wake up in tears. It happened for about 2 weeks or more. It was only then that I let go of the idea that he would show up one day. The dreams emboldened me to tell my mother I love her. I had wanted to say it for a while. The dreams reminded me of how urgent it was.
Since then, I’ve had more experiences. It’s like I’m letting go at a snail’s pace. It’s frustrating. I let go of things pretty easily. I barely remember offences. This is so stale, but my emotions don’t know that.
I hate that sometimes it hurts as if I am 11. I still can’t see why God let him die. Our lives would have been so whole with him in it. On different occasions, I’ve been blessed by people who recognise me by his name. Some worked under him, some just knew him. He left me with such beautiful memories too. I’m convinced he was a good man. Flawed, but as good as one would expect of a person. I’ve made peace with the fact that I may never understand why God let it happen.
What I haven’t made peace with is living like I have lost an arm. I want to be able to leave my his death behind. I’ve asked God to help me. I have to trust that He is on it.