Walking Through…Titi Olajide Cole
‘If God is so good, why does he allow bad things to happen?’
I have heard this question so many times over the years and I would often respond with the ‘O ma n fi aaye ope sile’. Translated, this means that God leaves ‘room’ for us to praise him. In all sincerity though, it is an automatic response for me, as that was the usual response to traumatic events in my family while growing up. However, that statement is ‘truer’ (Pardon my murdering English) than ever and it’s implication resonates through my mind right now as I lay in bed ‘looking back’ over the last couple of months.
I don’t know about you, but for me this 2020 has been one hell of a year! This is the only year since I was grown enough to be conscious of what goes on around me, that I recorded the highest number of death of people personally known and dear to me. Just yesterday, I learnt of the passing of a friend’s dad. From her chat, I sensed she was still sort of ‘dazed’ about it. It’s hard to see a good God when experiencing the loss of a loved one and anyone that tries to ‘talk’ you through the pain is not readily received.
In the Nigerian culture, it’s the ‘norm’ to do the ‘it is well talk’ whenever such events occur. Unbeknownst to most of these sympathisers is the fact that the person who had suffered the loss is sick and tired of it and would rather prefer an empathetic ‘silence’. Back when I experienced such traumatic event, I got to a point when I felt like screaming at people to just ‘shut up’! Telling someone that just lost a loved one there is a purpose for the loss is so much in ‘bad form’ and ridiculous. On one hand, perspectives about the painful loss could change over time when you get a clearer understanding of the whole happenstance, while other instances and irrespective of the length of time, one never really gets why (most of the people I talked to still don’t get it).
It seems easier to just give in to the pain, get bitter and angry as the grieving process is an ‘uphill task’. However, finding joy and peace by ‘walking’ through the pain is worth it. Avoid upsetting memories by being conscientiously mindful of thoughts you dwell on. Of course you will think of the departed, but don’t ‘dwell’ on that thought so much it hinders your healing. Sometimes, you can ‘vent’ with God. Personally, when I let out my feelings/thoughts/emotions by having a monologue with God (some would call that soliloquies); crying or yelling (whatever works for you); I found immediate relief.
I didn’t ‘pray’, but rather oscillated between anger, lament, complaints and what-not. At the end of the whole drama though, I would come away more peaceful and calm. Another thing that was therapeutic for me (and still is) is journaling. I love writing so when stuff bothers me, I just pick a pen and write or type my thoughts on phone/tab. Journaling has been my best ‘outlet’, I can’t describe how therapeutic it’s always been for me. Seeing my emotions itemized often helped to process emotions/thoughts/feelings.
In conclusion, having a journal of thanks where I jot down prayer points and tick as answered (I also have a zip lock bag of thanks where I stuff dated pieces of paper to encourage myself that if God answered prayers in the past, he would replicate that). Find what works best for you. The important thing is for you to get up off your ‘runt’ and start your process of walking through.
My journaling habit, coupled with my ‘unofficial’ grief counselling stints ‘birthed’ this blogsite.
Stop denying the pain or the incident that resulted in the pain and start the journey to your healing. Don’t just sit there, get up and walk through!!!!
How does one walk through?
Guess one is never alone. He did say that if we walk through the fire He will be there.
But at times can someone really feel or know that He is there?
When one feels alone and it’s like no one understands~ what does one do?
Cliches so much abound these days. Everyone says ‘It’s well’
It seems one is not allowed to express ones emotions. A lot gets bottled in. Cos of cultural norms.
You’re expected to be strong…
Well, I thank God for always being available.
No one can walk through without God’s help, He got me through.
Very nice and encouraging writeup aunty Titi, I did carefully read through and I can to an extent understand how you feel or what it looks like loosing a loved one. Moreover the pains, agony and emotions running inside of you can only be understood by you, and no amount of sympathy or encouragement during that period can stop what’s happening inside of you, but just like you rightly said, one would only need to walk through, create an inner peace and remember it’s only God that’s IMMORTAL
Thanks bro. I remember you lost your dad not too long ago and some familiar emotions must have come to play.
Your write-up really inspired me
The only way to move forward is to keep moving
God bless you ma
D write up above is concise, & splendid.
Straight to the point, & thoughts clearly expressed.
More Ink To Your Pen, dear sis.
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