THE LONGEST MONTH.
It is very difficult to accept the fact that I no longer live in a world where my Mother will hug me, advise me, pray for me, make me laugh and read the words that I will write. In the month since her death, I have experienced numerous restless nights, tears, hollowness in my chest, numbness in my limbs, and more tears.
No matter how much you brace yourself for the inevitable, especially when the inevitable is the fact that your Mother’s health will no longer improve and that the only possible outcome is death, nothing prepares you for the pain that follows when it happens. The pain in my chest still lingers, as if I am only just getting the news today.
I have tasked myself, as a way to feel better and feel close to her, with sorting out her documents, her clothes and other knick-knacks which one acculmulates throughout their lifetime. My Mother loved to take pictures; in every corner of her room, tucked away amongst documents, in the back of drawers, my Mother’s face smiled at me from photographs in several poses; some studiously planned, some hilariously candid.
It has been a month full of thinking about my childhood, of remembering little details about her (like her distinctive handwriting, her love for Game Shows, her deep Catholicism, her love of laughter with friends and her love for quiet time in her room, playing Candy Crush on her iPad).
I miss her.
My brothers and I have been overwhelmed by the outpouring of love from family, her friends, and from our own friends, checking on us at home, writing condolence messages on our social media pages and in private messages, and through phone calls, wanting to know how we have been coping.
For anyone who is grieving, I say grieve in a manner which comes naturally to you. There is no single way in which to grieve. Ignore the ‘Are you still sad about your Mum?’, ‘Are you still crying?’ ‘I’m sure you should be okay now; start hanging out with people’ messages. Even if people tell you that they too have gone through what you are going through, remember that your grief is your own. Eventually, you will come to a point where you are able to live again and function somewhat normally even as the pain continues.
I have started to write again, reluctantly. I have stories in my head that I want to flesh out on paper, but…my Mother won’t share them on her Facebook page…she won’t tell me that they made her laugh…she won’t tell me that I did a good job.
And it hurts.
Ivie M. Eke
9th of July, 2020.