365 days @ Ndidi Ejima Ifeanyi-Izeze Agony of a widower


By Ifeanyi Izeze

Mummy, it is exactly 365 days since you departed on this trip and I know you can imagine the agonies I’m going through as a widower since you left.

Ever since you travelled, everyday, I look out for you returning home to no avail. This last one year since you left have been like eternity to me as it has refused to dawn on me that I will not see you again until the resurrection morning. And each time I think of this your trip a strange feeling of emptiness and paranoia dangerously creeps into me.

As you will expect, everything changed after you travelled as you’re the one person I spent most of my quality and quite time with. You are the one I made my plans with…the one who shared my concerns and worries and the one who will always tell me stories that will make me laugh. You were aware that every part of my past, present, and future revolved around you as you were part of my childhood into this stage of my life and to be without you is harder, sadder, and lonelier than even you could have ever guessed.

Get it….. this your trip has grossly changed me. This is the hardest thing I have ever had to deal with, It has been exactly one year now and I still cry every day. The pain is so real, for the loss of all the things that will never come again. The pain goes so deep, I cannot describe it. No matter what I do, it’s not the same.

Loneliness has remained my most horrific experience and I find this emotion to be nearly all-consuming when I am alone and as you would have expected I struggle not to express my grief outwardly but in isolation.

Your travelling makes me feel like I’ve lost not just you but many important people: my childhood friend, my lover, my peer, my co-parent, my confidant, my motivator, my playmate, my care-giver, my quarrel mate and so on. Now you can see that this loss doesn’t mean the loss of you alone “just” as one person but that of several very important people in one person.

This your trip has created a vacancy in many roles that you, the one very important person, had previously filled. And as you well know me, no one person is going to be able to take the place of all the roles you filled because most of them dated back to our teenage days.

And here’s the thing…not only is it harder than you could have thought; the people particularly some friends I spend time with don’t always seem to recognize the depth and pain of this loss. So most times they talk stupidly in the name of consoling, encouraging and advising me to piece myself together and carry on. This can be felt any time someone tries to cheer me up, smooth it over, or make it not look too terrible an experience “as God allowed it”.

It would have been far better if most people who set out, though well-intentioned, to encourage someone that lost a spouse, will just simply shut up around me because most of their talks, jokes and what have you are at best irritating and at worst offensive.

This particular guy in my office took his own insensitivity to a satanic level. Here is the case: any time I managed to dress up to join my colleagues for our operations’ meeting, the only thing he sees will be my fine dressing and improved facial looks. And then he will say one of the most stupid things I ever heard from an adult who is even older than myself that I was already entering the market to pick another woman whatever that means. If only he knew how that hurts my spirit.

Mummy, as you well know that but for the grace of God that now works in me and has granted me enormous in-gratia, I would have hit this guy right on his temple one of those days in the office to put a stop to the foolish jesting. If only he knew that my coming to join the meeting in the office was a sort of breaking away from weeping sessions in my closet, he would have talked differently.

Mummy, I am suddenly realizing how aloof and individualistic the world is and I have started understanding a fresh meaning of spouse-ship and parent-ship. Suddenly, I started to understand another meaning, perhaps, the relative meaning of the word “marriage.”

Now I am beginning to know why a lot of couples will refer to their spouse as ‘significant other’ and/or ‘better half’. While it’s usually meant to be a sweet compliment, the truth is that most marriages (even the imperfect ones!) operate and function as two people joining their lives together as one. This union can become such a part of our identity that without it, we don’t feel like a complete or whole person anymore. So I am not only missing you… I am missing myself too.

I forgot to let you know that our children are doing very well though as well know, it can never be the same for them again without you. All the same, the strength of God is working in all of us helping us move on.

Rest on Mummy! Adieu my childhood friend. If they pray over there please do always pray for me and the children on this side of life. Adieu! Adieu!!