Tag Archives: Death

This is how you lose him.

Yours is not a friendship conducted on Twitter but that is where you find out anyway. It angers you, this rumour. But then something about it makes your breath hitch in your throat and you’re dialling dialling furiously hoping it is a lie.

The voice on the other end makes your heart pound. It is unusually tinny, a confirmation of sorts. But you still ask the question, stuttering, mumbling, evading. Your grief bursts out of you, searing, tearing, burning. It surprises you. You scream, you cry; the kind of weeping which cuts you in two. You fold over. You hear your child crying alongside you, scared of your reaction. It sounds like it’s coming from the TV. You cry in stops and starts. Stop; doubt, hope. Start; belief, despair. You think of his children.

You get in the car, picking up friends along the way. Grief ambushes you along the journey. Your mind fills with the absurd details of your friendship, distracting you. You cry some more when this tactic does not work. You hold your tears in check when you meet his widow. Your sorrow seems vulgar, brash in comparison. She has barely any tears left. She looks like a dish cloth, wrung out and left in that state to dry; twisted up.

You cannot sleep. You know you should. You tell yourself ‘Sleep deprivation helps no one’ but still you cannot. You think of his children again; all his hopes and dreams tied up in them. You think how he smiles when he tells you about them, how this smile cuts a swathe across his face. His smile. His hugs. How he hugged as if to completely absorb you into himself. How you wriggled out of them at first engrossed in your own anti-tactile bullshit.

Your head is full of snatches of conversation, impressions, whispered words, private jokes. Other people have private jokes and whispered words of their own. The internet is lighting up with them. You are amazed. It is amazing how many pieces of friendship are out there, how each one of them is a piece you did not know, precious, like buried treasure in a sunken ship. Great people have that ability. They make you feel like your friendship is the only one that matters.

You feel guilty for grieving. You recall feeling a twinge of pride? elation? when he said ‘Chale you treat me like an orphan you know’ because it somehow meant you were different. But you are not different. You are crap. A crap friend.

You think about the fights you had (because you fight with those you like). You think about the distance you put between you, between your other friends, convinced that the choices you have made mean you no longer have a place in their lives. You think about that phone call after his A&E stint; you defensive, him angry.

You took him for granted a little and now you want to make up for it a whole lot. But you cannot, not in this life. So you turn to your dreams. In your dreams, he is still dead. Your subconscious refuses to lie to you, to give you a desired ending – more time together.

And this is how you lose him.

An Igbo woman writes from the grave: A story of domestic violence.

First of all – as a disclaimer – let me just say that I hate stories that are designed to tug at the heart especially if they are true stories. Just give me the facts and let me make my own judgement. I find those stories are more powerful that way, stripped of artifice. This is obviously a device of the writer and not a fault of the ‘victim’.

So I did have to filter out a fair bit of the maudlinism to get  to the nub of the matter:

1) The woman is dead.

2) She suffered emotional and physical cruelty at the hands of someone sworn to love and protect her until she died.

3) She left behind two children whose future now looks uncertain – one is a boy with developmental problems. The other is a girl. In this story, it seems their father would simply want them not to exist.

But there are other questions which simply refuse to go away:

1) Why, why, WHY did she stay a whole 12 years while the man stripped away her humanity? A lot of women think that a man has only broken his vows when he cheats. In my view, a man who beats you after he vows to cherish you has broken his vows. The signs were there from the beginning. A person that loves you will not allow you to be exposed to ridicule of ANYONE no matter if it’s their mother, sister-in-law or extended family. (Speaking of which, the sister-in-law was married into the family as well so she has just as many rights as the dead woman.)

2) Dead woman is the last of nine children. WHY could she not go to anyone in her family (obviously the writer of her story knew. What did he/she do to help?)  if things were so bad? She died like a fly with no kinsmen. Sad.

Biko nu, Igbo men if you are not ready to get married, simply stay single. A man is not mature by age. If after you marry you still hold your mother in higher esteem than your wife then marriage is NOT for you. Same goes for woman and their fathers. You’re better off staying with them rather than carrying your wahala to someone else’s house.

Seriously. Forgetting to buy anara for your mother is no reason to let your wife die alone.

See the dead Ogochukwu’s story here

I’m still interested in the man’s point of view – not excusing that the woman is dead and all – so if you’re he or you are privy to the info, please share.