LIFE, LOSS AND LIVING.
Life, Loss and Living.
My mom did not deserve to die when she did, and neither did my dad and brother. They should have lived longer, and we should have done more together; sound familiar? I am sure there are millions of people the world over who share these sentiments, and they all feel this sentiment with great conviction.
My mother was my hero, my pillar, my rock, my best friend; she was not only a mother to me and my sibblings, but same to many in Benin where I grew up. It was very common for my mother to return from her many social trips with a new brother or sister in tow. The way we saw it, my childhood home was a landing place for children who needed love and a place to call home; we were always willingly to share our meager bounties, and limitless love.
My mother was my High School English teacher, a highly respected fixture in my City's social circles. My mother saw to it that we had the best education, and an upbringing steeped in the fear of God and love of humanity. My mother was a Girls Guide, IRC Vice-president, YWCA Secretary General, Mothers Union Secretary General, President of a Women Progressive Union, Preseident of many clubs, Member of the Hospital management Board and an official of the Ministry of Education.
My mother went to the Radcliffe College in Wales at an age when most women were planning for retirement. She let neither the economic circumstances or social realities of Africa stifle or deter her determination to create a better life for my siblings and I. The years my mother was away to school in Wales were very tough ones for us. My brothers (2) and I were in the boarding house at our high school in Benin-City, and my sisters stayed home with my dad.
My mother went to school in the daytime and sold avon cosmetics at night. With the money she made from selling avon and her stipend, my mother would send us money and keep us fed. My aunts and cousins would check in on us to make sure we were well and safe.This pattern continued while my mother obtained her degrees, and would only be interrupted by the death of my father.
My dad was highly educated, but he struggled with an alcohol dependency; he was more dependent on my sisters and I for care and attention, than we could depend on him. My mother's dream of obtaining a PH.D was interrupted by my father's untimely demise; she returned home to be with us. My mother upon her return threw all her energy into ensuring that my siblings and I did well in life, culminating in college graduations, and oveseas travels.
All we are in life today we owe mostly to my mom, and we all yearned for the opportunity to pay her back; to make her golden years special, like she made our youth.
My mothers golden years were rudely interrupted on the 16th day of February 2008 when she lost her life in a fatal car crash; a crash that was caused by negligient speeding and defective car tires (not very uncommon on African highways). My mother passed away unlike the way she lived; she died violently and without mercy. A beautiful and devine soul, chrushed on a forest highway.
My mothers death was devastating, senseless and unfair; a robbery of sorts to the soul. The plans for her twilight were shattered, and dreams of a recompence stolen. I could not help but feel at the time that this was a unique feeling, and I was alone in my sorrow, my loss, and the unfair plight.
Years have gone by and my mom's soul is in good repose; slowly but surely, it is all adding up.
People die, so that others may live. No matter how you die, whether it is from ilness, disease, accident, no matter the way; people die so others may live.
I think of my brother innocent who died as an infant, my dad Edward who died when I was in college, my uncles and aunt who passed and finally my wonderful mother Cathrine. All these peole died in different ways, and i felt varying degrees of hurt and pain, but they all had that common thread; they died so we could live.
Imagine if everyone who died since your youth were walking this earth at this time; Imagine if we all lived until we were old and gray. Every dying person must believe that they are leaving behind a gift; they must believe that they have in their own unique way left a strong mark, an impression or attribute in the loved ones that they are leaving behind. I believe that with their dying breath, they are thinking of us all and saying that we will be well, we will march on, we will be strong.
This is not natural selection, it is individual selection; our loved ones saying, I will let go, my job is done.
Think about it, ponder it.
People die, so that we may live. If this contention works for your loss, then embrace it; if not, share your contention, or method of dealing with your loss.