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Updated on November 14, 2010

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.


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  • thougtforce profile image

    Christina Lornemark 7 years ago from Sweden

    A very good hub. Your mother must have been a remarkable woman! It is so sad to losing family member. Thanks for sharing your story!

  • GoGranny profile image

    GoGranny 7 years ago from Southeastern PA

    Thank you for being my fan! I am glad that your doing so brought me to this hub. I recently lost one of my dear sisters and want to write a hub about her. Your dear story of your mother inspires me. Thanks again.

  • toknowinfo profile image

    toknowinfo 7 years ago

    Just read your touching hub. You have used your intelligence, your sensitivity, and your gift of writing as a tribute to your mother. I hope you continue to get solace from the pain of your loss. My father died long ago, when I was a teenager. I just lost my mother 4 weeks ago, and I am just beginning the journey of pain from my loss. We all must do whatever we need to, in order to endure. I wish you all the best as time moves you forward. Keep writing, it is a good thing to share your feelings. Rated up and beautiful

  • profile image

    Pachuca213 7 years ago

    I feel this was a beautiful tribute to speaking of the memory of your beloved lost in death. I am so truly sorry for your loss. I too have lost so many loved ones in my life. My fiance and My step father both died within two weeks of one another (2002) in the same hospital just across the hall from the other. I appreciate every day we have on this earth because life has no certainties except that one day we die, that is certain. I do have faith and strong beliefs in our Creator that he has a divine plan for all of us, and that all the deaths from the beginning of time will not be in vain. I hope the best for you.

  • profile image

    DexiSpecs 7 years ago

    One of a mother's greatest gifts to the world are her children. You are one of those gifts!

  • schoolgirlforreal profile image

    schoolgirlforreal 7 years ago from USA

    Hi Rogochuks,

    Thanks first of all for following. I see you are a great writer.

    A very touching and painful story, my mother I am reminded of by your story, she is still living, had 10 children, 12 pregnancies, and has been a pillar of faith her whole life, kneeling for Communion when filled w/ pain. She is an inspiration and the biggest reason for my faith today. A blessed holy woman, of whom many call a "saint". I sympathize with your plight and for some reason I suppose we get stronger if "it doesn't kill us" I think that's a famous quote.

    How wonderful that she sacrificed for you all, what greater love no man hath that to give his (life) for his friends. A truly special individual of your Mom. How proud you must be to hold such high esteem and memories of her and the lucky lady who you may marry one day- whom I'm sure you will cherish just the same.

    God bless you and keep you


  • Rogochuks profile image

    Dray Chukis 7 years ago from USA

    Thank you Denise for your story, you story is equally compelling. I am happy to have an avenue like this for sharing, that is therapy all it's own.

  • Denise Handlon profile image

    Denise Handlon 7 years ago from North Carolina

    Wonderful hub which I have had the pleasure to read because you connected with me. Thank you. You paint a beautiful characterization of your mother through your words. I'm sure she would be proud of you. I was especially moved by the 'I will let go, my job is done'.

    So often that is what keeps people here, not wanting to leave a job unfinished. My mother was like that with my nephew...when she discovered her cancer returned she was not ready to let go, b/c she was raising my (then 9 yr old) nephew. My mother did pass on, despite her valiant fight. She died on Christmas morning, 2003. My father was left as a widower to raise 'J' by himself until he passed away suddenly through a heart attack in March of '08. J spent one year with another relative before coming into my home. It was a year from H...well, you get the picture. It was not a good fit for him or the other family involved. They did not understand him or his special needs. I stepped in because it was the right thing to do. He has been with me now for 1 1/2 years and it is a challenge...he has many difficulties.

    My heart goes out to you. It is difficult to lose someone so important in your life. You know there will never be another one quite like that to take her place.

    I lost my husband to cancer in October 2005. I know what that feeling of missing someone is like.

    I've written hubs about my mother,(Mother's Day Madness) my father,(The Sacrifices of Fathers) and my husband's death, (unresolved grief). If you are so inclined, visit the hubs.

    Thank you for sharing this beautiful story. I voted it 'up'.

  • ladyjane1 profile image

    ladyjane1 7 years ago from Texas

    Wow you left me breathless with your hub. I could feel all the pain you went through and Im sorry for that. Your mother sounds like she was an incredible woman and you are right,she didnt deserve to die the way she did. God bless her for making sure that you grew up to be the man that you are, smart, sensitive and articulate. She went through great pains to make sure that you were taken care of even after her death, great lady. Great hub, God bless you and cheers to you.

  • Philipo profile image

    Philipo 7 years ago from Nigeria

    This is really touchy. I could feel the pain you went thrugh. Too difficult to forget. Take heart my brother. It is well.