2-year anniversary, Ade, anguish, child-loss, comfort, grief, Holy Spirit, homegoing, May 2nd, mini-memoir, Mothers Who Have Lost a Child Club, oldest son, Olumuyiwa Ade Keen, permanent member, raining nonstop, sadness, transitioned, untimely farewells
Today is the second anniversary of the day my oldest son died. What I say in my mini-memoir, Untimely Farewells, about that melancholy May 2 is that I was feeling apprehensive. So:
“…I thought that if I went for a walk that it would calm me. It didn’t. As soon as I started walking, I burst into tears. While wailing, I suddenly blurted out a desperate plea.
“Father,” I sobbed, “please take me, instead of my son. I have lived a relatively long life. He is too young to die. Plus, he needs to be here for his sons and his new grandson. They surely will suffer immensely, if Ade were to die. They can do without me, but not their dad. Please, Father, let Ade live, if that is Your Will. In Jesus’ name, I pray. Amen.”
I prayed similar prayers during that twenty or thirty-minute walk, as well as throughout that day. Still, my uneasiness continued to intensify; so much so, that by six o’clock in the evening I felt too sick to be around my family — my younger son, his wife, and their children — so I went to bed.
By now, my entire body seemed to know that Ade was dying. That was why all I wanted to do was to escape that unbearable truth by sleeping my hurt away. I had not been asleep all that long before Tarik was sitting next to me on my bed, shaking me, and begging me to “wake up.” He repeated his plea. “Please wake up, Mom. You have to wake up, now.” It was 7:50 p.m., my time.
Awake but a bit fuzzy, I asked Tarik, “Why do I need to wake up,” and before he could say “Ade is gone, Mom,” I already knew it. I immediately started crying, while simultaneously trying to push Tarik away and asking, aloud, “Why, God, why?” However, Tarik wouldn’t let me pull away from him. We cried together in each other’s arms.” (pp. 172-173)
That day, I joined a club that mothers everywhere hope they will never have to join. I became a permanent member of the Mothers Who Have Lost a Child club. What I also say in my mini-memoir is it is unfortunate that “…even though I eventually could rejoice with God that Ade was no longer suffering pain, I couldn’t avoid grieving his loss” (p. 182).
Two years later, I am still grieving the loss of my son, Olumuyiwa Ade Keen. Even though I am not, nor have I ever been, paralyzed by a deep-seated depression, I do feel sad at times, even more so on days like today.
Many grief experts have come up with their own list of things a grieving person can do that supposedly will help him or her deal with the anniversary of a loved one’s death, but the truth is nothing and no human being can get me through today. Only the Holy Spirit can comfort me while helping me deal with Ade’s death, and He is doing just that. Thank You, Holy Spirit!
I wrote the following poem in August of 2017. It is about the anguish and sadness losing Ade has made me feel. I originally posted this poem on August 13, 2017, in one of my WordPress blog articles. At that time, I noted that this poem was from my “Deep-Rooted Disposition” manuscript. “Moody Woman” is now the title of that same manuscript. Once again, here is my poem:
Raining Nonstop in My Heart
Human life comes with no magical number –
Threescore years and ten not guaranteed to
Everyone into whom the Breath of Life is breathed,
Putting within all living souls an eternal soul –
An endless spiritual dimension of humanity.
Yet long-life promise Command is figurative –
At best, most days are long in Promised Lands
But years are far shorter than the psalmist’s seventy
Briefer still for countless parents’ beloved sons
Or daughters they received from Indian Giver:
Grief’s irate criticism of living souls’ Creator.
Heartache cosigns divers pejorative expressions –
Death makes them intensely strange bedfellows;
Thankfully, God’s Love covers a multitude of mindsets
Dead set on using finger pointing to hide the pain
That mentally fighting noxious emotional wounds
Deepens as human nature ignores Spirit’s Healing.
Child-loss pain is without equal, unlike none other –
Uniquely categorized since it betters bereavements’
Other types, triggering rawest ever-conceived anger that
Wages war against the unfairness of it all, hardening
Hearts reluctant to see collateral beauty around them
Uninterrupted by undying love that sets off joy and hope.
Domino effect doesn’t just signify a future disaster –
It illustrates how love that is in the middle of all life
Is hearts’ forever falling domino concurrently connecting
By coupling each toppled one to grief, pain, suffering,
Loss, or varied other ripples, including death, as they
Form rings around unending love’s collateral beauty.
Even so, diabetes monkey wrenched my life –
This pre-existing condition snuffed out
Olumuyiwa’s candle short of my often prayed for
Long-life plan for my eldest son whose
Given name means: ‘God provides this.’
I’m sure Ade, denoting ‘my crown,’ will get his –
For my strong soldier fought the hardest battles;
Still my heart misses its vital piece needed to fix these
Throbbing, flip-flopping, pounding, skipping beat
Irregular rhythms’ agonizingly irksome hiccups.
They’re from regularly reran videos of his life –
He’s infant, teen, adult; optimist then pessimist;
He’s laughing, speaking, leaving, returning, then dying
In my head’s wirelessly streamed detailed scenes
Of jubilation and desolation that wear me down.
Every interlude between reruns baits my fear –
Cruel taunts make me believe I have begun to
Forget the strong-willed, handsome, animated part
Of me that died, living now only in memories
Daydreams summon instantly without delay.
Losing Olumuyiwa unlocked soulish floodgates –
Now it’s heavily raining nonstop in my old heart,
Wet monsoons from an overflowing waterlogged soul;
Life is surreal like I’m imprisoned and dying in
The center of a floating no locks, no bars vast
Airless gravity-defying water designed bubble.
Losing Olumuyiwa aftereffect is canyon in heart –
This too wide to close gap prevents me from ever
Being same person, since grief has no expiration date –
Just a myriad of sadness and hopelessness tides
That confirm uncomfortable truth: he’s not here.
This second anniversary of Ade’s death is very significant. Thanks to Father God, Christ, and the Holy Spirit, I have done something, which on May 2, 2017, I didn’t think it would have ever been possible. I have survived two whole years without my oldest son, who was and still is someone as enormously important to me as life itself.