Grief Listening

On this day last year, my mother, Christiana Iyabo Adu died from the complications of Parkinson’s disease, aged 63. I don’t have words to describe the cocktail of pain and emotions that has poured though my soul since then, grief broke me into tiny little pieces.

I was told “it is well”, “move on with grace”, “she is in a better place”, “at least she died before her children”, “at least she was up to 60”, “life goes on” and all the many things people tell you when you have just lost a loved one.

I understand these things they say, and I know they mean well. Yes, I have “moved on”, I am going about my normal activities and pursuing my goals for the future, but after all is said and done, the pain is still there. One minute I feel like I am over it, but then the next minute I am sobbing, and shaking and struggling to breathe. Sometimes I push it away all day, but then it comes rushing back at the dead of the night.

Through it all,  I am really grateful for the emotional generosity of the few people who have paused to listen to me when I could not stop talking about my mother’s life and death. People who have given me minutes of their time at different places to listen to my stories, without shutting me up with “move on” and the other common phrases.

In a way, by listening, they allow me process my loss and find some clarity.

Now, I also take some time out to listen to people going through grief and need someone to talk to. It doesn’t matter if they lost their loved one last week, last month, last year or even ten years ago. If they want to talk, I listen as they share their memories, regrets and pains. I listen as they talk about things that may be too difficult to discuss with other people in their lives. I listen as they unburden and try to find healing – no judgements, no prejudices, no preaching, just life-giving soul to soul conversations.

I am not a therapist, I am not a life coach, I am not a certified grief counselor, I am just another soul, like you, trying to make sense of life and of death.

You can reach me via shola@woman.ng if you will like us to meet in Lagos to talk about your loss and grief.

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December 5, 2018

 

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