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Isio Knows Better: The Little Soul That Had to go Home

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When you loved someone who died young, you never really forget. It changes you.

I am reminded of this as I go through my old journal. The journal in which I wrote in many, many years ago. As I scanned through it, I realized that even after all these years, I still can’t bear to read it. The words in that book were thoughts I had so buried so deep I had to tear myself apart just to revisit them and turn them into words.

Let’s just say that I am happy I have evolved from that to the quirky-witty writer who finds humour in everything that you (my readers) seem to love. As always, I am humbled by your acceptance of my work, and your love of me. May such love and acceptance find you all too. And may you not have to pass through such darkness before finding your light.

So, for the first time, I share something from this old book with you. Never published, now finally edited but originally written on the 22nd of May 2007. I wrote about him briefly in my article “Crushed”.
***

I was a child, but I remember loving you.
As much as an innocent could love another
You were my first
And even though it has been nineteen years since the water took you away from me,
I am still here.

Things have changed, I have changed but the world never really changed.
I am still the same, still learning, still evolving, still making mistakes.
I was so young, but I was so drawn to you.
And I thought about you every moment, every day for five years after you passed away.
About how you never knew what I felt for you, because I was too proud and afraid to show it.

Now that you are gone
I wonder if you knew any of this.
You were the class captain, and I was the assistant but I refused to look at you.
Just so you couldn’t see it every time my heart melted when you looked at me.
Did you see it?

We talked, although I tried as much as possible to stay out of your way.
Every time you sought me out, I would ignore you
I am still good at that anyway
I remember the day I yelled at you
I am sorry, it wasn’t your fault.

My best friend at the time didn’t like you
She knew I cared deeply for you, and it was all so confusing to me – her dislike of you.
And I was torn.
I remember the look in your eyes that day I yelled at you

Simply because you touched my arm gently when you said, “Excuse me” when I was with her
You just stared at me in shock and disbelief
You seemed so hurt, you just walked away.
And I immediately felt ashamed of my behaviour
But even then I did nothing… I did not apologize.
And my friend seemed pleased.

I know that you know, now.
That I really did care for you.
Because after you died, you came to me.
You had a soft, sad smile and you watched over me even while I slept.
The best part of you was alive in me
Because the love of an innocent, even unspoken is still a powerful thing.

But you had only just started seeing a girl before the waters snatched you away from this world
It was okay. I was too proud, too insecure, and too shy to admit to you I felt anything for you.
So I pretended that I felt nothing and walked away
Don’t be sad, please…
It gives me pleasure to know that someone shared her love with you.
For no one should spend their last days on earth unloved.

We barely spoke when you were here, we weren’t even friends
But when you died… Fate intervened in a peculiar way.
She sought me out and cried in my arms.
She said she knew that I could “see” you… that I was the only other who could understand.
And so I had to bury my grief, be strong to comfort another,
Both of us who had loved you in different ways.

Did you know that I knew the exact moment you died?
Early evening, December, 1996… I lay on my Mother’s bed in my Mother’s room
Cracking jokes and laughing hard with my family –
From nowhere, clear as a bell I heard a voice ask me
“Isio, what would you do if ***** died?”

It gripped me so suddenly, that I paused for a moment dazed
Convincing myself I had imagined it, I shrugged it off
Little did I know, that that was the moment you were drowning
That that was the moment the ocean took you away.
If I knew then what I know now, I would’ve prayed for your soul.
I would ask God, and the Heavens to spare your life.

I remember the last day I saw you.
You came and joined us – my friend, your friend and I as we played LUDO
I was still too shy to look at you and so we played as best we could
But when the game was over and you had to leave
You stopped, turned around, LOOKED AT ME, and waved.
Your smile was like the sun. I waved back.

That was the last time I saw you. Do you still see me?
After all these years, do you?
All that time, all those years – gone.
And all my pride, my insecurities – for nothing.
I hope that you have become a star.
A beautiful sun bringing light to a galaxy.

The ocean that took you away cannot be blamed
She took you away, perhaps before the world could corrupt your precious little soul.
And so I go to the ocean and I look out into the waters that snatched you from this world.
She fascinates me, and I love her still.
But I know never to underestimate the force of her tide.

And for you, precious little Soul
I am sorry we didn’t do something when we had the time.
It is amazing
That your life and death were my first lessons into the illusion of time that time gives.
And the beginning of my journey to self-awareness.
Your be-ing taught me that life IS short, unpredictable and can be over in a heart-beat.

I learnt to live so that my death would bring no pleasure to the world.
I learnt that if you love someone, you look them in the eye and tell them without shame, fear or anxiety.
Tell them – not to “possess” them, or to “demand” that they validate your love, but to let them know that just by “being”, they have made your heart sing.
I have learnt that sometimes, all you need is for that heart of yours to sing.

Nineteen years, you’ve been gone,
But keep shining and know that you are never forgotten.
Because THIS is your legacy.
And I thank you for that.
Rest in Peace, my friend.

Isio De-laVega Wanogho is a Nigerian supermodel, a multi-award winning media personality and an interior architect who is a creative-expressionist at her core. She uses words, wit and her paintings to tell stories that entertain, yet convey a deeper meaning. Follow her on Instagram @isiodelavega and visit her website: http://www.idds.pro to see her professional body of work.

55 Comments

  1. daisy

    June 2, 2015 at 9:45 am

    This is so touching.

  2. bn lover

    June 2, 2015 at 9:51 am

    Isio…….I’m sorry u had to feel so much pain. I don’t know you….but I love to read everything you write,I don’t know him,but as I read…. the tears rolled and wen I tried to stop it….it flowed. I don’t know wat to say…..i can’t even console anybody that is grieving. May the Lord be ur peace.

  3. Nma

    June 2, 2015 at 9:53 am

    Lovely!
    Brings back sad memories of my late sister. May her gentle soul,continually rest in peace. Amen.

  4. Didi

    June 2, 2015 at 9:57 am

    I remember the article you wrote about him. Beautiful piece. #LiveLikeYouOnlyHaveToday… May he continue to RIP.

  5. Tk

    June 2, 2015 at 10:02 am

    Beautifully crafted expressions!!! Isio you’re the bomb( Not Boko Bomb sha o)
    I can relate to this too. She was my crush through my Jss until death took her without any notice. Wish I was bold enough to just tell her how I feel about then…..

  6. Tee

    June 2, 2015 at 10:02 am

    Wow!

  7. Olorificentz

    June 2, 2015 at 10:04 am

    Naw I love isio more. God bless ur brain.

  8. larz

    June 2, 2015 at 10:08 am

    Oh wow.
    May his soul rest in peace.

  9. SEEN ALL

    June 2, 2015 at 10:09 am

    oh! Isio darling, I had a crush who was compassionate, loving, patient, not greedy, forgiving, encouraging, carried people along, wanted the best for everyone… But Life screwed him over, he died young. I will be right back let me go cry some more.

  10. Babytohcute

    June 2, 2015 at 10:14 am

    Aww… But this love thing is tricky oh. I think I’m still in love with my first bf (apparently never had another) who broke up with me (distance ish) like 4years ago and I have refused to tell him. In my defense if he needs me, he should come back. But I just can’t or I refuse to tell him “I love you”. What if he doesn’t come back and present friendship becomes awkward? I’ll rather have him as a friend than not have him at all #shudders.
    Anyway, I guess we all as humans should always tell family and friends how much we love them. We never know who’s turn it’ll be today or tomorrow to rest from this harsh world.
    Therefore, Isio, I love your write ups #Godblessyourheartandsoul

  11. Nne Somebody

    June 2, 2015 at 10:21 am

    Loss of this kind stays with you all your life. The first few lines got me because I lost someone like that years ago. I also wrote about him and how he was a part of my life before my memory even began and I loved with all the honesty and purity that my soul could muster. I guess that’s why it’s hard, they are young and largely untainted by the world when they leave it. Their songs are just starting and for the rest of your life, you hear snatches of it, wishing the whole aria could be sung. Sleep well, all who left us too soon.

    Isio, no thanks for making me cry. 🙂

  12. icontola omoade

    June 2, 2015 at 10:22 am

    mehn, that was so touching…i really wish i could put my thoughts in words so clearly

    isio,you are gifted. I pray your friend Rest in Peace

  13. Ochouba Chidinma

    June 2, 2015 at 10:30 am

    Hmmmmmmm!

  14. ebi

    June 2, 2015 at 10:36 am

    So touching, am do speechless ryt now, Jst made me remember mine too, May our loved ones forever live in our hearts nd may we hve d boldness to tell d ones we love hw we feel abt dem yl dey r still breathing. Love u Isio.

  15. Jesbadoma

    June 2, 2015 at 10:54 am

    Isio dear, I can feel your pain. It hurts so much to lost someone, especially as young as your friend. May he continue to rest with the angels.

  16. mrs chidukane

    June 2, 2015 at 10:59 am

    Chai. RIP

  17. Bode

    June 2, 2015 at 11:01 am

    Why are there many sad, fitting tributes and eulogies everywhere on the internet today oo?
    This is beautiful, original and deep.

  18. hmmm

    June 2, 2015 at 11:03 am

    Isio, tears fill my eyes for the love i lost while i had the chance to do something about it. Thank you for your sincere writing. May we one day find love so true and innocent again, amen.

  19. me

    June 2, 2015 at 11:11 am

    Isio, may your dear friend continue to rest in the bosom of the Lord. I lost my brother in when he was 18. He was my only sibling. I lost faith in God. There are the good days when you think of them and smile and there are the days when everything reminds you of them and the pain is overwhelming. The pain of losing a loved one is better imagined. E dey crase pesin. May the souls of d departed rest in peace

  20. divea

    June 2, 2015 at 11:38 am

    words so deep….

  21. Bayowilson

    June 2, 2015 at 11:40 am

    …But why don’t we always marry our first love/crush….Ki lo ma n fa na?

    • anonymous

      June 2, 2015 at 12:28 pm

      kini hun ni*rolls eyes*

  22. iyke

    June 2, 2015 at 11:54 am

    Ohhh Poor Isio, seems you have been crying all morning…because in your tears you realize your truth…your innocence…vulnerability and the inner most expression of your soul…The tears massage your spirit…refresh and unburden your will…recharging the challenge within you… Go ahead hun, you are better for it…Let the thought of your lost friend allow you to digest this shocking arrest…before it aches beyond the pain.

  23. Tola

    June 2, 2015 at 11:57 am

    Isio, the tears are flowing again, lost him few days ago, best thing that has ever happened to me, most loving, caring,man have ever love even in death i still love him. Sleep well Ola

    • Bobosteke & Lara Bian

      June 2, 2015 at 5:59 pm

      Let the tears flow….till it ebbs away and brings a season of healing.
      Be comforted, Hugs.

  24. onichee

    June 2, 2015 at 12:08 pm

    Good lawd this is too sad. Couldn’t read to the end. May his soul RIP

  25. NEKS

    June 2, 2015 at 12:30 pm

    hmmmm…..Isio this hit close to home…. I went to Loyola Jesuit College and graduated the year the Sosoliso crash happened…. I kept ( and still have) a news paper clipping of the names of the departed…. school mates I saw everyday at school, ate at the dining hall with, slept in same hostels with, ran next to at interhouse sports, talked about prom with, random stuff….. its been 10 years but I’m still shocked by the events of that day. Everytime I remember, the feeling of sadness is till fresh like it happened yesterday. I still do not understand to be honest, why did God let innocent kids die such traumatic deaths……its still confusing but i guess there are things in life that I will never understand no matter how hard I try. continue to rest in peace our Loyola angels and every one who passed away that day, To live in the hearts of those you love is not to die. Shalom

  26. PIUS CHRISTIANA

    June 2, 2015 at 12:40 pm

    wow…..am lost for words.

  27. Busarni

    June 2, 2015 at 12:54 pm

    Hypocrites all sounding nice and sober now, the next minute you are all cursing each other out on a different post on BN.

    • Bobosteke & Lara Bian

      June 2, 2015 at 1:21 pm

      Isn’t refreshing how life avails us of different emotions?

    • loma

      June 2, 2015 at 1:32 pm

      Oh dear!

  28. Bobosteke & Lara Bian

    June 2, 2015 at 1:20 pm

    For the first time: the “Isio Knows Better” caption is brought home; painfully so.

  29. Noms

    June 2, 2015 at 1:46 pm

    @babytohcute…I was in this situation too but I had to let him know. He is married but I just can’t hate him. I don’t want to write this sad tribute my sista Isio just wrote when I still have the chance to let him know,he is not dying soon…but who knows…
    Letting him know didn’t mean I wanted him back,( ok, it did) before he got married but now that he is married, I love him still.
    We were buddies before we officially started dating and still dunno what happened but I believe God has HIS plans.
    I think you should let him know if not for anything but for your peace.
    I tried not telling him for a while, I purposely didn’t call or send a message in his birthday…to prove a point to myself.. but na lie, I called him the next day and we both had a good laugh.
    Its just a pure sweet love (he didn’t love me enough to want to spend the rest of his life with me) and i’m content with it even if I wanted more . I don’t want to loose my friend forever…

    And my Oniovo,Isio, you are really gifted in expressing your thoughts and e-hugs to calm you down. I’m sure you have cried again over him.
    May the soul of all the faithful departed both young and old rest in peace.
    P.S
    Please do not hold back your feelings…even if it turns out the person(s) don’t reciprocate. I know it feels better when you love someone and he/she loves you back.

    • Sugar

      June 2, 2015 at 3:56 pm

      we both feel same way. Ex got married and honestly i cant bring myself to hate him. I still love him so much and its even hard to let go of his pictures despite the fact he’s with another woman. Oh well, that is just life , sometimes we cant explain things. Sometimes i’m tempted to send him a message to let him know i hurt badly and still so in love with him, but HELL NO! i’ll rather keep that feeling to myself and i hope to love my future hubby as much as i love my EX….And maybe i’ll see him in the future and still love him? I don’t know yet. I keep asking myself the same question

  30. theurbanegirl

    June 2, 2015 at 2:11 pm

    The heart grieves but we never really have an explanation. Continue to rest in peace Andrew. April 23rd 2013. i am still in love with you.

  31. ferrari

    June 2, 2015 at 2:13 pm

    People chide me for always expressing how i feel but if i love i will tell you, if i’m mad at you i will tell you, if i miss you i will tell you, if i am grateful i will say it, if i was wrong i will apologise…all because i am afraid of losing that opportunity to have let the other person know just how i felt. it’s always too painful to deal with never being able to let people know how you felt after they are gone from us.

  32. drbashfx

    June 2, 2015 at 2:48 pm

    from the start,i just knew it had to be him.he was well spoken(of cos,he was ghanaian),brilliant,handsome and very lighthearted.it shook us all,cos we were all too young for such emotions. not thot abt him in a very long time till today,unlike you that must have carried him in your heart all this while.a very nostalgic piece
    from a closet fan

  33. Priscy

    June 2, 2015 at 3:10 pm

    So Sad!
    19 years and still fresh in your memory
    Death is inevitable

  34. Dumebi

    June 2, 2015 at 3:34 pm

    Isio, I don’t know who you are, but I am about to find out, google you and follow you on every platform. How did you write this so many years. It feels so present. I cried. Still have tears. Loved it. Hope you stayed true to the lesson and loved with abandon. I know I will.

  35. DA

    June 2, 2015 at 4:18 pm

    I lost my best friend and sister 6 December 1999… heaven knows I have not gotten over this.

    I had this eerie feeling for a long while she was with me.

    I am sure gonna cry on my wedding day cos we have talked about our wedding days at that young age!

    The pains we carry, no one can explain.

    Comfort, to all those who are hurting over a loved one.

  36. Fatzy

    June 2, 2015 at 5:25 pm

    So very sad, cant say more

  37. chee

    June 2, 2015 at 8:24 pm

    When I think of the ones I loved and lost, it reminds me that life is fleeting………a close friend and gist partner who left @ 10yrs (hers was the first corpse I sneaked into d hospital to see…to confirm if it was true)
    A brother who I tried to replace by dating a look alike….alas he proved irreplaceable
    The intelligent and witty sylvia…..i’m ever grateful our paths crossed
    When I think about them,it reminds me it’s a privilege to see the next day and I pray and hope i’ll never sweat the small stuff or take life too seriously becos i’ll never get out of it Alive.

  38. Imani

    June 2, 2015 at 8:36 pm

    So i’m sitting here at my desk at work, and i happen to see this piece beautifully written by Isio. I can almost hear you sobbing while writing this, and even though it breaks my heart, it takes me down memory lane. No, i have never lost anyone i loved so much to death, but i lost the only man that genuinely ever really cared about me to someone else, and even though i felt the same way, my pride took the better part of me, just because i was 4 years older. He didn’t care about that, but i did. More like, what would society say. For him, it was never about sex, our chemistry was mind blowing. Pride they say goeth before a fall, and even though he’s married now, i still can’t help how i feel sometimes. It doesn’t have to be death sometimes, but losing him took life out of me emotionally. When you can, always tell people how you really feel, and even if that person doesn’t feel the same way, just do it. Nobody said it was going to be easy. Phew…I just had to let that out. Dear isio, i write too, but i must say, you are an amazing writer, and blessed as well. Thank you for sharing this, and i pray that you heal with time, even though that never really happens.

  39. Nice gal

    June 3, 2015 at 3:54 am

    This is my “takeaway” from this brilliant and touching write up “I have learnt to live so my death would bring no pleasure to the world”. Well done Isio, wish I could play around with words in a meaningful and engaging way like you do.. My daughter is only 7 and she writes brilliantly, how do I support and encourage her skills.?…BNers pls any tips will be very much appreciated….thanks in advance 🙂

  40. Dovey Jone

    June 3, 2015 at 8:15 am

    Emotions reveal honest truths. @Nice gal,its a beautiful gift your daughter has and its more beautiful you sought ways to promote that development. Gradually introduce books as she grows older, on different subjects from sound literatures to health journals,motivational books,even comics…this influenced my writing flare as a child. It Builds up vocabulary while gaining knowledge.

  41. feyishay

    June 3, 2015 at 10:25 am

    I lost Ena in 2010. The last we saw of each other was in 2005 when we both left for the university.
    He certainly was my first crush. I’d never felt it before but I knew he was different.
    I also wrote in my diary and when he died, I told him he had set a standard for any man who would ever walk into my life. Gosh! Ena was fine, gentlemanly, godfearing, loving…all that at a young age when we met…need I forget to say, he was the best student in our class.
    I guess we both never got to talk about our feelings but we remained as friends. The distance was killing but we talked when we could.
    Ena was studying to be an oncologist and we talked about what will happen when he comes back home….or if it will be better he stayed over there.
    I had an eerie feeling on the day he died. I called him and he didn’t pick, called two of my other friends from high school and we talked a while. I got a message two days after that Ena died from his crisis.
    I was in shock…..I still cry about it when I remember.
    Just when I thought that my being crushed was over, I got crushed again in February. I met him in the university and the perfect description for him was ‘Will Smith meets Albert Einstein’…Jeez! he was calm, handsome, godfearing, mature and he graduated best student of his class. (I’m always attracted to men with these qualities…). We never got to talk apart from the usual Hi’s when he stops by to see my friend who was his friend, then random comments and follow backs on social media. Even though I waited and prayed that we get to finally meet and kick things off. Then I heard we lost him to some crisis.
    I was mad, uncontrollable and effortless tears streamed down my face….unbelievable but I just got crushed by another crush…..
    Thought about it and I knew I certainly would do something about the sicklecell anaemia disease.

  42. abby

    June 3, 2015 at 12:54 pm

    xo touching……

  43. Taiwo

    June 3, 2015 at 4:38 pm

    Hmmmmmn, speechless……..Isio, U av brought out true emotions in me today, U av made me feel what I av neva tot I wld feel.
    I cant help but to cry as I imagine aw U feel eva since dis incident happened up till now. Putting myself in ur shoes presently, I am having mixed feelings of HAD I KNOWN I shld av told him how I felt maybe it would av saved his life, I shld av shouted at him.
    Anyways, all is bygone now except for the memories that would neva fade.
    Tank U Isio for teaching me a lesson wit this write up…. May God always give U strength each tym U remember that friend and may his soul continue to rest inthe bossom of the Lord.
    RIP ANONYMOUS

  44. ChicadimplesNG

    June 3, 2015 at 10:38 pm

    Oh Isio, kpele dear…..I can’t imagine how u felt as u edited dis piece
    Hmmmm such is life,
    RIP Isio’s friend!

  45. Priye

    June 4, 2015 at 12:42 am

    I can relate with this….I subcribed to BN because of IKB….keep doing your thing….you are loved.

  46. omotola

    June 4, 2015 at 9:47 am

    This is an amazing piece consider me a fan …….tweeting your words right now feeling like I need to reassure someone one how I feel ☺?

  47. nice gal

    June 4, 2015 at 10:01 pm

    @ Dovey Jone, Thanks a lot. Will do just that

  48. dex

    June 21, 2015 at 11:21 pm

    Isio, overwhelming ds is, it’s so touching. I lost my dad and I kw hw it feels to loose a loved one. Like sm1 rote, it’s better imagined. Its inspiring bt ds js reflected who ur inner soul is.

  49. Rem

    August 26, 2015 at 9:54 am

    I envy that you can express yourself so eloquently. Don’t worry, I think he always knew. That was why he seemed confused when you snapped at him.
    NB: Your writing is amazing but I wont admit this to the girl who introduced me to it (Yep. Still proud)

  50. mercy Oyiwoda

    November 30, 2015 at 7:32 am

    Isio I don’t know what to do with you. You are so gifted you always have me where you want me.i love you a lot as though I knew you personally ( I secretly wish so)thank you for been such an awesome writer.your friend’s soul rest with the Lord in peace

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