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‘Lamide Jasanya: Dealing with the Loss of a Loved One

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Last week, we began this column with a true tell all of how I lost my mother and how the people that had gathered to commiserate with my family members and I almost compounded the loss with several DONTs. {Click here if you missed it}.

These past few days, have really toughened me. Up until the sad incident, the closest I have come to experiencing pain has either been betrayal of a trusted friend, breakup of a relationship I had invested in – both of which in hindsight are nothing compared to this that just hit me.

I have had to deal with several emotions in the last one week than I have in my over twenty five years of living, and while I am very grateful to my family members for making the journey easy, here are a few things that helped me get by and I would like to share.

Don’t Expect too Much from Everybody
Not everyone will abandon their work, life or family to come and comfort you, and so when they call you to make excuses, allow them. And for as many that come, don’t believe their promises of a callback or comfort and care because only a few of them will live up to it. Some will promise to call back and not. Some will even go the extent of promising to stand in the gap… like they can.

Don’t Force the Emotions
Express truly, how you feel. Only you understand your pain and care less about the people around. So if you feel like screaming, by all means please do. In my own case, I used all the swear words there are, and even came up with a few more that I now can’t remember.

Don’t Be Afraid to Outgrow the Pain
Understand that the pain isn’t a day’s journey, so enjoy the process and learn through the phase. It will wear out in due time, so when you hear a comment, a joke or an interesting fact, feel free to laugh and react accordingly. It doesn’t make your loss less hurtful.

There’s No Need to See Visitors off
When visitors come calling, don’t see them off. They say it’s tradition. I’m yet to understand that, but for logic sake, don’t bother, because even you need to rest, biko.

Eat
This may sound a little too weird but please, don’t starve yourself. Once hunger, sleep or any other craving sets in, it’s the beginning of reality, respect and obeys it. Your body system doesn’t stop functioning because you are grieving, so learn to take good care of yourself, lest you may be causing damage to it.

Preserve the Memories
Lastly, understand that when everything is over, responsibilities remain, so don’t lose sight of them. Stay strong and preserve the memories. You will always have them; so you have to stay strong for that reason, alone if possible.

There’s no short cut. Ride out the pain
Don’t look for a quick escape route. Pain like love is an emotion, it doesn’t wear out easily. If the person lost is very close to you, chances are that it will take a while, so don’t fall for the quick way out. In my own case, I tried to find solace in sleep. I would shut my eyes and force it. Sometimes I was unlucky, other times, I would sleep only to wake up more drained than I was. I preferred solitude too, but it made it worse, as memories flashed easily and caused me to tear up every time.

Don’t Blame yourself
This is perhaps the most important of all the don’ts and by far the most essential. Don’t blame yourself for anything at all. That you were unavailable or that you wished you did more wasn’t the cause of the loss. It happened because it was meant to. Don’t point accusing fingers to anybody too, should you want to hasten the healing process.

Photo Credit: Alberto Jorrin Rodriguez | Dreamstime.com

Olamide likes to think of himself as clueless about what he really likes but his close friends are quick to mention waist coats, dope shoes and party jollof rice as top on his list. He is a trained actor and speaker and currently plays in the Marketing Communications industry. He likes to write to empty his head and make serious issues light. He is a fun bag and almost never takes himself too seriously. He can be reached via [email protected]

25 Comments

  1. Omobola

    January 19, 2018 at 2:33 pm

    Great article! I needed this. Nothing adequately prepares you for the death of a loved one, what happens next is all that matters. Your journey to recovery…

    • Olamide Jasanya

      January 20, 2018 at 6:01 pm

      Hi Omobola, glad the article was of help to you. As you rightly said, nothing prepares anyone.

  2. Patty boo

    January 19, 2018 at 3:22 pm

    I dnt knw how but u’ll cope. Sorry about your loss.

    • Olamide Jasanya

      January 20, 2018 at 6:01 pm

      Thank you so much Patty Boo. Really appreciate your comment.

  3. chi

    January 19, 2018 at 3:26 pm

    please take heart. May ur Mum’s soul rest in peace. Amen.

    • Olamide Jasanya

      January 20, 2018 at 6:02 pm

      Amen Chi. God bless your kind heart. Thank you for stopping by.

  4. Ogee

    January 19, 2018 at 4:04 pm

    Sorry for your loss.
    I can relate with this article on different levels lost my mum a week before my 25th birthday and my life hasn’t been the same. Im grateful for my support system few friends and family .
    1.I expected some friends to be there more , like I saw them as sisters but the truth is nobody can stop their life to be there for you
    2. Ive been soooooo emotional , I am an emotional person on a normal day , I also realized I became depressed and started emotional eating which is of no good , after a phase of starvation .
    3. Nothing really prepares you for the loss, I mean I didn’t see it coming , I’ve tried to blame myself so much but it really hasn’t changed anything .
    I cant wait for light and happy times

    • Ovine

      January 19, 2018 at 4:23 pm

      Just hang in there dearie. Light and happy times will surely come, one day at time.

    • Olamide Jasanya

      January 20, 2018 at 6:05 pm

      Hi Ogee, So sorry dear. That must have been really devastating. I’m happy you have resolved to stay strong and I assure you light and happy times will come soon. Just stay positive and please do not blame yourself.

  5. Splendid

    January 19, 2018 at 4:26 pm

    I lost my mother thirteen years ago it still hurt like yesterday. Nothing to qualify the pain of mother’s demise. She passed on the day I started my 4th year exams at the university. she was not sick. I was not informed about it because of my exams. During the period,any attempt to put her in my prayer, I will unconsciously say may her soul rest in peace. One day I will tell my story.

    • Olamide Jasanya

      January 20, 2018 at 6:08 pm

      Awww, Splendid. Not even a ‘million years’ is enough to make one feel the hurt less. I’m glad you want to share your story. Would really love to hear/read it and perhaps, with your permission, publish it too so it can help us all. I’m available via mail [email protected].

  6. Me

    January 19, 2018 at 8:39 pm

    Thank you so much poster, it’s like u are an angel speaking to me. I lost my baby a day to Christmas (convulsion), I did all I could, rushed him to hospital early, doctors tried their best, but he gave up ( am in tears typing this) he was my baby, no Christmas for me….. Can’t type….

    • memebaby

      January 20, 2018 at 3:24 am

      🙁 . May God stay by you to comfort and assist you on how to cope. I am sorry.

    • Omo

      January 20, 2018 at 4:59 am

      So sorry about your loss,may the good Lord comfort you.

    • Author Unknown

      January 20, 2018 at 7:31 am

      I’m so sorry to hear this. I can almost feel your pain through your posting. May God give you strength.

    • Olamide Jasanya

      January 20, 2018 at 6:52 pm

      Awwwwww!!!!!!! This comment got me. So so sorry. I’m lost for what to say but I pray God doubles your strength in this trying period. I wish there was more I could do but I definitely will pray for you. That I can assure you.

  7. S

    January 20, 2018 at 12:50 am

    Nothing compares to the pain of losing a loved one. The pain is deep, indescribable and unbearable.
    My only sibling became an angel Dec, 2016. He was 25yrs, full of life and kind to a fault. It all happened within 24hours – Imagine the shock! His burial memorial is in less than 48hours. I’ve been depressed the entire week with lots of painful flashbacks. I look to God for divine healing and comfort.
    The journey to recovery isn’t the easiest. Does the pain get easier with time? I honestly don’t think so…
    In all, I am grateful for true friends. They have thought me selflessness.
    Keep resting in the Lord’s bossom dearest brother. I will always love you ?

    • Olamide Jasanya

      January 20, 2018 at 6:58 pm

      Awwww S. So sorry about your brother. The pain really is deep and cant be compared to anything. I’m happy you are looking to God for healing and comfort. I know I may be asking for too much but please do not let this cause depression, I beg of you. Stay strong for his memory sake. If it would please you, S, please shoot me a mail and lets try and make sure depression doesnt set in. I hope to read from you soon. My mail addy is [email protected].

  8. Mama

    January 20, 2018 at 9:42 am

    So sorry for your loss. Wish I could give you a hug right now.

    • Mama

      January 20, 2018 at 9:43 am

      Sorry, my comment is for ‘Me’.

    • Olamide Jasanya

      January 20, 2018 at 7:00 pm

      Awww! Thank you Mama. Your hug will do me plenty good, I’m sure but since distance wont allow, I would hug your ‘intention’ and pray God blesses your kind heart.

  9. Amy

    January 20, 2018 at 1:32 pm

    Like I’m just here in bed crying. I lost my dad about two weeks ago. It’s really heart breaking for me. I keep thinking about him lying there in the mortuary, cold and alone. I just don’t know. My world is crashing upon me, I feel so weak and sad. I’m not sure if I can get over this! The pain is unbearable.

    • Omo

      January 20, 2018 at 3:38 pm

      May God be your strength at this time,he will be ur healer ..so sorry

    • Olamide Jasanya

      January 20, 2018 at 7:07 pm

      Amy, I am so sorry to hear about daddy. And yes, please feel free to cry, it is indeed a sad event and the pain is truly unbearable. Please don’t be depressed, I beg of you and I would like to be of help in anyway that I can if you would let me. Please reach out via mail, [email protected].

    • Olamide Jasanya

      January 20, 2018 at 7:08 pm

      Amy, I am so sorry to hear about daddy. And yes, please feel free to cry, it is indeed a sad event and the pain is truly unbearable. Please don’t be depressed, I beg of you and I would like to be of help in anyway that I can if you would let me. Please reach out via mail, [email protected].

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