Pastor Ituah Ighodalo gets candid with Punch, on the life and times of his late wife, Ibidunni Ighodalo, how he broke the news to the kids and his healing process.
Ibidunni Ighodalo‘s sad passing came as a shock to many on Sunday, June 14. The renowned event planner and founder of the Ibidunni Ighodalo Foundation, was such a gem, a beautiful soul, and her tenacity was admired by many. “It has always been God and a refusal to think about myself, pain and sorrow. I decided to think first, about God and secondly, about my wife”, he says.
I asked myself what would my wife want and thirdly, I decided to think about other people. How can I send the right kind of message in the midst of this to help other people? I refused to think about myself and what I was going through. I thought more about what God would want me to do. As soon as I focused more on those things and less on myself, it wasn’t a very difficult thing to do.
On breaking the news to the kid:
My children are young. My daughter is nine years old and my son is two and a half years old. So, it wasn’t so difficult. When I got home that evening, I hugged and kissed them. Then, I whispered to my daughter, “Your mum has gone to be with Jesus Christ.” She asked what I meant and I explained that her mum had passed on. She understood what passing on meant, so the question was, “I won’t see her again?” I said, “Not physically but in eternity.” Then, she cried. My son was too young to understand what I was saying but he knew that his mum had gone somewhere. He eventually saw his mother in a coffin. My daughter asked me more questions and I did my best to console her. But then, children are strengthened by God. From time to time, even till today, she asks me one question or the other and I answer her.
Yet he’s been able to find calmness. He’s spending more time with his children, thinking and managing the activities that Ibidunnin used to oversee. “My life has changed and I hope the other people I’m responsible to (my professional practice and church) will understand and accept that they have to deal with me from a slightly different perspective going forward,” he says.
Admiring his wife for her kind-heartedness, and generosity:
My wife was a very good soul — extremely caring, compassionate and loving. She was very interested in people. She met people, took to them very quickly and made them feel special. Most of her friends thought they were her favourites but there were so many of them. She had the ability to make people feel special. She got involved in their lives and their children’s lives too.
She wanted to celebrate her 40th birthday which would have come up on Sunday, July 19, 2020, by granting 40 couples in dire need of reproductive interventions a once in a lifetime opportunity to become parents. That was her last wish.
Speaking about ‘Project [email protected]’ Ituah Ighodalo said:
Project [email protected] is a dream my wife had for 40 couples at the age of 40. It’s what she wanted for her 40th birthday, which was on July 19, 2020. She wanted to give 40 couples the opportunity to get reproductive grants ― money for in-vitro fertilisation. The grants range from N1.5m – N3m, depending on the complexity of the issue at hand. We are trying to raise between N120m and N150m to be able to take care of these people and also ensure that we can see them through. It’s not just the process but the pregnancy, and, if necessary, the delivery. We’ll not leave them halfway if we need to.
Read the full interview on Punch.