By Bunmi Sofola
IT is impossible to go through the loss of someone you love and not be deeply affected by it. I think I knew when my girlfriend died that I would never be the same again. That my views, attitudes, outlook and philosophy would be different.
Ten years on, I’m a different person to the one I would have been had she not died. And while deep in your soul you miss the person everyday, the intense pain gets less with time— either that or you understand it more and live with it—but that itself is very comforting. You have to accept and assimilate the effect of your loss into your life. Only then can you start to deal with it….”
Anayo, now in his late thirties met Flora in the bank they both worked for and got closer when they were paired together to source for funds and make contacts with important clients when the need arose. “She was a very beautiful and intelligent woman,” confessed Anayo; “and the day she agreed for us to have a relationship was the happiest day of my life.
After a few years of the most wonderful period of my life, we agreed to get married and we started looking for the ideal flat for us. By the time we found one, she was already pregnant.
“I was really ecstatic as we made plans for the wedding and the coming baby. With the flat and the coming baby eating the chunk of our savings we decided to put the wedding plans in the cooler until after the baby arrived. Flora became even more beautiful with her advancing pregnancy.
She’d always been very self-conscious about her bum-calling it hideous. But to me, her curves were perfect. I remember vividly the night we made love and I wrote: ‘lovely wobbly great bum’ across her bum with a felt pen thinking it would wash away with her bath. She said she was hot with embarrassment when she visited her doctor the next day, and had to strip-and he could read the graffiti! Memories like that will forever be with me.
“When she went into labour, I was with her when our beautiful daughter was born. I’d scarcely left the hospital when I got a call from the office that I should come quickly. Flora had started haemorrhaging and was very weak. Within hours, she was dead— just like that.
“Just when you think you couldn’t possibly be happier, fate has a way of dealing you a painful blow in the solar plexus! I just couldn’t believe what was happening to me as I looked at the peaceful face of Flora—it was as if she was sleeping.
“When the shock of her death started to wear off, the pain crashed in. My whole body ached with grief and I hurt physically. And the fear! I was petrified of trying to go on without her. I didn’t know if I could—I’d never felt so alone in my life. Going back to our flat was just excruciating—everything was still there just as it always was. Her towel was still in the bathroom, and all her hair things were still strewn all over the place. Only Flora wasn’t there. And never would be again.
“ As we planned for her funeral, I had to make arrangements for our daughter whom I’d named after her mother. My parents died a long time ago but Flora’s mother, as grief-stricken as she was, happily agreed to look after little Flora. I was really grateful to her for that.
“In the end, I had to let our flat go—it was too painful to stay in a flat that held so much happy memories in the midst of my pain. I never got rid of the feeling that Flora would walk through the door. Now, 10 years on, I still think of her every day. What with little Flora looking like her mother as she grows older. I have since remarried with two little boys. My wife agreed to have two children as three are all we prayed for in our family. Little Flora lives with us now and I’m secretly glad that there is no other daughter in the family to share the affection I have for her. I love my wife of course, but the love I feel for her is nothing like the one I shared with Flora.”
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