One of the things I observed was that several people mentioned to me that in moments like this we cannot question God, God does as He pleases, be angry but don’t sin etc….. We see what happened to Job when he was asking God a lot of questions, Job had it worse etc.
I was struggling to accept that I couldn’t ask questions, that I had to be cautious in the ways I asked questions. It came across to some who I perceived were afraid of the questions I was asking, almost like they saw that I was losing faith and they felt the need to jump in to save God. I mean I am already thinking about these questions anyway.
My wife had just died, should my faith be high? Should I be stoic? should I pretend I don't already have these questions on an endless loop running through my mind? Should I accept these responses at face value?
I agree that I cannot ask God the Almighty or Sovereign questions, I am not even questioning His authority, however; Christ introduced God the Father to us and told us about ABBA Father, If He is father, then surely he must understand that a grieving son will ask questions that may appear out of line or questions that appear not to make any sense.
My intellectual mind is heightened, I still trust that there is a God, but the level of trust I have in him is somewhat not at the same level. Truth be told, since Chidinma’s passing, my faith was now hanging on by a thread, like Jack from the Titanic movie who was hanging on the plank. To help me emotionally and spiritually, in the little I can mutter I am asking that He shows me a glimpse of His perspective on how this whirlwind that suddenly took my heart and best friend away from me.
Below are some of the questions and thoughts that troubled my heart:
What was it that heaven saw that they decided to take her away from me so suddenly?
I know the young and old die, was the assurance Chidinma and I had in the place of prayer earlier this year that death will not visit our household a lie or did we work ourselves to believing that?
I know that His love for us is unconditional and not performance based, is it that because we haven't been as fervent in the place of prayer since she fell ill in tail end of February one of the reasons that she passed on?
I hear the comfort of people, suggesting or sometimes assertively commanding that I stay strong for the children. I remembered when the air hostesses on an aircraft give their demonstrations, one of the important messages they pass on is that it is important that parents put on their life jacket or use the oxygen mask before helping their children. Following this news about Chidinma’s death, how can I be strong for Anisa and Josiah, if first I am not strong for myself. I love Anisa and Josiah but right now I need oxygen to breathe. What does staying strong mean? Is it that I should psych myself to appear to have my thoughts, words and actions together?
I hear this is the time to draw closer to God, worship Him, He's good, nothing catches him by surprise etc, with this sudden disaster, I am struggling to believe all of that. I truly wish I could trade places with her, I can see the humongous responsibility that lies ahead and I don't know how and if I will be able to handle it. Our children are still very much babies; although I am very involved in their lives, I am still bewildered by the fact that I am suddenly both a single parent and a widower. I am already struggling to see how I am going to make each day emotionally, physically and financially.
I know the Holy Spirit is our help and companion but it's not the same as being able to send a text and get an instant reply or being able to video call and get a response. We were just fine in Coventry where we had a strong community, I thought God never abandons his own, we believed his word when He asked us to move from Coventry to a place He will show us; well I feel abandoned, was this part of his plan all along?
I have never been a “what’s done is done” individual, those who know me closely will say that I like to observe lessons learnt and best practices from almost every experience and when I am in “enquiry mode,” I find it hard to accept surface level answers. The sudden passing of Chidinma put me on a ‘high enquiry mode’ because I wanted some answers.
The love of my life had suddenly been called home at least 45 years earlier than we believed. We had on many occasions spoken about heaven and which roles we were likely to be in when we got there. I had always said I didn’t want to live more than 80 years and not younger than 79 years, if I died earlier or later than these dates, I would ask God what my offense was. Research suggests that women live longer than men, so we thought I was going to go first to prepare and warn the angels and saints about Chidinma who had great plans to add the colour teal to the rainbow colours.
I have a lot of questions, there are promises which I felt we had personally received in the place of prayer before we got married and even earlier in the year, her death runs against the grains of the life-scripture on which our relationship was built on. I naturally ask lots of questions, I learn by asking questions, so this is just too much for me to bear.
I found that I wasn’t satisfied with the explanations to my questions and wanted to find more information to help me make some sense of this trauma that I am experiencing. I hope you will continue to journey with me as I share how I am learning to deal with the loss of my wife as I journey from grief to wholeness.
I believe that we fall into one of two categories; we are either in need of help or in a position to help someone. My desire is that anyone who has lost a loved one either recently or in the past and on this type of journey that I find myself will find strength, healing, hope and comfort. I hope that my story will also equip anyone supporting and journeying alongside someone bereaved as I share things I found helpful and potential areas of development.
I thought that one of the gifts I can give back as a way to thank everyone who has stood by my family during this difficult time and to encourage anyone who may be on this grief and loss journey is to reflect on, share lessons learnt, contribute to common best practices, identify key components God brought and continues to bring, actions that are helping me in finding healing, sustaining hope and aiming to thrive as I regain a sense of well-being and strengthened faith along this new journey that I suddenly found myself on.
In addition to sharing my personal journey, I believe that many of the resources I've discovered deserve a wider audience since I found that the necessary information for bereavement and grief work is scattered and also there’s limited information for Black ethnic young widowed parents like myself.
I am discovering some really useful information about grief, loss and transition which I am finding valuable. I intend to share them here so that others who are in need of help or in a position to help someone bereaved can find and use them, perhaps more easily and more quickly than I am doing.
I am hoping that this website doesn’t remain a blog but transcends into a vibrant community for those grieving and those supporting the bereaved to support one another to find healing, sustain hope and aim to thrive as we journey from grief to wholeness.
To Be Continued Next Wednesday...
I would like to hear from you. Would you please share your thoughts, comments and reflections below. Thank you.