What do you say to someone who is mourning?
In the past few months, two of my classmates have lost parents. I woke up yesterday morning to see that my class WhatsApp group was mourning. My secondary school class. There was a name there. Uchechi. We had so many Uchechis in our set. I started thinking of all the ones I knew. Hoping, praying that it wasn’t anyone I knew personally.
It was. She had not just been in my set at Federal girls, we ended up at the same University. I got in before her so I was like a year ahead. I kinda remember the first time I saw her at Ibadan. I knew the face, didn’t know the name. She walked up to me and said, “Feddy babe abi?” She went on to introduce herself like we usually do. Name, Dorm, class arm. I had been in blue, she in yellow.
Now she’s dead.
I’m not even about to lie. I don’t know what to feel. I started losing people in 2016. Oh, people I knew had died before then. But the hits close to home started in 2016.
Last year started with the news of Esther. She was like a small mama. And then, she was a FECAite and a Lawyer.
Then Dami. My classmate in Law School.
Then it was my Grandma.
And then a month after my Grandma, while I was writing my Bar Finals, my dad’s younger sister. I remember thinking how my grandma would scream at her if she saw her and order her to come back to earth immediately.
She didn’t come back.
These where people I knew. Spoke to. I had touched them. I didn’t know how to feel. I still don’t.
I remember finding out about Esther. I was still on the phone when I started crying. I walked through Mammy Market in Law school crying my eyes out. Found a spot to hide and cry. And then I went back to my room and slept.
So what do you say to someone who is mourning? When it was me, I just wanted everyone to shut up. Sorry. May their soul rest in peace. Some would even say Perfect Peace. Then there was the I know how you must be feeling. No you don’t. I don’t even know.
So I’ve learned to shut up. I’ll usually say that I pray God comforts them because I sincerely believe that it’s a job only God can undertake.
Loss is a terrible thing to deal with. Especially, when it’s a person you are losing. I can’t imagine losing a parent. Now two of my classmates are living with that.
How do you comfort someone who is mourning?