How did it happen- how did you lose your dad.
I lost him to an illness. He was sick for a while, about 3-4 months.
How old were you
I was barely 15 years old. 14 going on 15.
What is your favourite memory?
Seeing him talk about what he loved. His face would light up when the conversation was either about youth or politics. Also, he had this deep baritone voice so hearing him talk about his goals with such passion for me was amazing.
How was your relationship, were you close or apart?
Very close, I adored my dad and looked up to him. When I grew up I wanted to be just like him.
What are some of your regrets?
I was so young, I didn’t know anything. I never really got to have a real father figure in my life. That sucks. He was that kind of Father you know, he would have talked to me, helped understand more, he would have been there.
Sigh. What was moving on like?
It’s been so-so. It’s been tough, it’s been interesting, and it’s been frustrating. But it has made the me you see today. I can’t fault the process, in a way I have enjoyed it.
Tell me the most random memory you have of him.
Our trips. Every trip with him was fun. Our last trip together was an adventure, we were taking another road trip to God knows where. My dad was in pain but he still drove, along the way we found ourselves stuck in the mist of trailers. Now every road traveller from my part of the world knows that you do not want to be the caravan in the mist of trucks, lorries and trailers. One of them breaks down or has an accident or even gets into a squabble you are stuck there for the rest of the day. Plus you can’t see past the meter or so around you. So of course my mom was worried and we guys found that funny.
I can imagine. Was on a road trip where a truck got into an accident and that was it, a patch of 15 mins took us 2 hours. Tell me did you have any support while trying to move on?
I didn’t feel I needed any help. I didn’t talk about it with anyone and didn’t want anyone talking about it with me. That probably wasn’t the best decision, now that I look back a little help would have made all the difference.
Okay, so what changed when you tried to get back to normal?
Nothing really, I’ve been independent all my life. My siblings and I grew up not having to rely on anyone emotionally, or otherwise. We missed our dad terribly but rarely spoke about it. It was like the elephant in the room.
It’s amazing how differently we handle pain. If you could say anything to him now what would you say?
I would say I’ll see you again dad.
Tell me about a funny moment you had together?
I remember one time when NEPA (sorry if you don’t know the meaning of that, just google it) just restored power and I insisted on saying ‘down NEPA’ only for him to insist I say ‘up NEPA’ (shout out to my Nigerian millennials!) which I blatantly refused to do. I had to change my mind at the last second, now that doesn’t mean I’m a coward, it only means I’m Nigerian and we are smart like that in the presence of koboko (you can still google it. And no, where I come from that’s not child abuse).
How did you move on or eventually find peace and joy
Life continued robotically. Eventually I found the Lord and He showed me the emptiness and pride that was inside of me. He is the peace, joy and everything I could ever need. It got better when I realized He lives in me.
That’s amazing. What advice or encouragement would you offer to someone struggling with loss?
It’s alright to feel cheated, disgruntled, and mad even. Feel free to be mad at God. He can handle it and He doesn’t need us to defend Him that way. You feel you’re in a dark place now and rightly so, I know it’s cliché and all but there really is light at the end of the tunnel. Jesus is the light and if you permit Him to journey life with you, I can absolutely guarantee that you will find Him to be that proverbial friend that sticks closer than a brother-Proverbs 18:24b.
Thank you Temidayo for your amazing testimony. I love how God meets us exactly where we are. Next time we’ll have my friend Onose tell us about her story. Be sure to share with a friend or on social media, there’s a share button below to make it easier; also don’t forget to like, comment and follow for more.
Love you guys! Well you already know that.