How can a heart break twice? I mean it had already been broken so you thought, “I’ve got pieces left“. Well, even the chunks left of your heart can break again and maybe some more, until there’s nothing left of the tiny shreds left again to break. But life would always find a piece to break!

So here’s how a heart feels or how mine felt, again and again till I had to accept that maybe it wasn’t my heart but something else breaking in its place:

You get pregnant unplanned: Just when you feel well, this is life. Life happens to you and so you find yourself alone and pregnant. Alone yeah, maybe at this point you got yourself pregnant. Then you come to terms with the fact that you’ve got a life growing inside of you, ready to bear the stigma of being unmarried and pregnant without a man because you’re irresponsible and this is Nigeria, we don’t do things like that. Where the hell did you leave your morality dear? Did I say there was no father? Yeah, that’s how your heart breaks for the first time. You’re pregnant and alone and he’s moved with another woman, hello wakup Felicia!

You lose your baby: Yes. You lose that baby. Yeah, that same baby, darling. The same baby you didn’t want at first but came to love. That same baby that you stressed for. The one that made your aunty throw you out because you were sick all through the pregnancy journey and she didn’t want to get into trouble like “what if you die?” There’s no father to the baby, so you must be promiscuous. You were irresponsible and now you want to mess up her tidy house with your sickness. Please go and never return. You actually found a friend’s place to stay because you can’t go home and you don’t know how your parents would react. Now you lost the baby. “Oh God please save my baby!” you wailed. They tell you to thank God he’s taken away your shame and stigma and the hole in your heart grows wider with each unsolicited advice and concern. How much more can a heart take!

You Lose Your Sibling: Did you think you were done grieving? You can’t just go like that. At this point you don’t know if it’s your heart or something in you, but a light has been put off and you fear it’s for forever. You’re floating. Wait, what’s that? You’ll see her again, maybe tomorrow, maybe next or the resurrection morning; you’re in denial. And then the blame comes, anything to cope; you blame her for allowing herself die, at least your baby had no will, she was an adult and could have chosen to live. Domestic violence and neglectful husband they say, but all you can see is a girl that neglected her own self. She could have spoken up. You’re angry. You won’t cry, no you won’t cry. You feel your hatred for men solidify or maybe you don’t even care about their existence. You can’t even feel your heart. There’s nothing there anymore. Well, bye Felicia!

Your favorite aunty loses her baby and some few weeks later, her house to fire outbreak: Don’t cry more than the bereaved now, you tell yourself and hug yourself tight, tapping your foot listlessly, your mind void of any thought.

Your Dad lays in the mortuary, dead and you lose all your original credentials to armed robbers: All your degrees including your masters certificates and labour gone like a puff of smoke up into thin air! You were actually on your way to a job interview. Dust your arms and move, “thank God it isn’t your life that is gone” they tell you. But you wish it was actually your life gone with everything because you don’t even have a life. You don’t have a job and you’re the first child, maybe your dad will bury himself because didn’t the Bible say that the dead shall bury the dead?

You’re losing it all in the space of one year! You’ve lost it all. And you’re expected to hold on, to hang in there because God understands best!

Lessons From Grieve

No one comprehends your pain like you do: You’d better stop feeling sorry because most people will say sorry and feel shocked but they still don’t or won’t get it. If you haven’t grieved before, then please know this in advance.

Nobody will offer any help that will be enough: Oh sorry, but you might not get the help you need to snap back. Help may come but never enough or nothing at all may even smile your way. Wait, were you thinking this is some telenovela? It doesn’t get better until you make it better, give yourself all the help to grieve.

You need money most: Well this is Nigeria and things are very tough. You need money. You really need money to feel better. It doesn’t matter how much you have but more money will really go a long way because this is a loss or losses we’re talking about right now. Money makes a whole lot of difference. Okay, look at Obi Cubana and Tiwa and all those who lost loved ones? They had monetary support. So who are you not to need money to grieve? You need a lot of money to grieve but unfortunately, the money might not come because are you Davido?

Everyone is grieving one thing or the other: no matter what you may feel is your issue, someone else will always feel like “well, me too”, yeah. So focus, and don’t expect people to feel like yours is worse because everyone feels his own is worse or even if they felt yours is, what difference would it make?

Your grieve won’t stop life in Nigeria from getting tougher: This one is hard. Just get up and find your way around until you finally die and people grieve your death, because Nigeria won’t stop being tough and things won’t stop being unnecessarily expensive just because bad things are happening to you.

“The world won’t stop just so you can grieve. Do whatever you want to do with this knowledge”.

I’m sorry, I know life shouldn’t be this hard but how hard should it have been?

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