I walked into the sound of singing and joy coming from the bathroom where the kids were having undergoing some early morning personal grooming routine. In my bid to avoid those eyes and the million questions they brought, I tiptoed to what used to be our room now my room. I walked into her very presence, her clothes lay about carelessly where we left them as we hurried out to go bring home baby number three.
We had wanted her birth to be a surprise. We had agreed on the need for a little girl with my eyes and her long black hair.We wanted a girl which was why we had this baby in the first place. I shook my head as the tears began cascading down my cheeks again. Our little Angel was here at the cost my partner, the one who cared for me much more than I did.
How am I expected to raise my daughter and sons alone? When will this hollow I feel inside of me go away?
Who said men were not supposed to cry or let out emotions?
How am I supposed to be strong for my kids when I don’t even know what strong means at this point?
I woke up to the sound of my phone vibrating fiercely in my pocket. I had fallen asleep again. It seemed all I have been able to do for the past week is cry and sleep. Our bed was cold, it had lost its warmth. I could hear my baby crying in the next room, my mother-in-law had moved in to help look after the kids while I put myself together and plan a burial for the love of my life.
I was grateful for her help but i would rather my darling was here so we could name our little angel. We had chosen to name her Ifeoluwa as our reaction to Gods gift of a baby girl to quench our thirst or Ifemide in reaction to receiving another male gift from God. It didn’t really matter the sex of our baby, we just wanted to love him/her the best possible way. I was still thinking about the name when I woke up to a knock on my door.I had fallen asleep again! All I did was sleep and cry.
I hadn’t even had my bath nor stepped out of my door in days.I just wanted all this to be a dream, a very bad dream.
The knock brought me out of my dream again and this time it was stronger.
“Daddy”, I pretended not to hear him, how was I supposed to explain his mum’s absence to him?
Daddy, I know you are in there, I’m afraid to sleep in my bed, can I come in? Can I come in and tuck in with you and mum?
Daddy, say something.Seni wasn’t one to leave without an answer but I just couldn’t face him.
This went on until he gave up and went to bed.The next morning I got up, took care of my personal hygiene, arranged the room and stepped out. Telling them was not going to be easy but I was willing to start, Panning her funeral and responding to all the calls from friends and family will not be fun but I’m willing to.
This is my life now and I’m willing to make it work.
I know I’m not allowed to grieve because I’m a man, I know I’m not allowed to feel pain let alone express it but I don’t care about what society thinks.
I have chosen to mourn my partner and still be a man without shame. I know the road ahead is long, dark and weary but I know I will get through them.
First I’m going to face, my kids and see how best I can explain to them about their mum and how they will never ever see her again except at the resurrection.I hope this gives them as much hope as it gives me.Secondly, i’ll finally name my Angel, Ifeoluwa, then I’ll proceed to officially call up my family so we can set up a meeting and proceed with plans for finally laying my baby to rest.
It’s a long way to my life almost as good as it used to be but I’m sticking to just moving one step a day.
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