It has been a year since I lost my dad. This happened just over 2 years after I lost my mum. So, for me it was double grief because I was still grieving for my mum. The pain of loosing someone you love is overwhelming. And, to deal with grief twice, in such a short space of time is one of the hardest thing, i have had to go through. It was so hard, as I never imagined that at 40 years old, I would not have any parent here with me.
I had always thought that my mum would have a long life. Live longer than my dad. Maybe, it was because she believed it too. She always used to say that God has promised long life to those who listened to him and obeyed his words. And, I swear, that woman was the definition of the “proverbs 31” woman. The virtuous woman in the Bible. So, when she died at the age of 58, I couldn’t believe anymore.
I had just decided to leave religion, the year she died. She died in November and I remember that when she visited me in August of 2016, I was bold enough to tell her that I no longer wanted to be a Christian. She took it in stride and just said she would pray for the holy spirit to arrest me.
So, when she was lying sick on the hospital and I called my dad to ask how she was doing, he said to me; “We have to call on God to save her. Most especially you. YOU JUST HAVE TO PRAY.” He said that because he knew that I was not religious anymore. I’m sure he didn’t mean any harm; he was just as desperate as I was to see her get better.
Even though I had walked out of religion (or so I thought), I found myself praying.
I kept thinking; Was this my punishment from God, because I started to think logically and walked out of religion? Why would he put my mother through so much pain, if he was angry with me? What kind of loving God would do that? So many questions were going on in my head; But that didn’t stop me from dropping my knees to the ground, praying and hoping for a miracle to happen. I mean, I didn’t want to be the one to make her die because I refused to pray. So, pray I did. Begging and pleading for her to survive.
And then she died.
I was battling with my mind on how and why God would to that. I felt like there was someone up there who could have stopped all this pain but chose not to. And that made the pain worse. I thought, was this how he operates? His follower’s hopes, dreams and wishes don’t matter? Imagine, I was angry with something I thought I didn’t believe in. The battle of the mind. I couldn’t understand why God would let that happen to her. She was a devout Christian and she always used to believe God promised his followers long life. And she believed it.
Finally, I walked away from religion, for my peace of mind and never looked back.
Fast forward two years on, my dads’ cancer had become very aggressive and the doctors said he had only months to live. So, I travelled to Nigeria to see him. By then, pretty much everyone knew I wasn’t into religion anymore. So, I was not involved in any of their casting and binding prayer sessions. I was so glad my dad understood my stance this time as he didn’t try to coerce me into praying for him. He never asked me to join the prayers. I believe prayer doesn’t change anything. It was just a waste of time.
And then he died too.
Going through the grieving process for my dad, I realised I coped better. Well, for one, no one said the usual things like; “He is in a better place”; “Don’t cry, he is happy where he is”; or “Just thank God” to me.
That anger/betrayal I felt for some supernatural being when my mum passed, was not there. I didn’t have to beg and plead with any God to save him. There was no God to blame and it helped me to manage my grief better.
I was till angry that both my parents had left, but I wasn’t angry with some supernatural tyrant, who could have just snapped his fingers like Thanos and make it all go, make all the hurt and pain go away. I did not think any God was punishing me for not believing in him. Life just happened to me. It is not some punishment when bad things happen to me. It is not a blessing when good things happen to me and bad things happen to others.
Random events happen in life and it can happen to anyone. Having this mentality has made my head clearer and has brought some sort of peace to my life. I have been liberated from irrational fears and the feeling of a God abandoning me, when bad things happen. The good, the bad, the beautiful and the ugly sides of life is something that we all experience, as humans. Life just happens to us sometimes and there is nothing we can do about it.