I opened my eyes to see that my white shirt had turned red with my blood; I felt pains all over… there was so much chaos and I blanked out again. When I regained consciousness, I remembered… today is my wedding day, by now I was being rolled into the hospital, “where is my wife?” I asked frantically, she is fine was all they kept saying… but alas, I never saw her again… no, not in flesh, only in one last dream where she disappeared forever after I asked her why she left me without saying goodbye.
It was 15th December, 2007, a day that appeared to be the happiest day of my life, 14th had been our traditional marriage day and all seemed to be going well until the ceremonies were over and it was time to retire for the day. My wife and I had decided we would stay in town and travel to my state, about an hour away, by the following morning for our thanksgiving service in my church. A lot of argument followed from members of my family; they had prepared another reception at my father’s house and it was tradition to ‘take your wife home’ after the wedding. I had a prompting to stay back in town or maybe travel by bus if they insist but we decided to do what most people would, the very last decision we made together – we obliged them, gathered our belongings, hopped into the backseat of the Mercedes E-class and off we went on a journey that was to put us asunder before our marriage even started.
The roads were busy due to elections and festivities so we decided to take the by-pass, a path the driver wasn’t too familiar with but I knew the roads well and offered directions. My wife urged me to eat some food and while I was at it, I reached down to grab a bottle of water… it was one split second of taking my eyes off the road and there was screeching and wavering, somersaults and a crash that took us from the top of the bridge to the bushes below… I was later told that our bodies were littered on the road and people wouldn’t stop to help. My uncle, an Anglican priest was seated with the driver in front when the accident had occurred. His cassock got someone’s attention and they stopped; it turned out he was one of my fellowship members who kept screaming when he saw me, “Papa! Papa!!Papa!!!” You know how they call fellowship presidents, “papa!” in school (smiles).
When I gained consciousness the second time, I was being wheeled into the hospital, I kept asking after my wife and they said she was fine, in another hospital that was a female only hospital. According to their stories, it was the nearest hospital to the scene but they had taken only her in because the rest of us were men. I saw the driver with only minor injuries and my uncle whose radius and ulna had prodded out through his palm, but he looked otherwise okay, so I believed them, to think otherwise was unimaginable. I was stabilized and put to sleep. By the following evening, after I had asked about her all day and attempted to call her sister, they gave me the most shocking news of my entire life – she was gone, pronounced Dead on Arrival (DoA)! All of the physical pain was gone, I felt numb but the emotional pain was severe, unbearable, my heart was broken, I was shattered.
How could this happen to me, to her, to us? We loved God and served him devotedly, we were good people, I was hurt, I was angry, I wasn’t sure I could serve God after He let this happen. I got unlimited love from family, friends and brethren. The youths in my church even made a roaster to ensure that I was never alone; they did their best to distract me and occupy me with other things. There was always a flood of visitors; some knew me directly, others indirectly while some just heard the story and wanted to see the man involved. The Matron of the ward even asked who I was, if I was the son of a governor or some politician. I had to spend one month in hospital with my legs tied up, stooling, eating, bathing, everything on the same spot because a crack was discovered in my hip bone after I fell down at my first attempt to walk after the accident.
My pastor came in a few days later to pray with me and take away my wedding ring because she was to be buried that day, along with the ring. I was torn apart again; I can’t even begin to describe how I felt. My healing process began with an SMS from her elder brother – Who shall separate us from the love of Christ (Romans 8:38-39)… neither death nor life… My things had been gathered and moved to my dad’s house, so I moved in with him as I couldn’t live in the house that would’ve been our home. My dad was alone at that time, so cousins and relatives had to come and help with cooking and cleaning. One of my very close friends was also there for me with constant supply of musicals and messages to encourage me. He even ran my supply business for me during the period as I couldn’t go back to work until about a year later. I left the hospital with the aid of clutches which I used for another 4months; thankfully, I’ve never had to go back to them again. I watched our wedding video and pictures frequently for about 3 years before I could let go. I also had to stop going to see her mom because she wept every time I came around. It was a test of a lifetime, a long time of grief.
I chose to tell this story because, somehow, by some fortunate twist of fate, God has consoled me. I’m happily married now to an awesome woman who is everything I would have asked for and much more. I would never have believed I was consolable. Marriage didn’t cross my mind for a very long time (it took me six years). She was an old friend with whom I reconnected on facebook but even then, I didn’t consider the possibility. As our conversations progressed, a particular one that struck a chord in me on my birthday about one year later, made me believe that I was going to marry this woman. She has made my healing easier and complete, we are so happy and by God’s grace, there is no negative influence from what happened in the past. Humanly, I was scared during plans for the wedding but I held on to God’s word in Nahum 1:9 that affliction shall not arise a second time. God has been good to us.
I want to encourage someone out there; no matter how much you’re grieving, no matter the pain, disappointment, heartbreak or depression, God’s love is able to reach you and pull you up again. Just let go and let God, let Him love you, allow people love you no matter how hard it is because God sometimes sends angels to us in form of people, seclusion can be suicidal and I was at some point but I let love heal me. Be strong and courageous, God is real and love heals!
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