On Saturday 23rd February 2013, I lost someone so special to me.
My cousin, who was my sister and my friend.
I have never seen death or had death this close. That day my heart was literally torn apart and I was angry. Watching the paramedics who did everything they could trying to resuscitate her, I touched her feet, I screamed at her to get up, I cried, I rolled, I was silent with questions.
Rest in Peace my beautiful Ify
Why, why why? My questions were not asked of God. They were thrown angrily and sorrowfully into the void that my suffering was creating between Him and me. Instead of turning to Him for comfort, I writhed alone with my grief. I really didn’t feel like God and I were on speaking terms. The void I had created still between us…RAW and hurting like an open wound. I knew God was on the other side of that void, wanting for me to talk to Him, wanting to forgive me for blaming Him, but I just couldn’t make myself pray.
The frailty of life and reality of death hit me. What was lying on that hospital bed was not my cousin. It was simply a vessel, she, Ify had gone to a place where the human body couldn’t go. I wanted everyone to stop what they were doing, I wanted the world to stop because we had just lost a wife, a mother of three, a daughter, a sister, a cousin, a friend.
I came down to London from university on the Friday night for my churchs’ day seminar called ‘Day with the Lord’ on the Saturday. My cousin and I had been texting each other the day before about how we would catch up after the seminar for our usual gisting sessions. Neither of us knew that our appointment would be snatched away by deaths appointment and that she would have her own ‘day with the Lord’.
The weeks following Ify’s death were hard ones for me. I wish I could say I came back to my senses fast and got on my knees to put things right between God and I, but I didn’t. I pranced around with my fake smile and superficial strength. But God’s word…this WORD.
“Come, let us return to the Lord.
He has torn us to pieces
but he will heal us;
he has injured us
but he will bind up our wounds. - Hosea 6:1
Tears blurred my eyes as the words pierced into my soul.
My only utterance with floods of tears: ‘I’ve been torn into pieces, Lord, I need you to heal me.’
And a breeze of peace overcame me like never before. A peace that I could not and still don’t understand.
There is so much that I could write about my cousin, but I’ve included the less personal memories below. The pain of her loss is almost crippling, but we thank God for His comfort. Ify was a Christian, who served God with everything and in everything. She showed love to everyone she encountered and I have the assurance that she is hidden with Christ in God. Please guys, live your life right and show love whilst you are still able to, tomorrow isn’t promised and yesterday will never come again but today is all you have. KNOW CHRIST. Christians have hope that non-believers struggle to comprehend. For us, death is not the end, it is simply the beginning of what God really wanted for us. I have the assurance that I will be reunited with all my loved ones on that faithful day when God calls me home. That is my faith, whats yours? I choose to praise Him through the tears…will you?
A Few Memories We Shared
Odikwa Angels loool
My cousin was 28 years old. 9 years older than me, she always told me about how I used to scratch her when I was little but she would still carry me because I looked cute and the scratches were bearable and good for ammunition loool for when she would remind me in my older years.
The Choir’s Latest Recruit
I’ve always been a shy girl…hard to believe ayy. I remember when Sister Mercy our choir leader first told me to join the choir at age 11. I tried every trick in the book to avoid singing in front of the congregation, even attempted to miming like a small celeb. Ify and Ifende (her younger sister) were not having none of that, they took me under their wings, encouraged me, allowed me to be shy but became one of many catalysts for the confidence that I have today.
They came to every talent competition I did at Virgo Fidelis, Ify always loved my rendition of Amy Winehouse ‘I’m no good’ at our Year 11 rebellion showcase. She came when I played the lead role in musical at Fairfield halls, she always supported me in everything.
Ify, Ifende and I were the TRIO. Our harmonies were just fantastic. I will always hear Ify’s tenor in my heart, never missing :) The Odikwa angels, you Igbos will get it! Odikwa was one of Ify’s rinsed out Igbo lines, even my uni girls caught onto her lingo when they met her loool.
Her beautiful wedding
Laughing was our conversation
I remember when Femi and Ify told me the date for their wedding I was ecstatic. What a glorious occasion it was, both the traditional and white wedding were amazing. Ify asked me to sing her favourite hymn at her wedding ‘I the Lord of sea and sky’ which I did for the first verse and then started crying, thank God Ifende came to help me. We sang the same song at her funeral and I know she will be proud that despite the tears, we pushed through.
The wedding preparations were our greatest times together, we’d be up for hours talking and planning. In fact less planning and more laughing. Ify’s laugh and smile would vibrate the whole room. We had a fun hen night and post wedding celebrations.
Prophetic Gisting Sessions
My cousin told me I would go to China during one of our chill gisting moments wayyyyyyy before I knew of any internship. She always pushed me academically, she herself had completed her degree, was onto her masters worked in her way to the top, whilst getting married, having three kids all in 28 years! She was determined and I pray that I have at least 1/10 of her determination.
I will make you proud Ify, I’m going to China for you hun. She shared my go fund me page so many times even emailed and texted many doners, my thank you isn’t enough for all her encouragement along the way.
We would gist about the potential Boaz’ and the olodo-az loool. My future husband will still get your approval Ify. Femi and Ifende will have to approve of any guy that wants to take your second little sister.
My family are raising money for Ify’s three young sons ages, 10, 5 and 2. It will be hard for her husband to raise them alone, but with the support from the entire family and you all that are able to offer your prayers and monetary support it will be done. Ify was passionate about her Children, she never really called them ‘my kids’, she always said these are OUR boys. We will raise these boys up to be mighty pillers, that is the legacy she has left behind.
Thank you to everyone who has donated offline and online over the year. Please show your support by visiting the page God bless you! http://www.gofundme.com/IfySoile