Seyi turned 25, graduated with her MBA, and lost her mom all in the same year. It hasn’t been a year since her mom passed and Seyi was strong enough to share her journey, with me, in this transparent and raw conversation:
1. How did losing your mom change your relationship with God? Did you feel your faith was tested? What did that look like?
Some would think that losing my mom probably made me increase my faith in God. That “He works everything out for our good” would be my response, but it wasn’t. To be honest, my relationship with God has completely changed. It has made me more skeptical, more cynical, and more frustrated unfortunately. But it has also made the relationship very very raw and real. I’m in this place where I literally tell God “It’s just me and you now”. And as fragile as my faith is at the moment, I do feel that I can understand things a bit clearer than I did before. I’m WAY more open about what I’m feeling (even though He already knows it), but I actually take the time to vocalize it.
That is so powerful. Yes, I would have assumed that your faith grew after this experience but I can totally see how it wouldn’t. I thank you for your transparency and your honesty about your journey. I believe that everyone grieves differently. I think sharing your story will show another side that most are uncomfortable with sharing but may be experiencing. So again, thank you.
2. What have you learned about yourself through your time of bereavement? What have you learned about your friends or support system?
For myself, I am learning that it takes an insane amount of effort to be positive. For some reason, I always thought it came quite easy, but once you’re going through something like grief, you begin to realize that simple things like smiling, getting things done throughout the day, even talking to people, takes a whole lotof man power. And I have to give myself a pat on the back for that. Because some days I don’t want to do any of it.
From my friends and support system, I realized that, their lives move on. While I am sitting here in this puddle of grief, they are still doing the things that bring them joy and satisfaction and that keep them busy. And sometimes it frustrates me because I’m sitting here like “heeeeyyyyy look at meeeee. I’m sadddddd and everything in my life is going horribly wrong so you should stop what you’re doing and care”. But that’s not always going to happen. The first few months, everyone was constantly checking in on me and my sister. Now that it has been close to a year, we don’t get the same amount of check ins. Which I’ve come to accept. It doesn’t make them bad people. They are focused on their life. Which is just as important as me focusing on my grief.
This is the similar sentiment that I heard from Darnyell when I spoke with her about losing her dad. It seems in the beginning everyone is super supportive but as time goes on, like you expressed, people go back to their normal schedule. I hope that by saying this, we see and understand that healing takes time and those who are grieving need our support.
3. What has helped you heal? How do you find comfort?
That’s a hard one. I honestly don’t know. I don’t think I’ve found comfort yet. I hope that I will. But right now, I haven’t. I still feel like I’m in this limbo. That nothing is settled and that at any moment, everything will come crashing down.
I hope that you will as well sis. I pray that you will be settled and able to do the things you love and are passionate about!
4. What are some things your mom taught you about life before her passing?
When it’s your time, you’ll know it. Whether that is death, success, love, etc. You feel it in your entire being. You hear God’s voice so clearly telling you what it is (or what it isn’t). You are at peace with that decision because you know that He has already planned it all out. Even now, as skeptical as I am, I still believe that.
Wow, that is such a powerful statement. I completely agree with that because that has been my experience in my journey as well!
5. What is a bit of advice or encouragement that you can give to someone who is experiencing the lost of a loved one?
There is no time limit on grieving. Take however long you need to feel the pain. It’s ok if you aren’t back to “your normal self” anytime soon. You may never get back to that person that you were before that loss. Embrace the new you. Your new outlook and view on life is completely rational.
6. What is the fondest memory that you have of your mother?
Her cleaning every weekend lol. It’s random but I always remember her blasting Nigerian gospel at 9am (I wasn’t necessarily a big fan of being woken out of sleep), and coming down to see her dancing and cleaning. She was so happy. Doing something like cleaning.
If only us Millennials would get that excited to clean. Lol. Well, I know that is not my experience; so let me speak for myself. That’s a great memory to have. I’m sure you think of her all time and can still see the smile on her face as she enjoyed the simple things in life.
7. What will you do, in your life, to allow her legacy to live on?
Strive to make an impact on people. This is not just my life. The way I do things impacts others, which in turns impacts others, and so on, and so on. Therefore, I should not be selfish and think that everything is about me and how it will better my life. Sometimes, the worse of things that we go through isn’t necessarily for our sake, but to help someone else out. I want to make sure that I understand that and take on every task and journey with the grace that she did with her life.
Amen and amen; that’s the Christian journey. It’s never really about us but whom God can help through us. It’s not easy to be this selfless–never. I often find myself struggling with this too. I pray that you will continue to impact others. I am sure that sharing your experiences on your blog and IG has helped people in ways you don’t know because it blesses me. I’m learning that there is no cure all for grief and sometimes it just does not make sense. I pray in time you will find the healing, clarity, and comfort you deserve.