Benny continues her story till the Final parting.
Her friend kept asking if she was still breathing and we were told she was breathing, I was just crying to GOD for mercy. I was too scared to ask if she was breathing and I wanted to scream at the friend to stop asking. The hospital was a 3 minutes drive, we rushed to the emergency, I rushed in to call a doctor, the doctor came took a look at her, checked her pulse and said SHE IS GONE.
I called my husband and he was SHOCKED, we had left him standing and talking with some neighbors at home outside in the compound and when I called him they were still talking outside and they all didn’t believe it because they all saw the three of us walk out of the compound. My husband said he will join me there.
In a few minutes, her church members started arriving and began to pray, I was numbed. It just seemed incredulous that Florence wasn’t talking to me. I started hoping for a miracle but her translation to glory had happened.
I took her phone and called her cousin to come to the hospital that she was sick, when he arrived, the church administrator broke the news to him and this tall young man just sat down on the ground and wailed and called other members of her family.
I got home that evening, couldn’t sleep all through the night and for weeks. I was too scared to go into the guest room, I replayed what happened over and over and over and over again in my head, what if I had insisted the blood samples be taken downstairs, what if we had rushed her to the hospital instead of doing the x-ray, what if her blood pressure was taken that morning. We would have known it was dangerously high, we were made to understand she had suffered a stroke. What if we had gone first to the hospital instead of going to run the tests, what if I had been knowledgeable enough to know that sweating excessively without cause is dangerous, she had been sweating excessively for months, we attributed it to having an air-condition in the office and none at home so her system was used to it because she usually had it to the coldest on the remote.
Two days earlier on Thursday I had called her and she said she was at home sick and I went over to her place and saw she couldn’t even cook, I told her I wouldn’t listen to any arguments and that she was to come home with me so I could care for her knowing she was very independent and hated being a burden.
We came home together and the following day Friday we went to the hospital where she was asked to run some test but we couldn’t run the test because she had eaten breakfast so the plan was early on Saturday morning we will run the test. That Friday day she had slept off in the sitting room and her breathing was heavy, my hubby said to me he wasn’t comfortable with it, I teased him saying he was scared that something would happen to her before morning. I remember clearly just like yesterday when she woke up, he squatted by her side because she was lying down on the couch, lovingly lifted her hair away from her face and told her he is not happy about the way she breathed, she must make sure to take care of herself. She smiled and told him she will get to the hospital the following day.
Her family took her body to her home town for the burial, we joined them the next day and as we walked down to pay a condolence visit to her uncle, I cried bitterly and questioned how is it that am in her village and she is not the one walking by my side?
Our friendship spanned two decades. She was my most consistent prayer partner. For years we had a vigil once every week. We were roommates before I got married. My husband met her first before he met anyone else connected to me. I called her IYA (my nickname for her, it means mother). We shared some many things together. We encouraged each other a lot.
After her death I couldn’t sleep for weeks, I dreamt about her, I cried a lot, I wanted to know why she had to go early. I worried over where she was spending eternity. We had prayed so long for her to get married and for her to die not fulfilling that part was heart rendering for me. Being there when it all happened traumatized me and was the cause of my sleeplessness.
I kept seeing and replaying the events that led to her death a million times in 24 hours then one day the Holy spirit reminded me of a prayer I had said. When we were roommates she was always complaining of one pain or the other, one morning I was preparing for work when she woke up and said she couldn’t sleep because of this pain and that pain and I thought how is it possible that one person will be in so much pains almost all the time, will such a person live long? I then prayed and said God seeing that am her closest friend and if she is not married by then, I will want to be with her till the end if anything of such would happen. I remember I quickly caught myself and chided myself for entertaining such evil thoughts. She will live long and not die I countered, not knowing heaven has signed and sealed my request. I realized God answered that prayer by orchestrating it from the time I called her, insisting she came home with me, going to the diagnostic center till she went home to glory everything was GOD’s doing.
In all my pains, in all my questioning, one thing I learnt is no matter how much it hurts TIME heals wounds. Giving free reign to the tears helps, wishing i goes away won’t help. I tried not to suppress my feelings because at a time I tried and my blood pressure shot up. I realized the tears helped to chip at the pain. We (mutual friends) talked about her I refused to make it a taboo although it was painful at first but with time it became easier. We will laugh at some memories, the laughter I realized made me appreciate the life she lived. It was difficult to look away from the fact that she died unmarried and childless but I thank God she fulfilled goals she set for herself.
The bible says in all things give God the praise, so I looked for the praise point, she wasn’t paralyzed after the stroke, she didn’t have to live her days in constant pains God took it all away, I also thanked God she wasn’t home alone when it happened because she lived alone. I read a post of someone who promised to give something to God if God healed her son but the son died and she still fulfilled her vow because God answered her prayer, her son wasn’t in pains any longer. Now I sometimes cry at the thought and sometimes I smile. Sometimes its happy thoughts and at times its not. I take it as it comes. I have made peace with myself that I might not get over losing her but will commit to cherishing what she meant to me.
I know I will see her again and she will look me in the eye and say “thank you for being a friend till the very end”, this gives me a lot of comfort.
When you lose some one so dear, you never forget. It’s been Four years I still miss her like crazy.
GOODNIGHT FLORENCE OLUYEMISI EDUN (8thAug 1969 – 27th April 2013) till we meet again at Jesus feet.
Loving Life today,
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