All things work together for the good of those who love Him, who are called according to His purpose.

Rom 8:28 (in my words) 

A few years ago when I just started putting Bible verses to memory,  this was one of the first ones I  learnt.

Honestly, I can’t clearly remember a good number of these verses, but this one still remains with me, lucid as the azure skies.

Over the years,  when bad things happen or just when things don’t go my way,  I find my way back to this verse.

December 2012

I was in my first semester in 200 level.  It was the beginning of Pharmacy school. I was so happy with my grades from Diploma and had big plans!  I would go to class at 6am (Classes were slated for 8am so I really don’t know why we thought this sensible😑)  to ensure that I got a seat not too forward but not at the back (Yes, people were there before 6am 😕 ).

She was a friend’s friend. We used to see quite frequently and had a couple of conversations. You know how you see someone and for some reason, you don’t like the person. This was the opposite. I just liked Biola. She was so cute, with her glasses and squinting to see me when she didn’t have them on. I find it  easy to like people and she was very easy to like. I liked her, a whole whooping lot.

I went home for the Christmas break, and I don’t really remember how I got the news. There was a drowning.

I couldn’t believe it. I cried. My parents were devastated because they were thinking about her parents.

At the time, I did not care about the details of how it happened. I did not want to mind the heartless people who were saying, ‘Who sent her to the beach?’, ‘That’s how these UNILAG girls behave’. All that haunted me was that she was gone.

It’s been over four years and only in March did I find out what actually happened.

It still kind of hurts, just the mere fact that this happened.

I did not really know her but it still hurts a lot. That just makes me imagine what people who were close to her felt, how her parents felt, and still feel.

I keep on remembering her walking through the pathway leading to the library, and wearing a white shirt, leggings, and those glasses, but this memory seems to be fading with time. 

October 2016

Final exams were really close. I would finally be done with this school! My grades are not what I envisioned in December 2012, and honestly, I was disappointed (and maybe even angry- at myself, at God). This was one of my major problems while she was trying to stay with us

We were to have a class of some sort that day and unlike in 2012, we got to class at 8am or even later, and seats would be there for us. Everyone seemed to have a permanent seat in class at this point.

I was sleeping in my friend, Dolapo’s room when at about 5am, she came in and shook me awake. She told me the news in one rapid sentence (I still can’t  bring myself to write those words).

Benedicta was more than just my classmate. She used to always come to my room to charge her laptop and just gist or read with us. She was mostly quiet, but she was really nice, too nice in fact.

The rest of the day was a blur… we wore black, went to Holy Mass for her and the air was solemn. You could truly feel the dampness just hovering.

I didn’t even know she was not feeling well. I was sort of angry at myself for this, and I still don’t really know why. Maybe it was because she was my classmate and was in the same small hostel I was in. Honestly, I feel like such a bad person for this.

We had a Candlelight procession for her and I was in a daze. This couldn’t be Benedicta we were holding candles and singing hymns for while walking round LUTH after a rainy day.

I really still do not believe it.

Death is always going to be there. We hardly talk about it, but it is such an inherent part of our everyday life. I think for the most part, we fear it because we can’t really control it. It is a definite end to all of us, and we just can’t deal.

Its occurence often leads to our reminiscing, wishing we did things differently and bashing ourselves for not doing things differently. So we choose to ignore it.

Its like an injury. You can ignore it and it would take a lot longer to heal, tend to it, then the process is faster. 

When it happens with whom we know, love or care for, we just have to find the strength to start moving on,  because the world does not stop. Changes will always occur. People will grow. Life just keeps going. 

It’s not something one cannot begin to comprehend unless it comes close to you.

Its one of the few things in life, which will probably always hurt.

You know how you see the news headline, ’53 killed as Boko Haram attack Village in Northern Nigeria’ and you just think, ‘How sad!’. I honestly never really thought about these people as individuals, with families, neighbours, coworkers until it hit me one day. These people are way more than the statistics.

They have people who mourn and remember them daily.

People who looked to them day and night, and now they are gone.

Biola and Benedicta were two young ladies who left too soon. They might be part of the statistics to others, but I know I would always remember them. Etched in my memory, no matter how minute.

Biola with her glasses.

Benedicta with her laptop.

It amazes me, because they were just like me. Living. Breathing. Laughing. Reading. Having fun. Then, one day, it fizzled out… way too soon.

I just wish I could just keep them a certain way in my mind. How they look. How they talk. What they wore. However, I find myself losing bits of that in my mind, and it saddens me.

And then, I am brought to realize that; ‘All things work together for the good…’ and at least, for a while, I feel restored and I keep them back where they reside within me.

What I know is surely, 

To Benedicta, 

To Biola, 

I will always remember!

We will always remember!! 

I was talking to a dear friend recently and he said something which I had always known, but never really evaluated.

 It was something similar to this; “As much as we would like for everyone to live forever, it simply won’t happen. We have to get up, dust off, grow up and continue living”. 

That’s really what it is, unfortunately. I can’t say I have had a lot of loss, so I am not an expert, but from the little I do know, I believe I can say this…

To all who have loved and lost, who seek solace, always, always, always remember;

All things work together for the good of those who love Him, who are called according to His purpose.

Rom 8:28

Its not all you need, but it does help, and sometimes, all you need is just a bit of help.

It might or might not make sense to you eventually,  but behind it all, your good is the primary purpose.

The ultimate lesson I have learnt from death is to live a life that is shared, with people. With family. With your fellow choristers. With your suya seller. With the supermarket cashier. With your project supervisor.

This is because at the end, all the pride, anger and wealth will not actually matter and all we’d have are memories and we ARE our memories.

Have you lost loved ones? How do you think we can deal with loss? How do you positively sustain them in your memory?

 I would really appreciate your input as I want to understand a part of how we differ as individuals. Please let us know in the comments!

 I am so glad you found me here. Do bring the fun over here!!

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  1. It’s really heartbreaking but inevitable. Continue to rest in peace Biola and Benedicta.💔💔
    I’ll take a cue from you on living a life that is shared with people coz I couldn’t agree more.
    Thought provoking article here, well done Desire.

  2. Such a beautiful and profound post.
    I recently had the same thoughts about those ‘mass killings’ – they ARE more than the statistics. Each person was important to and cherished by at least one person.
    This was a lovely and thought-provoking post. A bit sobering, but necessary.

    1. It took me a while to actually put this out because of how ‘sad’ it might seem, but I felt that we really think about it, but not really speak about it.
      Thank you so much for understanding Oma
      I wholeheartedly agree.. They are way more than the statistics!!

  3. This is beautiful Desire… I pray we all key into the Grace made available to believe Romans 8:28: “And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.”

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