Those who commit suicide are not mentally deranged, they are fulfilled persons but when depression hits them, they succumbed to the dictate of suicide. I have passed through that condition, I came close to towing that path, I was drifting away into the abyss of hopelessness. Nothing ever matters much to me, life became meaningless. There was no drive for life anymore. The woman that motivates me had gone.
My mother died and took away my strength, she crippled my zeal and the zest to live again. If you know the bond between my mother and me, you won’t blame me. She was the reason for my existence. I was her heartbeat. My mother shared my pulse. All the times I ever fell to the elements, my mother too fell ill. She could abandon her other kids to be with me on my sick bed. She was dangerously too attached to me. Everyone knew this, everyone complained but instead, Mama did more to their vexatious.
I was her defender, her best companion. I followed her to the market, stayed with her in the kitchen, sold kerosene and Akamu for her. I was her strength from childhood. While my siblings hung outside with other kids playing, I always stayed with my mother indoors. She taught me how to read, she loved to read out loud. I watched and admired the way she pronounced words stained with Igala accent. She was a star local girl in her time. She was famous amongst her mates. She could defend you for Africa. For a long time, she was the secretary of our village women’s meeting in Abuja. My mother was for everyone but more for me.
Imagine being called one Sunday evening in the month of June 2016 at exactly 3:00 pm that your mother is dead! Yes, the woman that nurtured you to who you are is dead!! Silence took over me and for the next months, that silence stayed with me. I watched how the earth swallowed my mother. She was shrouded in a white garment and carried to the dug pit where she was lowered and covered with red soil.
From that moment, I became empty and sullen. Yes, I am still empty. A part of me covered in heaps. I lost it, the desire to live ceased. Walahi, all my struggles of life were for the comfort of my mother. I took to adulthood early in life even as a child to see my mother happy. I was in the race to make her proud. I got married early to make her a grandmother.
I wasn’t too pained that she died because Allah decreed that we shall all die. I was pained with all the memories we shared. Death has a way of taking away the presence and leaving you with biting memories. My mother died and left behind constricted memories of our yesterday.
She left in a haste. She had no power anymore to say goodbye to her children. For the first time, my mother wouldn’t talk to me because she laid on her death bed motionless with her hands across her chest. She was cold, still and gone.
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Life became torturing, bitter and fearful. Nothing interests me anymore. I became withdrawn, I dropped in weight and zest. I was losing sleep. Food became poisonous to my belly. The world became very uninteresting. Doctors took out time to try drugs on me. My mind was more for an end – to follow my mother to where she hurriedly went. I was edging close to a life of self-destruction. Suicide became a plausible option. I was depressed and soaked in forlorn.
The day I decided to live again was the day my 4-year-old daughter looked me in the eyes and asked, ‘Daddy, when are you going to be happy again?”. That was when I realised I had been dead. It dawns on me that I had drifted too far into self-pity, loneliness and emptiness. My mother who lived all her energies for us left us without a second look.
Please, take out time to engage the people around you. They may be weighed down with depression caused by lack of a job, heartbreak, broken homes, disappointment and loss of a loved one. Drop your phone today and visit a neighbour for a chat, you may be reducing the number of suicides.