How To Survive When Tragedy Strikes

Tragedy in this context is an event or occurrence causing great suffering or distress as a result of accident, loss, a natural catastrophe and so on.

It is one thing in life that no one ever prays for, wishes to know or experience.

But we do know tragedy. We do experience it. We all have, and at some point in time we all will.

Do not grudge pain. It holds on its hot blanket the evidence of life; handled and well managed, life from it takes its meaning

Olufunke Kolapo

We can say all we can do is be prepared for when it strikes. But we can never be prepared, not really.

When tragedy strikes, it knocks you off your feet and sometimes paralyses you so that you will never rise again.

It leaves you out of breath, numb, terrified, and disoriented that you can’t even remember how you got where it flung you.

And as if you never happened it whirls by in search of its next victim.

You are left in a daze, in the middle of nowhere turning in a gyre of agony and confusion.

So you say to yourself that you are not someone who gets knocked down, whose life is turned upside down, who is lost in the middle of nowhere with no compass or light to find your way to yourself.

You keep telling yourself you are not the one.

It is supposed to happen to someone else, someone without a face or name.

Someone other than you. It has happened, that is the truth.

When I was hit by a truck that took my leg and damaged my pelvis, it took me a while to accept the truth.

That I was the same person who left home that morning, the same person who had made so many plans the previous day, or the month before.

Sometimes, it still feels like a dream or another lifetime, I still imagine that I would just get up and walk without grabbing my walker, or crutches or buckle my leg on before walking.

But it is true, it is not a dream and I am not dead. I am not saying it is going to be easy because it’s not.

I am not asking you to snap out of it, to get up and move on. Or that you will get over it, because I haven’t.

Do you know why?

Whatever you have lost still remains a loss. Your job, limbs, opportunities, marriage, friendship, freedom and so on.

You can get a replacement but the tingling of the first loss remains just like phantom pain.

The person you lost is gone forever, the space they have left in your life and heart still remains vacant.

Take your time, catch your breath, you are the only one who knows how deep the hurt is, how painful the agony is. You set the pace.

Do remember though, don’t get lost in your tragedy, in your grief, don’t let the storm take you.

Cry if you must, scream if you can or if you want to. I kept it in for so long and ended up screaming in .y head. Believe me, it is unpleasant and exhausting

And remember, it is important to keep living on for as long as life gives you breath because that’s the only way they keep living on, in you, through you, your memories of them.

So, like an amputee grab those crutches or walker, fasten your leg and keep moving. Because you know it is the only way you get to move at all.

I always do that to remind myself, that as long as I’m still here, as long as I can move, I can get wherever I want.

I can be me because I am still me, just one leg short. Whenever I am down, I would move. I would get up, walk and breathe in some fresh air.

Whatever you can do that will not hurt you or someone else, if it keeps you going, keeps you hoping and living, do it.

Whatever you are doing right or that you can do to make you feel alive, make you human makes you feel you, keep doing it.

Keep moving one small step at a time; one day at a time.

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Be Wary of the Sympathisers

I know sympathisers mean well, they commiserate and comfort in time of misfortune or grief. But at times, one needs to be wary of them.

I feel this way because sometimes sympathisers do more harm than good. And their counsels can be more discouraging than elevating.

It took me a long time to actually understand the depth of my situation, maybe several weeks after I lost my limb.

Life didn’t even allow me to mourn the loss of my limb, my freedom. It made sure I had more to worry about than the actual loss of the limb itself, but my visitors, sympathisers opened my eyes.

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Every day for me was the same, there was no difference, the only difference was my dressing day, it was alternative. That means more agony and tears on one day than the rest.

Apart from that, nothing was different, it was the same thing, the same view, the same faces, the same sound. It was the only world I knew then, the world outside was dead to us.

So when I was not thinking of my pain, I was thinking of the next attack, the next dressing or the heart rending screams of another patient.

The first time I actually took a good look at my left leg was one of those days when the pain was not so intense, and it was not my dressing day.

One of the cleaners bumped into my bed as she was cleaning. I screamed. She apologised, I looked at her, she was an elderly woman. She apologised again and I nodded.

“You are always so quiet,” she said. I said nothing, I just kept staring at her.
“I hope you are not getting depressed?” I shook my head.

“My dear, don’t be despair, the Lord who made you will not let you suffer. He will fulfil His purpose in your life, huh? Don’t think too much about your condition, it is not the end of the world.”

“Don’t dwell on your inability to walk again or think when something happens and your mates are running, you might not be able to run, just concentrate on getting well. “

My face burned when the hot slap landed on my right cheeks. My eyes were burning with unshed tears. They were there but I couldnt make them drop. The rest of her words were lost to me.

There was a loud ringing in my head and strong odour of petrol mixed with engine oil filled my nostrils. My heart started constricting.

And then the tears started coming, I couldn’t stop them. There was everything i had not allowed myself to imagine laid bare before me.

For the first time I wept for something else other than agony. I wept for all I had lost, for all I would never have. I wept for my lost limb.

She just summarised what my life outside this walls would be like. It was the first time I thought of the world out there, my life after South West 1.

I wept for the injustice of it all, my life was not supposed to be like this. I had done everything right, worked hard, studied hard. I had been patient, satisfied with what I have.

It was unbearable. I was quiet all through the day, and I would cry when alone. and for the first time, I wanted to be alone, without my family, but even that was not possible.

When they finally left, I wept for the future I would never have, for all that had been torn from me.

And right there, in the middle of the night, my eyes boring hole into my only view, the tall white ceiling, I refused to allow the present to be my end.

I decided to make it my new beginning. I decided to forget about all my past dreams, life, and make new ones.

But first, I decided to stop heeding to all sermons, pity, sympathisers, well wishers and their counsels.
I stopped paying attention to their suggestions I decided to heal my own way.

I stopped paying attention to all tales of woes, of suffering of people who died in accident, of those who had it worse than I did, or who had it better.

I shut them all out. I told my family to stop letting in people who came wearing sorrowful faces, those who spurn tales of suffering. They were making me sad and miserable, they were not helping me.

And that was when my healing began.

Though they meant well, but sometimes their words and countenance does more harm than good. Their expressions, the pity, sometimes only bring despair.

If I could lessen someone's woe, it would comfort my soul.

I remember when I first got to the ward and some friends came to visit me. I just opened my eyes and saw them. I looked at their faces, so sad, some had tears in their eyes.

And I just started crying. I had no idea why I just felt the need to cry. I felt I looked so pitiful, that all was over for me. I felt my family must be lying to me that I was worse than they said.

As soon as they left I asked my elder sister for a mirror. I wanted to see my face. My face was unscathed, and so was my head.

So I learnt to select my visitors I know those who made me feel hopeful and I was always looking forward to their visits.

I eliminated the pity party and those who felt it was not a big deal even though they were standing on their two legs.

I am not sure if to praise the cleaner or not because her actions finally made me stronger. However, they still haunt me and make me doubt when I’m alone.

Healing does not work well with doubts. It needs confidence, courage and strength which they would take away from you if you let them.

The ones you need are those who make you smile through your pain and make you hopeful even when there is no reason to be.

Those who weep with you in the pain, and remind you to smile to get more strength to cry again.

Those who walk with you and beside you through it all, who tell you your problem is big but you can rise above it.

They are the ones who remind you your determination could surpass your illness, challenges, trials and whatever situation you might find yourself.

Things Just Happen

Is there some reasons why some things good or bad happen to us? If you are good, good stuffs come to you and if you are bad, you get the bad?

It would be great if it does happen that way wouldn’t it? At least when horrible things befall you, everybody would know you are reaping what you sowed.

I believe things don’t always happen for a reason, they just happen. Looking for explanations as to why they do make situations worse, hard to move on and let go. The easiest would be to accept they just happen randomly.

I have come to realise that, believing in the fact that there are reasons behind everything that happens to us give us hope and make them bearable especially in case of unfortunate incidence.

But what happens when you don’t get answers..?

I spent a lot of time trying to understand why I had to go through some tough times. Why it had to be me. I did everything right, or tried to. I was certain there was reason, a purpose, some explanations.

So, I waited for answers, reasons…

There were no answers, no explanations. Finally, I started telling myself I probably just don’t deserve good things. And this is the worst stage anyone could get to. I started doubting myself, judging my choices, my decisions.

I lost faith in myself, in prayers, everything I stood for.

Sometimes, bad or good things just happen.

For the sake of one’s sanity, it is better to accept that things just happen and we have to believe so and not expect to find any rational reassons as to why we have to go through them or why we have to be the one in that kind of situation.

You can ask yourself if not you then who, your brother or sister, your mother or child, your husband or wife. Who would you like to pick?

We are in a world where we can’t have the good without the bad. We can’t have one without the other.

We just have to learn to take the good with the bad. Be grateful for the good and be strong for the bad when it comes.

Why You Need to Write

When I started my blog on WordPress free blog in 2012, I just wanted to write. I needed to express myself and I wanted a way to do that, so blogging unlocked that door for me.

Then I realised that was not all. I needed a way to say all I had to say without necessarily getting a response. I just wanted to express myself without judgement, counsel, sermon, pity or sympathy.

I wanted to be free.

I had just gone through a life and body changing experience, something no one could ever be prepared for. My life just had a mysterious turnaround, so many dreams yet to become a reality. I have not yet lived, then I stopped living. I was in shock.

There were so many people ready to help me pick and sort through the pieces left by the ravaging storm. There were lots of suggestions about how to move on. I heard a lot of real life experiences to learn from, comforting words from the Bible, motivational words from those who had gone through same, almost same and those who were closed to people with similar problems.

They had no idea, not really

But none of them could penetrate. They couldn’t give me what I needed, because even I didn’t know what i needed. There was none of them who had actually gone through what i had been through. They knew someone who knew someone who had been through similar situation. I looked at them and concluded they could never understand.

And every time i tried to explain or let them in to what i was really feeling they preach more, they suggest more when all I needed was just to express, so I started a blog.

I started a blog to express all I was feeling

I wrote about my fears, my pain, my loneliness, my hopelessness and hope. there were no comments, no sermon, no judgement and no urges to move on and leave the past in the past

I was free.

Writing set me free, it gave me the freedom to express myself without holding back. i was able to vent, rant, scream and cry without shame.

and then it healed me

I am Only Human

You have been good to me

You have been gracious

Gracious more than I deserve

Sometimes, it’s just so hard

Hard to be me

Harder to accept this is me

All I have seen

All I have gone through

All I have had to do

To be the me I can be

Some days I can’t but imagine

What if?

Other days I can’t but picture

What could have been

I am not ungrateful

I am only human

Like Gold -A Poem on Pain And Triumph

I have known pain
I have known fear 

Fear chilling than the harmattan air

Pain, fiercer and harsher than the whips of a thousand horsemen
My soul sank deep into the river of pain and fear
I sought refuge in the bosom of the younger dawns
I hid in their embrace and they comforted me
I dreamt of the rebirth of her garden in all its glory
I felt the healing miracle of the morning sun

When Eva bathed in her warmth;

And I saw her inhabitants
came alive with the songs of the birds, and fluttering flowers in the breeze

I have known pain;
Nameless, faceless fear
I sunk deep into their depths
And they hurt no more

Like Gold, A poem on pain and triumph over life challenges.

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I Believe

I am waiting for a crack

in the shell of the sky,

announcing the birth of a new world;

free from sorrow, pain and prejudice

where man and beast

walk side by side

like when dawns were young.

I believe in a world

where children are children

singing and dancing in the rain

freeing the body of all limitations

and not a fear to the mothers hearts

I dream of a world

where law is devoid of less

where the haves and have nots share same law

where no one is judged by race, class or color

where humanity is a joint robe for all.

I pray for a world,

where we only smile for joy

not as a mask for hurts, betrayal or disappointments

where our ugly hearts are not cloaked

with flowing robes or colourful attire

A world

where friends justify the meaning of friendship

And family reigns above all

Still, I believe.


I spent too long
Pondering on what was lost
That I forgot too long
Things that are given
The love of my family
The company of wonderful friends
Who more than sacrificed
Time, love and care
Giving, asking not
Walking by my side
To sight the light of a new dawn
The ray of hope
To live life again
To right the wrongs
To a new beginning

Stronger Than Ever

I spiralled downward
onto the debris
that was my life
broken and scarred
to the marrow
still I rise
from their ashes
stronger than ever
Plagued with nameless dread
drenched in sweat
pounding heart and jittery limbs
terrified terror
clouding my days;
darkening my path
still I break free
from their grips
stronger than ever