Sleeping With Grief

The place where his wedding ring should be is pale. Newly divorced? Or separated? – that in between place of…


February 13, 2018

The place where his wedding ring should be is pale. Newly divorced? Or separated? – that in between place of nothingness where there is no going back and no moving forward. Sayo hated separations – they left her patients confused and a lot less salvageable

“Widowed” He says, catching her by surprise.

Her head shoots up from where it had been angled looking at his hands. Like a teenager caught staring at pornography– she is ashamed to have been caught staring.

She starts to speak but the words do not form as quickly as his empty laugh.

“I am sorry,” She finally says when he has run out of his joyless mirth.

“It is okay.” He answers.

“When did you lose your wife Mr Amosun?”

“Last year November.”

Just before Christmas, she thinks. They were in May now, with spring already making way for summer. The twins had insisted on not wearing coats to kindergarten today and it had taken everything for her not to throw her hands up in the air with exasperation. They were 4 now and thigh high; at least her thighs. Next to France, they still looked like toddlers. Could that be the real test of attaining adulthood- measuring up to your parents?

“6 months then”

“Enough time to have fully grieved?”

“No Mr Amosun. There is never enough time for that – grieving for her is something you will always do.”

He is somehow taken aback by her upfrontness and she smiles.

“I lost my mum too. It has been 30 years and yet there are days, especially now with my own kids, that I still grieve. I have no explanations. It is just the way it is.”

“Are you sure your job is to make people feel better?”

It is her turn to laugh now. He ends up smiling too and settling in more comfortably into the couch. He had been barely sitting on the edge of it since she offered him a seat.

“When you walked in here, I wasn’t going to take you on.”


“Because your grief was still so raw and bottled up yet it enveloped all of you. I prefer to work with people who have come some ways down the road of this journey”

“And now?”

“Now, I will let you decide. “

“Decide? “

“If you are ready to begin the journey of mourning. Mr Amosun, there is a difference between grieving and mourning. Everyone has some sort of grief. It is what we do with it that grief determines the quality of life we end up with. If I can help you get started in this journey of mourning your wife right, then maybe in a few months or a year, you will be in a better place than you are now.”

Later than night, with France beside her, gently snoring away the night, she lays on her back counting sheep, wondering if she should have warned Mr Amosun that she married her first widowed male patient. And that there were times when, 6 years into their marriage, he still whispered his first wife’s name in his sleep.


Song of the day: Cory Asbury – Endless Alleluia

  • Loss
  • Love
  • Marriage

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