On Loss & Life: Memories of my Grandfather



I loved my grandfather very much and still do. Today, I remember him on the day of his passing many years ago. He was very gentle and caring and loved to laugh a great deal. He made my days in Nigeria very special. Having been born in the early 1900s, he would show me the dances of his time and he cared very deeply about my education.


I appreciate the memories that others have of him as well. He is greatly remembered for his generosity and wisdom. He had a wonderful pineapple orchard and had great produce from his farm which he would give to others.


Currently, the world has been dealing significantly with loss in many forms. Some have been coping, others have been healing and it has certainly been a difficult time. With the anniversary of my grandfather’s passing, I am reminded of a few strategies that are effective in dealing with grief and loss.


Celebrate the memories


Sharing with others, the love I have for my grandfather keeps the memories alive. Through memories, I am reminded about gratitude – being thankful for the experiences we have shared with those we have lost. Photos are also important in keeping memories alive as I am able to share them with those who did not meet my grandfather.


Express your emotions


Crying is part of the healing process but so is laughter. You may feel a variety of emotions because of a loss and that’s perfectly alright. Give yourself permission to grieve.


Ceremonies


Whether at church or in your private space, ceremonies that honour those who are no longer with us can also be helpful in the healing process. These can be formal or informal ceremonies, with others or just yourself. You can express out loud, some words on your heart or a creative representation that speaks to the one you have lost.


“To forget one’s ancestors is to be a brook without a source, a tree without a root.” Chinese proverb


Kevin Ufoegbune