I’m Not Tired Yet: On Sudden Loss and Purpose

n33002585_30210011_5122Today, my first two applications are due and it is the 7th anniversary of the day we lost you. We were sort of feuding before the accident. Three younger girls–two you took on the role of big-sistering, one I did. Their deciding to hate each other created a wedge between us (Ironically, two of them are Sorors. Each other’s LS’s at that!). There was a heated phone conversation, we were mad for weeks. But then you met me in that grocery store parking lot to give me Keta’s graduation present. You gave me the warmest hug and the biggest smile (you were so hard, but you were so soft). I went home for a few days, but on December 15th I drove back to the Boro. I hadn’t even walked into my apartment good when my phone rang. I called Funmi a liar; hung up in her face. I had just driven by the spot where it happened moments before. Later, after the hospital, we (I don’t remember exactly who I was with) found eggs still boiling on your stovetop. I felt you there.

This has been a year of sudden death: two high school classmates, co-workers’ family members, mass killings all over the place, more. And with every sudden loss of life–yours, those poor babies yesterday–I am affected. I am reminded of the way I felt that day: “It can’t be true. It can’t be true.” Disbelief, replaced by brokenness, replaced by anger, replaced by cycles of remembrance and agony, replaced by reluctant acceptance, replaced by, eventually, gratitude for my life that, when I’m squandering opportunity and talent, I feel guilty for having; sometimes all of these emotions concurrently. To those who learn to leave the work of the spirit world, the knowledge of why did this happen?, to the creator of the universe, the purveyor of all fates, comes purpose. Why else are we here other than there is some divine mission we have not yet fulfilled?

“I’m not tired yet…I’m not tired,” I once sang on a dark road with you. I hear you in my ear, especially now, your drawling voice ever urging me to do better. I am energized that God saw fit to allow me to see today. Life itself is motivation, and motivation is the only benefit of sudden loss. And so I will try. I will remember “I’m not tired yet. I’m not tired,” because it is not a luxury of the living to squat and to waste. Thank you for reminding me of that, both in life and in the hereafter.

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