I am Nigerian living in South Africa but I have most of my family in Nigeria and one of my little sister in the north, Abuja.
When Boko Haram started their terror I was already here. Anytime there is news on their attack I hold my breath and try to disassociate myself from the news. I have never been good with pain. I have never been good with talk of death. Anyone very close to me knows not to use the word “death” around me- I just can’t- God knows that I would completely break down and lose it if anyone close to me that I love dies- so He has spared me till this day. When the girls were kidnapped I didn’t even want to imagine or think of them or of what they were going through or being subjected to. It made me uncomfortable because I was once a girl and I have been through some certain life challenges I didn’t want to remember.
But today, I refuse to disassociate myself from the pain of the families whose girls were kidnapped and the girls too, from the families who have lost their loved ones in any bomb blast and anyone who has been affected by this gruesome act.
Today I become their family. Today they become the ones I love.
If I could visit them, I’ll sit with them and cry, cry for the life of my brother that’s been cut short, cry for my sister who would not get to see her son’s 5th year old birthday, cry for my niece who would not have her first kiss, cry for my nephew who would not kick that football with his friends no more, cry for my daughter who I won’t plan her wedding and cry for my son who I won’t attend his graduation or grill him about his girlfriends.
I would cry, roll on the floor and wail. I will sit with my sister and hold her hands; I will go to my brother’s house and cook for him and his kids because his wife won’t be coming home again; I’ll bath and feed my nephew and niece because mommy is not going to be able to do that no more.
Today and everyday from now I’ll pray that God give them STRENGTH and the WILL to go on, to live, to take each day as it comes despite the pain and sorrow. And to the girls that were kidnapped, their lives have been changed forever and as a woman who was once a girl and who has gone through some life challenges not EVEN close to theirs, I pray for HEALING for their body, their soul and their heart.
Today I hope they know that somebody somewhere loves them with all her heart and wishes she was there with them.
Today I decide not to disassociate myself from the pain of others and show more empathy for my fellow brothers and sisters.
Today I speak out for compassion.
for the global movement 1000 Voices Speak For Compassion.