Reveals 10 things she learnt after they died
in loving memory of my father Olatunji Adedeji Okusanya (1953-2013) & brother Olatunji Abimbola Okusanya (1983-2013)
(lesson 1) grief will test your inner strength and values
The best time to build an ark is before the flood. It is important to live life with the ‘bigger’ picture in mind. Then you would be able to spend your energy on your genuine priorities, things true to your core values. Commitment to this will then empower you from the inside.
(LESSON 2) INVEST IN RELATIONSHIPS WITH NO AGENDA
As much as possible develop good relationships with your children, parents, family and friends. Be friends with your children, my father was my close friend. The numerous memories from both their lives and times brought and still being so much comfort and warmth to me.
(LESSON 3) FAITH IN GOD AS A LIFESTYLE, NOT JUST IN TRYING TIMES
For me, my faith in God built over the years as a committed Christian was and is the core of my being. Indeed the ancient humns are evergreen-Christ is a solid rock, an anchor for our souls in every storm. The anchor kept me sane, rational and present when it seemed the world as I knew it crashed.
(LESSON 4) CHILDREN TO BE RESILIENT
From an early age, I understood I could not have everything I wanted. I also understood that I had no right to make my parent’s life uncomfortable because of this fact. Teach your children to enjoy life, be tenacious but underlying all this should be gratitude and contentment. Life is not a bed of roses, full stop.
(LESSON 5) TEACH YOUR CHILDREN TO BE COMFORTABLE ABOUT YOUR LIFE AND DEATH
My father was always comfortable to talk to me about when he died. About 5 weeks before he died, I remember him asking me, wouldn’t you spend more time in Nigeria after I die? I remember rolling my eyes thinking ‘here we go again’ But flashbacks of these conversations were instrumental in xxx of my choices after he died.
(lesson 6) kind
From the very beginning I experienced inexplicable kindness from people far and near. The deaths occured on October 3rd 2013 and as a make up executive at that time, I had a bride who had paid and booked me for 4th. I told her I will still come. It was important to my personal and professional integrity. She insisted I shouldn’t but I did anyway.
(LESSON 7) PEOPLE CAN BE SELFISH
Many would try to take advantage of you when you are at your lowest. Stay sharp, super sharp. Yoruba people will say, “Tia ba nsukun, ki ama riran” which translates to- “even if you are crying you should still see clearly”.
(LESSON 8) YOU ARE ULTIMATELY RESPONSIBLE FOR HOW YOU CONDUCT YOURSELF. OWNS IT
Don’t commit to anything without think it through. Do not be afraid to tell people to give you time to think about things then discuss with your trusted people and make an informed choice. It is not worth reacting to other people’s foolishness. Do not allow others the joy o frustrating you or causing you to act out of anger.
(LESSON 9) IF YOU DON’T KNOW WHAT TO SAY, IT’S OK TO SAY NOTHING
Think before you speak. Don’t say: “It was God’s will”.-You are not God, neither are you His deputy. It is not your place to declare his will at this time. The Bible encourages us to mourn with those who mourn, not prophesy to those who mourn. Do say and genuinely mean: “You are not alone. I am here for you, we are standing with you”.
(lesson 10) beauty can come out of ashes
Truly God gives beauty for ashes, strength for fear, gladness for mourning, peace for despair. Now I can relate from my hear to families who are bereaved and those making arrangements for the time when they will no longer be with us.