It Happened To Me

My Brother Died In That Plane Crash: How I Coped After

   


Femmelounge join millions of Nigerians to mourn the loss of the passengers and residents who died in the plane crash yesterday afternoon.

Below in a personal account of someone who lost a family member in the 2005 Sosoliso plane crash. Hopefully, this will help encourage some heavy hearts.

_____________________________________________________

My brother was on the Sosoliso plane that crashed at Port-Harcourt International Airport on the 10th of December 2005. He was only 13.

That Christmas was one Christmas I will never forget.

My brother was a star. A genius. He excelled in everything; academics, sports, socials, everything. Just like that his life was cut short, because of a failed system.

The days that followed were really hard. It felt so unreal, but one thing that was real was the pain. After the shock, disbelief and anger had worn off; we were left with the pain and sheer hopelessness of it all.

Slowly and surely, we rebuilt our lives, we worked through the pain and took everything one day at a time. I had to be strong for my parents, especially my mum and also for my siblings. It wasn’t easy, but what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger and by the Grace of God, we are still standing and the worst is over.

Grief is defined as a multi-faceted response to loss, particularly to the loss of someone or something you have formed a strong bond with. It can also be defined as, keen mental suffering or distress over affliction or loss; sharp sorrow; painful regret.

Every day we read and hear about death, but it never seems real until it happens close to us. Death is the most unwelcome and unwanted visitor in the world, it comes in and snatches someone away, with no reason, no apologies and no explanations and just like that, they are gone.

Death leaves in its wake emotions like shock, disbelief, anger and terrible pain. I know this because I’ve been through it before.

No one prays for death, but it happens anyway.

Like us on FacebookSometimes it happens suddenly, with no warning and sometimes it is expected (as in the case of the elderly or the terminally ill) and the loved ones of the deceased can prepare for the loss. This doesn’t mean that in latter case, the pain is less intense, but sometimes the preparation helps.

No matter the circumstance or situation, you have to keep on living.

So, how do you cope? How do you move on and put your life back together?

Based on my own experience, here are a few steps that helped my healing process:

  • ACCEPTING AND LETTING GO: This is perhaps, the hardest part. Coming to terms with their death is often very difficult, because we wish to hold on and hope that somehow, somewhere they are still alive.  But holding on only prolongs the grief. You have to accept and believe that they are gone, so that you can rebuild your life. This also means letting go of all the negative emotions; guilt, anger, resentment etc. The death of a loved one brings along a lot of guilt, it’s important to forgive yourself and realise that there was nothing you could have done to prevent it.
  • HAVE A GOOD SUPPORT SYSTEM: It’s important to surround yourself with people. Not just anybody, but people who are there for you. People that pray for and with you. People that weep with you and are also strong for you. Those that encourage you to move on and take it all one step at a time. Stay away from insensitive people that make ignorant or hurtful remarks. You might want to be alone all the time and sometimes people get so wrapped up in their grief that they push everyone away, but it’s not the best. Increased solitude increases your chances of slipping deeper into depression.Allow yourself to be with people that cheer you up and take your mind off everything.
  • TALK ABOUT IT:  Remember you are not alone. Talk to someone. God, a friend or if you don’t feel comfortable pouring your heart out to someone who knows you, try talking with a grief counsellor or someone from your church or elsewhere, someone you are comfortable with.
  • BUILD YOUR FAITH: After the death of my brother, the two things that helped the most were prayers and the Word of God. Reading the Bible really helped and scriptures like John 11:25 were like a balm to my wounded soul. The Word of God heals, restores, uplifts and gives us hope. It also helps you make sense of the tragedy.Also reading Christian books on death, life after death etc, encouraged me.
  • CELEBRATE THEIR LIFE: Celebrate everything about their life, who they were, what they stood for, and their dreams. Everything.

Finally, there is no formula for coping with loss. Everybody is different and we all react differently, the important thing is getting your life back together and moving on.

Writer: Omada Okpe

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0 Comments

  1. aaa@yahoo.com'

    anon

    March 25, 2010 at 6:06 am

    this is one topic that people need to know more about. thnaks for sharing this

  2. aaa@yahoo.com'

    Adunni

    March 25, 2010 at 6:11 am

    sorry for your loss omada, i know what it mean to loss someone you love, its so hard to deal with the finality that comes with death.
    i wonder why there aren’t many grief counseling centers in Nigeria

  3. codshalom@yahoo.com'

    Nonso

    March 25, 2010 at 7:49 am

    Omada sorry for your I sure know how it feels because I’ve been there and the trauma would always seem not to go away but with God it does go away. It may take some time days,weeks,months or even years but God has the capacity to bring you out of it if you let Him. Your suggestions are very apposite and greatly encouraged. We must never mourn or weep like men who have no Hope! Nice one

  4. bomi@jollynotes.com'

    Bomi Jolly - JollyNotes.com

    March 25, 2010 at 7:55 am

    So sorry to hear about your loss. I cannot even begin to imagine! Thank you for sharing what has worked for you with others. Very well put together – It helps… Bless you.

  5. eknoreda@gmail.com'

    Eknoreda

    March 25, 2010 at 10:50 am

    I lost my brother 3 days ago. My friend send this to me and it has been really helpful. It’s very hard. Today is the service of songs, I’m wondering how to make it through, but I trust God that I’ll make it through.

  6. lightherlamp@msn.com'

    Jaycee

    March 25, 2010 at 11:23 am

    The last thing you mentioned “celebrate their lives” is probably the most important. Glad you’re celebrating your brother’s life, even with this post. Thank you.

  7. nifemioyedele@hotmail.com'

    neefemi

    March 25, 2010 at 11:36 am

    sorry to hear about your brother….and you are right celebrating his life works wonders..at least for me it does….

    P.s….i’m so so sorry ti hear that Ekonerda, may God help you and your family bear your loss..it is well with you

  8. ebonyoma4eva@yahoo.com'

    Omada

    March 25, 2010 at 5:33 pm

    Thanks everyone, am glad i can use my experience to help others.
    Eknoreda, am really sorry for your loss, i know it doesn’t seem so now, but u’ll survive. May God strengthen you and your family and remember He is the balm of Gilead. God bless.

  9. loisbaby2003@yahoo.com'

    Oma

    March 25, 2010 at 6:12 pm

    Sori bou ur brother’z death….I noe ow it feels cos I ve bn tru dt path.Lost my only sis 4yrs ago.Ur note z rili goinu be an inspiration 2 alt.Kip it up.

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  11. shirley2nvee@yahoo.com'

    Uchechi

    March 26, 2010 at 6:36 am

    this is just lovely Omada..im sorry for yur loss.lots of ppl are going thru the same thing n they dnt knw where to turn to.i hope this blesses sm 1 out there the way it has blessed me.

  12. Threedraws@yahoo.com'

    Irechukwu emeka

    March 26, 2010 at 8:08 am

    Its very sad 2 here dat u’ve been thro dis road.may God grant u and ur family the fortitude 2 bare dis irrepairable loss.AMEN…

  13. korede@herpriceisaboverubies.blogspot.com'

    inspectorgadget

    March 26, 2010 at 11:07 am

    This year will be 13 years since my mom died. I am only now beginning to deal with the pain. I can’t talk about her without crying, I’ve lived in denial for so long that I didn’t realize it until I started dating my bf and I found out his mom taught mine in secondary school. I picked up the phone to call my parents and only when my step-mum picked up the phone did I jolt back to reality….

    I’m working through the accepting and letting go phase…

  14. esi_ojior@yahoo.com'

    Esi

    March 30, 2010 at 2:50 am

    My mom passed on 14 years ago. Every time I think of it, it still feels like just yesterday. I wonder why she had to go so soon. She’s missing out on so much. Losing a loved one suddenly is something I still cannot describe….

  15. wesah4hygiene@yahoo.com'

    AJIMATI YEMISI

    March 30, 2010 at 2:58 am

    THERE IS SOMEONE I NEVER THINK I WOULD COPE WHEN SHE LEAVES. BUT I KEEP PRAYING TO GOD THAT HE GRANTS HER LONG LIFE ,BECAUSE WHEN I ONLY THINK ABOUT IT I CRY AS IF IT HAS HAPPENED. GOD PLS GRANT MY MUM LONG LIFE. AND I PRAY THAT FOR ALL THOSE WHO ARE BEREAVED MAY GOD GRANT YOU ALL THE FORTITUDE TO BEAR THE LOSS.OMADA IT IS WELL

  16. laitanlaitan@yahoo.com'

    Olufunke

    March 30, 2010 at 3:57 am

    Very encouraging post!
    I am so sorry, you and your family had to go through allof that.
    I really can resonate with your post.
    When I go through through deep grief like that, I always ask God to ‘carry’ me through that season, ‘cos I just do not know how I would live through it or face the next day…..liek you said faith and trust in God helps a lot too

    I like the part of celebratign the lives of those that have past on……..got me thinking.
    Enkoreda, inspector Gadget , I am so sorry about your loss.Praying God would help you through the phases of loss you are in right now.
    Cheers!

  17. rmthree@hotmail.com'

    Pariola

    March 30, 2010 at 11:11 am

    Sorry for your loss Omada. I lost my Dad 2yrs ago. I miss him so much, it hurts to dwell on it. But only good, fun memories of him make it a little easier. Even when I think of his spankings I smile because he loved me so much. Life is short and I’m happy that he knew I loved him just as much as he did, me.

  18. yomi_adu@yahoo.com'

    yomi

    April 1, 2010 at 4:03 am

    sorry for your loss omada, i like the ‘ talk about it part cos people around you pro’lly wouldnt cos they’l be careful not to bring back the pain, in this way you tend to forget the memories as the day go by or maybe just lock them up somewhere far far away in ur soul. nice post may his soul rest in peace 🙂

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  20. betty_bramah@yahoo.com'

    betty

    April 7, 2010 at 10:36 am

    sorry for ur loss….dat was my worst christmas too. my mum died in bellview plane crash just a month before sosoliso plane crash happend. soo sad.

  21. ebonyoma4eva@yahoo.com'

    Omada

    April 7, 2010 at 6:43 pm

    thank you so much. May God continue to strengthen us and give us the grace to appreciate each day as it comes. God bless.

  22. tayomotty@yahoo.com'

    Tayo

    April 8, 2010 at 5:26 am

    Sorry for ur loss Omada,i also lost my younger brother just last year at the age of 23,the only son of the family.Thanks to God for His grace to bear the loss.Forever i will always remember him becos he was so dear to my heart.

  23. chased@yea.com'

    forex robot

    April 12, 2010 at 5:05 am

    Great information! I’ve been looking for something like this for a while now. Thanks!

  24. belladonnafash@yahoo.co.uk'

    FASOKUN Bolanle

    April 19, 2010 at 3:03 am

    Time will do its bit. God will do the major part! Besides, give yourself the space to heal… Don’t rush it, don’t fake it, don’t pretend it is not there. Cry if you must must know one thing for sure, you have to come out of it and go on with life!

  25. tosinigbinyemi@haoo.com'

    tosin

    April 23, 2010 at 5:01 am

    Hmm, that which we dont understand, GOD KNOWS!, trust Him, He will always bring joy out of every sorrow! He His d healer

  26. paul69@hotmail.com'

    Paul

    April 24, 2010 at 5:44 pm

    I am so sorry about your loss.Praying God would help you through the phases of loss you are in right now.
    Cheers!

  27. dave76@hotmail.com'

    Dave

    April 25, 2010 at 6:50 am

    thank you so much. May God continue to strengthen us and give us the grace to appreciate each day as it comes. God bless.

  28. dave68@yahoo.com'

    Da

    April 25, 2010 at 10:55 am

    Great information! I’ve been looking for something like this for a while now. Thanks!

  29. mbcdmvouuu@googlemail.com'

    Oscar

    May 27, 2010 at 3:09 pm

    If only I had a dollar for every time I came to http://www.femmelounge.org... Superb article!

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