I came across a touching note written by Bolatito Ladoja-Idakula who lost her daughter at birth. I was quite emotional as I read the note, I cried as I read through each line.
I had to read it all over again because it felt like she was conversing with me. Within me, I responded to some of the rhetorical questions in the note, but I paused when I got to the part below;
“I come from a culture of silence, where speaking about certain issues is almost taboo. One of the most kept secrets is when a woman loses a child, no one talks about it and it is almost like it never happened. People only speak about it when the woman has another child or they find out that you have lost a child. I fall in the category of the latter. I gave birth to my beautiful daughter on the 2nd of March 2015 and she passed away on the 3rd of March 2015 after 42 weeks pregnancy.”
I became furious when I re-read that paragraph. ‘Why should our culture deny a mother to talk about her loss?’ I thought to myself. ‘Why should it be a taboo to talk about her pain? Why should women be culturally permitted to talk about the birth of a child and not the loss?’ I just don’t agree with keeping cultures or beliefs that puts us in a cage.
Cultures, beliefs, customs and practice were all created to make us live better. But when it becomes something that controls us then we are no longer living! Truth be told, some, if not most of our customs and practices are obsolete, they need to be updated.
I believe in upholding values that makes every culture strong, but practices (such as taboos and so on) should be checked. Life is too complex to create more complexities. In as much as we can freely express happy moments, it’s very normal to express sad moments too.
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