Hey Y’all! I got the idea of a series called “Hey Mo!” where readers, Instagram followers, and friends of ATBM could submit questions on any topic and my answer would be turned into candid open letters! Since starting ATBM in December of 2015, I’ve gotten new followers and subscribers that aren’t too familiar with me. It’s a perfect way to share what I see as beautiful stories while opening the door for an open forum! With that being said, I’ll tackle the hardest question first. Here goes nothing…
Question: “If not too painful, how has life been without your dad? How you adjusted and all”
To be honest, on some (read:many) days, I still feel like I’m adjusting. I remember turning 23 and thinking, “wow, I’ve officially lived for more years without my father than I have with him.” My father passed away on December 24th, 2005 from Pancreatic Cancer after what felt like the LONGEST battle ever. I was 11 and my world pretty much broke.
However, in that season, I truly learned the importance of community. I saw my church family rise up in unimaginable ways and even up until this very moment, I’m grateful. Always will be, too. It’s definitely been rough hitting some of my life’s major milestones without him. Graduations, Birthdays, and soon-to-come… marriage.
I don’t see death as something one particularly “gets over” but rather, you learn to cope. You adjust. You have your good days, your bad days, and days when you realllllllly have to resist the urge to question God. At many points, I was angry, frustrated.. you name it, I’ve felt it. At 11, I often found myself thinking and questioning, “did I not pray hard enough or did God just feel like taking my dad away?”
Since his passing, I try to enjoy the little things that remind me of him. His infamous gold bracelet never leaves my left wrist and as long as I have my way, it won’t. I listen to Bob Marley and remember marveling at his Jamaican history lessons. I think of random facts and laugh at the fact that I got the trait of knowing a lot about what some may call “irrelevant” things lol. I hear talking drums and remember the days when the sounds of it filled my home.
Some days I get frustrated that I can’t remember his voice.. his laugh. When I feel those pits drawing near, I literally can only find solace in the Word of God–
“Death has been swallowed up in victory. Where, O death, is your victory? Where, O death, is your sting? The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the Law. But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ!” - I Cor 15:54
I look forward to the day when we get to laugh like there’s no tomorrow. Until then, I grow. I remember the many lessons he left behind. I keep his memory alive to anyone and everyone that’ll listen lol. Side Note: It’s funny because people are usually scared to ask me anything about my dad. I guess they think I don’t want to talk about him, which couldn’t be the furthest thing from the truth lol.
To first love of my life, Abiodun Aremu Akintunde, continue to rest in peace.
Thank you for your question, reader!