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Personal Stories About Life After Loss

Balanced Wheel Blog

My Experience Of Becoming A Widowed Parent At A Young Age

I married my best friend, he was the love of my life, I had known him for over 20 years.

We got married on the 3rd of October 2015 a day I will never forget. A day filled with love, laughter, food, and music. The day I married the love of my life. He was the ‘pounded yam to ogbono.‘

He was the most caring, thoughtful, and God-fearing man. He would do anything for anyone. I loved how much he loved God. His family meant the world to him and there wasn’t anything he would not do for Hezekiah and me. 

How could someone I have known for over 20 years ago just like that? It is indescribable! 

It is common for people to start the new year with high hopes, dreams about the year. So did my family. I never in my wildest dream expected that the love of my life would die suddenly and of course not at the start of the new year.

My world got turned upside down on the 23rd of January 2021 when I heard the doorbell ring. It was 2 pm on Saturday and my son and I were snuggled up on the sofa watching a movie. I was not expecting anyone so I thought who could that be. 

I hurried to open the door and my usual smile disappeared when I saw two police officers standing in front of my door with their hats in their hands on their chests. They stepped into the house without being invited in and said I need to sit down. 

When I saw the two ladies standing there in my kitchen, I thought “what do they want?” I looked into their eyes and saw the expressions on their faces. I knew it was going to be bad news but nowhere near what they were about to tell me. 

I eventually gathered my thoughts and observed the saddest expression I had ever seen on their faces. I became anxious and couldn’t wait to hear about what had brought them to my front door.

One of the police officers said “Mrs. Brantuo your husband Christopher has been in a fatal accident”, and I said ‘Oh God’ so which hospital is he in. Then they replied and said ‘unfortunately he did not survive the accident.  

I fell to the ground at the bottom of the stairs with a piercing scream and kept repeating that “it couldn’t be my Christo”, that they must have had the wrong person and I was asking them lots of questions. They immediately helped me up and took me over to the living room whilst one officer kept my son busy. 

It felt like the words that escaped from the officer’s mouth darted straight to strangle my rapidly beating anxious heart. It choked the life out of it, it felt like my heart had stopped.

I fell to the ground and was waiting for them to say “April fool, even though it wasn’t April” or get a message from their control centre that they had made a mistake and delivered the message to the wrong person. 

Like a track stuck on an endless loop of repetition, I kept repeating “it can’t be my Christopher.” I did not believe it until I saw him 3 weeks later to confirm it was him. That was the hardest thing I have had to do. 

Standing there looking at my ‘bubba’ in a funeral home weeks after the accident. The three weeks wait to confirm to see if it was him was the hardest thing ever. We were praying and hoping that he would just walk through the front doors. It was non-stop prayer and fasting till we set our eyes on him.

All that was going through my head was who is going to help me bring up our beautiful son? Who am I going to travel the world with? Who is going to help me take my braids out and do the buckle on my shoes for church? 

Our son, Hezekiah was his world, they made so many memories in the short 3 years he spent in his life. Which we will treasure forever. Telling my 3-year-old son “daddy is a star now and watching over you” was the hardest thing I ever had to do. 

Becoming a young widowed parent at a young age. Guest post written by Mary Braunto

He is a clever little boy and every day he asks more and more questions. ‘When is daddy coming back from work?’ ‘Daddy is taking a very long time to come home and says his dad his the best friend. It broke my heart.  He would say ‘mummy, why do you cry every day?’ I will look at him with tears rolling down my face and just say because I miss daddy. 

I had so many questions to ask God and still do. Why him? Why that day? Why my Christophe Papa Yaw? Why why why Lord. What did I do to deserve this oh Lord? So many questions that can’t be answered. 

To think I was snuggled up on the sofa with a blanket watching monsters inc for the 100th with my son, and my husband was on the roadside taking his last breath. Unknown to me while I was calling his phone and giving him missed calls he had already passed away on a cold, snowy day.

For a long time, I was asking God why I’m not with him. How can I go on without him? He was my everything. Having him meant I didn’t need to worry about anything. I knew he would take care of us no matter what, I always had a shoulder to lean on. He used to say “anything for you babe” and he meant it. I knew I could always rely on him. 

8 months have passed now and I try to distract myself and keep myself busy with my son, family, and friends. No matter how hard I try, Christopher is always still on my mind. I cry and laugh, and laugh and cry and I feel so many emotions In just one day. 

I can no longer listen to Christian music of praise and worship without bursting into tears, I can’t handle my emotions when I am at church, I am very sensitive when watching movies that show scenes of someone who passed away. My emotions are over the place, anything triggers my grief.

Our dreams have been smashed. We had plans and dreams to travel the world, work in another country, and grow our business. Christopher and I had one main focus which was Hezekiah and giving him the best possible life we could. He had plans to take Hezekiah to his favourite place in the world, Ghana. 

At such a young age Hezekiah is already just like his dad. With his cheeky laugh, he loves all things to do with construction. He says “I want to do daddy’s job when I’m bigger.” He wears his dad’s hard hat around the house. I laugh with joy in my heart and tears in my eyes. 

The song ‘Made a way’ by Travis Greene was like our Motto song. God always made a way for us. We trusted him 1000 percent. At this point in time in my life, I can’t but wonder  ‘how is he going to make a way now? The person I love has been taken from me. Nothing in this world can replace that. 

Two young female friends hug. one is teary with tissue in her hands. Becoming a widowed parent at a young age

There are only two things that have kept me going. My son Hezekiah and my faith. 

My favourite bible verse “in all things give thanks” kept popping up in my head during this dark time in my life. It kept repeating over and over in my head like a broken record perhaps as a reminder to not lose hope. I couldn’t understand why I would be giving thanks at such a time.

The more it played in my head, the more annoyed I got. However, I found myself repeating the verse out loud to myself, which made me even more annoyed. I felt like I absolutely had nothing to say “thank you” for 

It’s now 8 months since my husband, Christopher died. I am beginning to find things that I am grateful for and I have now begun to accept his death and the realities of the secondary losses that come with it. 

I am still learning to work through my pain and grief every day. Some days are better and some days are worse. My son also keeps me on my toes. 

My heart breaks each time I look into his eyes, he speaks of his dad every day and remembers the last holiday we went on and our long walks on the beach together. It has been over 8 months and tears flow down my face every single day.

I occasionally find myself in shock at how this whirlwind of grief has taken us from a happy family of three to being forced on a new path as a single parent with all the responsibilities on my shoulders. It has been really hard. We had to adjust our lives and still grapple with the challenges that the new life brings.

Life will never be the same without you, Christo….We will forever miss you bubba

Your wife and son

Getting Support

Balanced Wheel’s Bereavement support groups support anyone who has lost a parent, spouse/partner, child, grandparent, grandchild, sibling/relative, or friend.

Grieving is a highly personal experience. Losing a loved one is a painful experience. Support is available if you have lost someone close to you. Support is available from Balanced Wheel.

You can eventually cope with your loss by getting the proper support. Sharing your experience of grief with others who are experiencing similar things can be more helpful than trying to cope alone.

So, I invite you to join our peer-to-peer bereavement support group.

Are you grieving the loss of someone you loved and would like to join our support group? We will start with two bereavement support groups in September. Would you please complete this registration form for any of the next two bereavement support groups?

I’d love to share your coping with grief story too.

I intend to expand the blog and resources on the website to include stories of other people who have lost a loved one, not limited to losing a spouse. I’d love to hear about how you handled grief. Would you please let me know if you would like to share your story?

I am also open to having anyone anonymised if that’s your preferred option. Complete the contact us form with the text “I would like to share my story.”

To Be Continued Next Wednesday…

I would like to hear from you. Would you please share your thoughts, comments and reflections below? Thank you.

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