There are simply no words to capture what you meant to me or convey the full weight of my grief over your passing. When I met you over six years ago I knew at once, that I had struck gold and I know many men have a wonderful wife but no one has ever had a better one than I. For Miebi you were simply amazing – beautiful, witty, highly intelligent, quirky, stubborn and always immense fun to be with. I am grateful for every minute we had together.
We shared a friendship, a bond that no one else can understand and together we tore down barriers of creed, tribe and culture that threatened to keep us apart and at once turned all of it into love and laughter and oneness. You always said family mattered most and you embraced mine so intimately that you easily passed for a daughter to my parents and a big sister to my siblings. You were humble, faithful, efficient, and true and in your unassuming way, made everything around you beautiful.
As cliché as it may sound, Mimi, you were my everything. My happiest years were those spent with you. You gave me the experience of being clearly understood, truly supported and completely and utterly loved. You inspired me in ways I cannot explain. You were my number one fan, blowing my trumpet the loudest. When I was worried, you said it would be ok. When I wasn’t sure what to do, you figured it out. When things were difficult you were a pillar. And even there on your sick bed when I neared my wits end, you would hold my hand and reassure me that everything would be okay.
I remember fondly those long hours spent on skype calls while you completed you studies in Brazil, those blackberry voice notes every morning, the joy of welcoming you at the airport when you came home and the tears when you had to leave. I shall never forget the dance, the laughter, the promises and the plans. I miss your presence, your companionship, the notification on my phone of a new ping from you, the joy of watching Manchester United play, together…your love.
You see, love is at once this cruel and uplifting. We are dead without it, and yet made so much more vulnerable to pain for experiencing it. However if the day I walked down that aisle with you someone had told me that this would happen, I would still have walked down that aisle. For the beautiful flowers you have planted in my memory will be treasured for the rest of my lifetime.
Alas, my love could not save you. We fought long and hard though. You did not want to die. I did not want to let go either. We were confident this would end in praise. In my spare hours, I planned the thanksgiving Mass that would follow your recovery in my head. It was also going to be our baby’s dedication. But the creator thought your work here was done and decided to call you to Himself, to swell the number of the Saints triumphant.
I am consoled however by the fact that we’ve buried only your body. Your spirit, your beautiful soul, your uncommon ability to calm the storm is still with us. You live on in the stories those who knew you are sharing of how you touched their lives, in the memories of our families who you touched most closely, in the love that is so visible in the eyes of our daughters. Things will never be the same for us yes, but we all have been made better because you were in our lives.
The words of Alan D. Wolfelt in The Wilderness of Grief, aptly captures my feelings on this day. “My grief journey has no destination. I will not ‘get over it.’ The understanding that I don’t have to be done is liberating. I will mourn this death for the rest of my life.” But I will not stay drained by grief. I assure you that I will be strong for the girls, and that together, we shall make you proud.
With all my heart,
First published here on Thursday May 5, 2016