Tag Archives: Grief

Blow – Blow – Blow – Brother of Mine

Blow with the winds

Soar with the waves

Flow with the streams

Blow through our thoughts

Blow – Blow – Blow

– – –

Blow as we wish

Blow as it is

Blow as it won’t come to be

Blow – Blow – Blow


(c) Marie Abanga 2017


On this day when you left us so heavy laden, I will be missing you most. Yet I will seek to feel you blowing throughout my day.


In fond memory of Gabriel Bebonbechem RIP: August 2nd 2014




One of those days when the memory of a loved one drains your zeal…

I didn’t plan to blog today, I didn’t know how I will feel today, I just wished I could go through this day as normally as possible.

My brother of blessed memory was born on the 6th of June 1981.

There are days his memory drives me with so much zeal to do my best for the foundation and my life in general. He wished me and the boys so so much. I loved him to my marrow and oh he went through so so much.

And so today and also the day he died (August 2), are those days when his memory drains that zeal. I am writing hoping to feel better after I publish. Writing is cathartic to me.

To all those who go through such moments in their lives, this too shall come to pass. I don’t even know how to look or talk to mum today. She celebrated his last & 33rd birthday with him on the 6/6/2014 in Boston. 

Ah, Healing it seems to me is a never ending journey…I am immortalizing this day by making a new I’d since forgetting the other one in Dakar

Thank you for reading and having a kind thought for me especially on this day

A very emotional day: finally ready to see where he was buried

Hello world, some update from my village.

 Starting with if you’ll call this good news: the internet connection cut 3 months ago has been restored. Am therefore writing this post as a tribute to that restoration;

Second emotional news: I saw my dad and although I didn’t get a hug, I got so much more. I put my hand on his shoulder and he put one of his behind me too. Some may see this as a no event but to me this is such a big deal… See our smiles…gratitude for the peace… Also reconnected with my big step sister today am thankful and I spoke to the daughter of a late cousin I was so fond of. Indeed we had same surnames and age oh we were pals…

Third and toughest emotional news, I finally did go and see where my brother Gabriel was buried. When he died in the US and his corps was brought home, I flew in from Belgium but refused going to see where he’ll be buried. He is buried behind my dad’s compound, and although I have been here some months ago, I didn’t feel ready going there. Could my going there today mean I was ready for some sort of closure about his death ahead of the medical mission starting tomorrow?

Sometimes in life, some grief shake us up and we near lose our bearings. We have different ways and timelines of dealing with grief, but I wish we all give it a try and not let fear ruin it for us. Even grief at a relationship we so looked up to or one causing us so much pain, we need to find the strength to deal and heal for our mental wellbeing.

Wishing us all a happy weekend… 

I started the day with tears but am much better now… Sharing this to let someone somewhere going through similar stuff know they ain’t alone

It is hard starting all over; it is hard dealing with grief; somethings are so hard…

I lost my skipping rope four months ago and with that my skipping groove. Trying to start all over…ain’t ever easy but am not discouraged. I used to skip 500 at a go, today I could only do 200 average at a go. That’s still a big motivation even if I still feel less flexible than before. Yes you can, don’t give up…

Grief strikes: It is hard not to feel

My darling Donna lost her beloved father yesterday and I feel so sad I can’t be with her in this challenging moment of need

Secondly, a few hours ago I saw a young man on the streets whom I recognized as one of the altar boys at my wedding in 2006. He was so friendly and I met him a few times again thereafter in church and about. Today, he had a bag full of junk and was talking to himself – what could I do?

I travel to my village tomorrow – off network for four days

The medical mission our foundation is organizing kicks off on Friday. Our team leaves the city for the village 8 hours away on not so cool roads tomorrow morning. There is no network there and I will be hyper busy and yet super anxious about stuffs etc – I have tried since monday to prepare myself emotionally and mentally and I just keep my fingers crossed.

I will be taking my skipping rope with me and will try find time to go hike in the woods

Thank you for reading ( more of my short sport clips on my modest youtube chanel) e.g: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hEJUclj_ZNM

Am Back and Am using His Phone…

Am trying to be safely anchored ship
Am trying to be safely anchored ship

Grief can make, mould or mare you… Take it from it I have experienced grief and its various effects… Obviously to different extents but … a recent Grief ( Ulla’s passing )propelled me to rush right back to my e-family via our communication outlet par excellence: our blogs or vlogs …

Dear world,

Am Back… I can’t say if it’s gonna be any consistent, but I know for sure Am happy to be back… I didn’t leave altogether, I stayed around reading some of my favorite blogs… But I just realise writing is part of the deal and going by the number of followers I had when I last checked, others sure like reading some of my posts… writing has equally been so so therapeutic for me, I really can’t leave it alone…

Another Grief, one of the most poignant next to the loss of my own daughter, is on another note making me currently… I never knew two years ago I’ll get to this point of smiling when I think of my brother… I think it’s because He Lives on in Me

Am using his phone since Thursday

That's Gaby's phone ontop of my fav kindle, and I put his lone selfie I sound in it on the wallpaper
That’s Gaby’s phone ontop of my fav kindle, and I put his lone selfie I sound in it on the wallpaper… his face is so swelled, probably the meds meds meds…

When he died in August 2014, I wanted so badly to inherit lots from the little he left. I was living in Belgium then, and couldn’t take back lots of his clothes or few house utensils you know… The clothes weren’t going to fit anyway, although I did resize a few and cared less wearing his big snickers… But, I so wanted his mobile phone ans I pleaded with mum then to no avail…Her own Grief was so raw I left it at that

Today, I am finally in possession of one of my priciest legacy from my brother, second only to the memories we shared of things we thought, said and did together…

I sincerely am grateful to mum for giving me my brother’s phone which was successfully unblocked and charged up after two years of non use… I have lots of him physically in my home like most of his house utensils and even beddings… And some clothes… And now the very phone he was using – and sure that on which we last spoke two days to his passing on… his call log was still there oh my …

And you gentle readers and followers, what are some of your priciest legacies from your departed ones?

Wishing us all peace, joy and love in abundance…

Aww it has happened again; Grief strikes our mental health community, join us in solidarity

I love this and have always done my best to practice that.
I love this and have always done my best to practice that.
Ulla’s dog Solo – ending up Solo for real?

I called her john, I now know her name was Ulla. This makes no difference to me, my grief is once more unbearable. I could hardly sleep last night.

I had thought I was done with blogging, hung up my blogging boots: But how do I not revert to where I found so much solace two years ago when I lost my one and only brother to this same Bipolar Monster?

And guess who was there to help me so very much on with my grief and healing process? Guess who selflessly offered to review My brother’s journey which I maniacally wrote in 30 days? Oh Ulla where do I begin?

You were my hero and heroine and am humbled I wrote you a blog to let you and the world know .

Oh no, what a sad coincidence, that a vigil is planned for you on September 10th 2016, exactly 2 years when I published that post?

Ah our poor, battered, tattered and shattered mental health community… who will research and share all the information with us again?  Oh dear, you cheered us up and fought so hard… even letting us know when things were seemingly so tough your way, that you were still alive.

The grief is still so hard, kindly join us on BLAHPOLAR’S blog come September 10th, to pay her a deserving tribute:

Here are some other blog posts from her other kindred spirits, I know many more others don’t even have it in them to write …

Losing Ulla

An Invitation: JOIN ME on SEPT 10th to Honour ULLA’s Death — Our Lived Experience

Don’t what? Shut up. 



F3 to my Memoir: Narcissistic Abuse of Children by Parents and the family traumatic experience, By CB Belgium


It wasn’t until very recently, that I put my hand sort of on what had been going on in my family of birth. I think I could somehow scientifically figure out what was wrong with dad.  I was also dare I say lucky to have met someone who had lived a similar traumatic experience from a spouse! I was very honoured that he agreed to write a 3rd foreword to my memoir. It is a true life story, and I’ll share his foreword in two parts. Do come back then for F3 (b) in two days.

I agreed with apprehension and yet deep relief when Marie asked me to write a foreword for her memoir on the subject of narcissism. Given that I am still fighting hard to get my life and those of my two kids on track after such a very traumatic experience with a spouse I have come to realise was and is a narcissist, you would understand my mixed feelings.

Most people who haven’t been used as a narcissistic supply, and have never been involved with Narcissism, are not aware of the impact that Narcissistic people can have on their families, children, spouse or even themselves.

Although in an abusive and very challenging marriage, I had never heard about Narcissism until I was in my forties and my wife started to accuse me of being a Narcissist.  Since I was not aware of what she was accusing me about, I needed to understand what or who a Narcissist is. So I went on the Internet and started searching.

After reading a first article about Narcissism I did not recognised my own behaviour, I was only reading things that I had seen, recognised, tried to discuss, tried to change, in the behaviour of my wife. I then had a moment of revelation. I was not the mentally ill person in the family, but I started to realise that my wife was the one having a mental illness. At that moment I could not read much more, it just was to confronting to me.

During the summer period of 2014, after 14 years of marriage, the violent behaviour of my wife became worse each day, at that moment it was not clear what was going on. One day my wife took an axe and smashed the front and tail lights of my car, while the children were around and watching the whole episode. Both of the children started to talk about the incident at school with some teachers, and after several days I was invited by the directors of both their schools, to have a talk about the behaviour of my wife. At one of the schools I was told that my wife was having a mental problem, and that the school had already organised a safe place for both of my children. They told me to take immediately action, otherwise they would!

During the coming days, I contacted a lawyer and asked him to use all legal instruments to get a divorce from my wife. After I made this decision I started to realise that I was actually in an abusive marriage which had already endured for over 14 good years. It was then that I returned with rage to read all I could about Narcissism. Finally I was reading for over 5 hours a day about this mental illness.

This mental illness of my wife almost killed me, but I was not ready to die yet, I had to take my responsibility to teach my children about a life without abuse. I have to finish the project that is called raising children, with an end date of August 2021 when they would have all turned 18. Like in any project you have to constantly update a risk log and initiate actions to minimise the risk. In this case the risk is all kinds of Narcissistic abuse, one of the best counter measures is go no contact with my ex-wife, although it is almost impossible to go no contact when you have children together, at least the contact should be minimised. To be continued…

How could a mere Gallon of Milk do this to me…

What is it about this?
What is it about this?

I remember the day when I broke down in a hospital after walking by a nursrey. Yes, I wondered how and how long one needed to mourn a child. I still miss my brother so much, but I thought I was coming along fine as far as mourning his LIFE was concerned.

Well, this morning, I was to be proven otherwise. A gallon of milk so emabarrased me and made me cry right there in a supermarket. I am not proud to be writting or admitting such, but I am proud to share the experience and how I dealt with it. If only it helps some other person too.

Like my dear friend blahpolar shared in a very recent post of hers on grief and grieving, there is a big contrast between  “get over it” v “get through it”. This morning once more, I got through it.

Here is what happened. I accompanied a friend to the Netherlands which happens to be a 30 minutes drive from their village in Belgium. I came here for sort of a retreat, but couldn’t resist going to the Netherlands with them for groceries. And it was there that I saw gallons of milk. I have somehow not come across a gallon of milk in Belgium ever since. I felt so angry at seeing these gallons of milk. I first felt like buying a dozen and then spilling all the damn contents. I even raged up and felt like pushing the shelves, and then I broke into tears.

You see dear readers, my brother loved milk just so much. One day, I heard that he went into the neigbour’s flat and helped himself from a gallon of milk in the fridge. The police were called, and he and my sister with whom he lived, were evicted from their own flat. In his final months, he was so ‘whatever it is I lack the app words’, that when I asked him if he still drank milk, he told me No. I think he said he couldn’t afford it anyway given the disability check he got.

I decided to let the tears flow and not hold them back. I retreated to a quiet aisle but refused to leave the supermarket. I knew I wanted to face that shelve again. I needed to tell those gallons it wasn’t their fault what happened to my brother, but they were sure some trigger this morning. I shared my experience with the friend I accompanied, and then when I felt ready, I went back to that aisle.

I must add that, the incident increased my vulnerability and propensity to overeact. I think I did that over some other incident this morning. What I know I equally did, was that I tried to first deal with the issue within myself, and counted up to even 1000 before talking after that same incident.

I never could have imagined a mere gallon of milk could do this to me… I however know that it was simply one of those incidents which reminds us of our human nature…

The Last Supper – the last meal!!!

Stage one of his journey - the day he talked of the last supper
Stage one of his journey – the day he talked of the last supper

One day, after our parents had split, we were at mum’s about to eat before returning to what we called ‘limbo’. Yes, that is what our father’s house had become to us especially since he got married to this other woman who wouldn’t let us touch ‘her things’ (fridge, pans, spoons, just name it).  It was then during that meal, a sumptuous one of different dishes, that my brother coined the term ‘last supper’.

On that particular day, a Saturday which I very well remember, the fun was that it wasn’t even in the evening. We had just returned from some shopping and I had insisted we go into a photo studio and take the above picture. We had our ‘last supper’ and returned to ‘limbo’ with some more foodstuffs which I would cook on the stove we had in our room.

Our meals in ‘limbo’ very often consisted of rice and whatever. There is no doubt I think that rice up to this date is my favorite dish , just like he wrote in his journal it was his. In short, I must have his rice cooker whatever it takes.

And so, each time we were having a delicious meal, we would joke that it is our ‘last supper’.

Yes, and sadly so, when my brother started living and toiling on his own, his cooking abilities were eventually limited to doing rice in his cooker and mixing ketchup and water in a large sauce pan. He would eat only that day in day out, as many times a day as the side effects of his meds urged him to appease ‘hunger’.

Mum got him to send her a picture of what he was going to have for supper on the eve of his death. She had been there recently and did cook lots of stuff and leave with him. He had maybe eaten all by then and so this is the picture he sent her:

What more do I say about this?
What more do I say about this?

Sibling Grief

My elder sister and I at the airport to receive Gaby's remains
My elder sister and I at the airport to receive Gaby’s remains

I know siblings usually grieve much more ‘internally’ than do the parents of the bereaved. Yet I couldn’t bring myself to “Grieve In” because I had once tried and it haunts me up to this date. Yup, it was my own one day old daughter I lost and as per ‘conventions’, you don’t openly grieve for such an ‘abomination’. The pain is there for real, the tale ever so pale especially if he died a simpleton like ours. No, I am in so much pain and it seems to be bearable the more I grieve it out.

Today dear readers, I want to share some pictures with you of this lone hero of ours (his three sisters left behind). I keep saying, if the fighter I am, the mouthful and strong headed and all, affirms that he is the only sibling I never had an argument with nor fought with, then that bond was rightly beyond blood. He was my angel Gabriel and surely same to us three.

Our journey starts with this dearest and pretty African Queen:

Mam in the same boarding we later went to
Mam in the same boarding we later went to

Several years down the lane it became this:

At first we were just three of us
At first we were just three of us

Our darling was very often jolly:

our little Angel Gabriel
our little Angel Gabriel

And some years later:

We are now four
We are now four

Our gentle man

He loved to ‘sap’ (always elegantly dressed):

On our way to Church
On our way to Church
I guess it was the Thriller fever era
I guess it was the Thriller fever era

And then it was Boarding school era when it all started:

First epileptic seizures start around this time
First epileptic seizures start around this time

And the journeys became very painful to watch him do so bad – and yet keep his smile:

Stage one of his journey - the day he talked of the last supper
Stage one of his journey – the day he talked of the last supper
In Germany with elder sister - his stage two as narrated
In Germany with elder sister – his stage two as narrated
Stage four of his journey, with kid sister in Boston
Stage four of his journey, with kid sister in Boston
Mummy's Rose and best friend
Mummy’s Rose and best friend

But all our love couldn’t stop his life from spiraling out of ours; meds and yes too many meds got into the way. His doctors said he needs to and must take them all. One said he weighed more than him so no need to worry. The journey get so bad and on the 2nd of August, 2014, we all learn our Angel is back to Paradise.

My darling's journey
My darling’s journey