My beloved is mine, and I am his: he feedeth among the lilies. Songs of Solomon 2:16.
The Biblical verse from the Songs of Solomon captures the entirety of complete giving which is what comes to mind when we think of love. This “complete giving” is the total giving of oneself to love in confidence and complete surrender of the will, which no longer doubts but yields in complete trust regardless of the situation. We often yield, give, accept and act without asking questions when we feel love. Is it a feeling or an act?
As I sat and listened to a dear brother and friend after the loss of his brother who killed by armed robbers, I could see a love so deep and unwavering amidst the tragedy. He seemed inconsolable, as every word that came out his mouth was with a sigh. He looked drained both mentally and emotionally. He carried on being aware that the clock didn’t stop so he could mourn, the world didn’t stop so he could quietly ponder why such a death should occur around him, why his beloved brother should be taken without one more moment to tell him how the story ended, how it was his turn to crack the last joke, how he should have stayed on and refused to yield to death, or how to make sense of all that had happened?
I sat and wondered about these emotions, this expression of undying, unflinching love that death provoked. I wondered if all we live for is to die in love and give into emotions so strong that they evoke so much pain and great anguish when a loss occurs. The heart though nicely tucked away in the rib cage is continuously broken a million times over from the pain of loss, rejection and betrayal throughout life’s journey.
The depth of love expressed in the death of a beloved one washes through the living and it jolts the mind to the realisation that to love today is to feel loss tomorrow. And this realisation also brings about a wanting to love intensely right now as time is really short.
At the end of my visit and as I rose to go home, my brother and friend looked me in the eye and said: “I am not afraid any more but I can’t get over how sudden this has been. But my dear, this pain is beyond my comprehension.” In the silence of the moment I asked myself: “Was this love not enough to keep death away?” I said my goodbyes and left but I couldn’t leave my thoughts behind…
Hmmmmmmm not your regular love story but I just had to share. My advice is to live in love, waste no time today to say as many times as you possibly could: “I love you”, and be assured that you are in your beloved and your beloved is in you.
Till I write again, I love you for reading…
Adaobi Alex-Oni is an Honorary Ambassador and a recipient of the Nelson Mandela Leadership Award by the African Youth Parliament. A broadcaster and writer, she is the convener of the ROWEAD conference. A social and women’s rights activist, she is a promoter of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. For more information, visit her website www.rowead.org