Hi Bye, Mama!

Isaiah 57: 1-2

Good people pass away; the godly often die before their time. But no one seems to care or wonder why. No one seems to understand that God is protecting them from the evil to come. For those who follow godly paths will rest in peace when they die.

I love K-Dramas. They are perhaps one of my favorite things to watch (Besides cartoons, African movies and t.v. series such as New Girl, Supernatural etc,). K-dramas (television series often first aired in South Korea) have incredible cinematography, stellar performances, good looking cast with even better looking food (re: their fried chicken). The thing I love most about K-dramas are their beautiful stories. I have watched a number of them, my favorites being: Goblin, Descendants of the Sun, Sky- Castle, Vagabond, What’s wrong with Secretary Kim, Mr. Sunshine etc. Today, I want to talk about the one I just finished watching a few minutes ago; ‘Hi Bye, Mama!

‘Hi Bye, Mama!’ tells the story of a young, very much in love couple currently expecting their first child when the wife suddenly gets into a horrific accident days before her due date. She stays alive long enough to give birth to her daughter before eventually passing away, living everyone in her life completely devastated. What they don’t know, however, is that the deceased lives as a ghost for 5 whole years before being briefly returned back to life to have a ‘proper goodbye’ with her family and friends. I’d encourage anyone reading this to watch it if you have access to a Netflix account. Also, bring lots of tissue while you are at it.

I don’t know what happens when you die. Do people become ghosts first? Ancestors? (I am African so of course I have to think of such things too). I have read, listened and even watched accounts of people who have had near death experiences and I have noticed similar patterns, especially for believers. Watching this drama made me aware of some thoughts that I did not know I was trying so hard to bury. There is such a finality in death. And a permanence too. Watching the lead in this drama made me realize that death has such long-term effects, especially to those left behind to mourn. The immediate effects? Shock, pain, sadness. The long-term effects? Well, that’s a bit relative. For me? Sadness, anxiety (though I am slowly but surely managing it), a dawning reality of the temporary delicacy that is life, a longing for peace and a curiosity that I didn’t think I would have at my age. It’s almost childlike. Especially if things will be okay.

I lost my mum a few months ago. To the ‘public’, it looks like I am okay now. I am back to my original routine while simultaneously trying out new activities. It’s been so hard though. Especially in the small yet significant things like having a prayer partner or simply sending her a text and she immediately knows that I am not okay without having to go into detail for her. Perhaps the most irritating thing for me is having to answer the question ‘How are you doing now?’ when people ask. I know that their intentions are not bad, believe me I do. But how can I verbalize to you that ‘Actually, no. I am not okay. I am far from okay. I miss my mum so much sometimes I feel my heart breaking over and over again when I think about her. I cry for her. But no, I don’t want to tell you that. So, instead, I will tell you that I am okay and you will leave me be’.

Some days, a simple prayer makes the pain go away. A lot of days actually. Someone shared the above bible verse with me. I pray that it encourages someone.

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