A Dirge And An Ode

July 23, 2021


She came to my office and with her two
children six months ago, she was petite
and very warm
She opened her mouth and what she
said was crazy
“I am a sickle -cell warrior,
God has blessed me with two wonderful
children and I have enjoyed his mercies
over the years but my marriage Is hell!
My husband beats me, abuses me both
physically and mentally and this is the
reason I came here to see you sir!
I want this torment to be over, I want
this torture to be gone and I believe
you can heal me by the power of the
Holy Spirit”
She believed her husband would
change once she was free of the
sickle-cell disease
She attributed his behaviour to the
frustration he was feeling as a
result of all he had to bear as a
consequence of her illness
She blamed herself for the battering
She said a lot of things!
Ugly Things!
She said her husband wanted her
to die
She didn’t blame him because she
understood that being married to
her was far from being married to
a normal woman
There were many things she couldn’t
do because of her health.
She was always in pain at varying
degrees and sometimes her crisis will
come calling and she would spend a
long time in the hospital
She said her husband’s frustrations were
understandable and she believed that
once she got healed her husband would
turn a new leaf.
I disagreed with her
A predator can only see in green and blue
An abusive spouse can only be abusive
I told her to leave the marriage immediately
She was better off alone and at peace
than in a marriage where she would have
to battle mental and physical torture
Her husband beats her steadily, especially
when he is provoked over some petty
He would tell her she was better off dead
in the presence of the children
She had been rushed to the hospital
several times because of him
His nickname for her was “Liability”
He would tell the children to her face that
she was an Ogbanje, an Abiku who will
not live to see them get married
I felt her pain deep in my heart
I told her to please leave this man,
divorce him
She said it is against the Christian religion
Love is patient and Kind,
love is long-suffering
love is enduring
Love is 1 Corinthians 13
When a deer finds itself in the den
of a lion
Survival is more virtuous than love
I told her staying to die would be a
more grievous offense than running
away and preserving her life
Without the right atmosphere,
supernatural healing would almost be
She said okay and left
I remember praying with her that God
will give her the strength to do the
right thing
Weeks later she wrote to me that she
had moved to Lagos while her husband
had to remain in Abuja because of work
I was glad
I told her to rest and trust the Lord for
divine intervention
She told me her older sister was helping
with the children and that has given her
more time to rest and be at peace
I was glad
On Sunday, 18th July 2021, a woman
approached me at our retreat In Abeokuta
She was the older sister to this lady
She was in tears
She said the lady died and was buried
21 days ago
I asked her what happened
She said her husband often came to
Lagos once in a while to check on her
and her children and as usual her
husband would throw all sorts of fit
Insisting that she resign her job in
Lagos and relocate to Abuja to be
with him or insisting that he wanted
to have sex while their children were
also in the same hotel room with them
or accusing her of infidelity among other
There was a huge file of voice notes,
chats and other shreds of evidence of abuse
compiled by this young lady as she
was building a case for divorce and
custody of the children
I sat looking into the space while
I was told all that had happened
They spent time together the previous
Tuesday, prior to her death on Monday
June 28th.
They had an outing with the kids and
on return to the hotel, he insisted she
stayed with him for the night with the
She couldn’t leave the children with him
because she had to prepare them early
for school the following day.
It got so bad, they had to call his pastors
to mediate
After his pastors’ mediation he continued
nagging her till about 1 am thus denying
her much-needed rest.
The aftermath of the quarrel left her
tired the day after and eventually triggered
the situation that led to her death the
following Monday.
It is common knowledge that stress is a
big trigger for sicklers.
That Tuesday was the last time he saw or
spoke with her.
She died within thirty minutes of getting to
the hospital
This lady told me she had gone to the police
station to report but she was told the man
cannot be accused of anything!
Couples fight all the time, the DPO even said
he had beaten his wife out of anger
several times and so that has nothing to
do with the case at hand!
This man was the one sharing small chops
at the burial ceremony of his wife!
Perhaps because he wanted to be useful
His siblings confess that he has issues
with anger and malice
Barely 21 days after his wife was buried
he was demanding the custody of the
Children that he was caught on tape while
instructing them not to play with their
cousins and stating that “If I see you
with the children of so and so, I will
disown you”
The lady’s desire was for her children
to be raised in a stable environment but
I don’t think she will get that wish even
in death
This story is very upsetting to me
While it is true that the plight of a sickle cell
warrior is not something just anybody can
take on as a spouse, it is important that
those who dare to take it on know that
they are free to walk away whenever they
feel overwhelmed or started to resent their
While I am not in any way encouraging divorce,
I will rather have a living divorcee than a
battered or dead spouse
I was told her husband wanted a third child,
despite the doctor’s advice against such,
he said they had an agreement that they
were going to have three children and she
had only delivered two
(what was such a man doing with such a
I write this as a warning to spouses who
are determined to stay in marriage until
death do them part while their spouse was
hell-bent on killing them!
Jesus didn’t save you so that you can waste
your life away in this manner marriage
between reasonable people is a tough deal
To be married to a cold-blooded partner is
nothing to be proud of
If the marriage will cost you your life, please
walk away


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