Gaji Bello Hussain
Our relationship started as friendship between two cousins, which later transformed into a love story that led to marriage. My marriage to you in 1977 was a blessing and one of the best things that ever happened to my life.
Yaya Bello, you were the definition of an ideal husband. You were a family man; honest, caring, loving, supportive, loyal and trustworthy. You showed me unconditional love. You never compromised my comfort nor that of my children and loved ones. You provided me with the best of everything, even before I asked for it. You were instrumental to the success story of my life. We got married immediately after my secondary education, with your support and encouragement I had my first and second degrees and excelled in my teaching career from secondary school to a chief lecturer in the polytechnic. You were always interested in anything that would make me happy or add value to my life. Life couldn’t have been better because the years I spent with you were an adventure. I will forever be indebted to you for the positive role you played in my life, that of my siblings, children, friends and other loved ones. You supported me, both morally and financially in achieving my life ambition of establishing a school. Eminence Nursery and Primary School is a symbol of a supportive, generous and selfless husband. May Eminence School be Sadaqatul Jariya to you, our parents and the entire Muslim Ummah.
Malam Bello, as you were popularly called, was a man of integrity that led a simple life full of contentment and taqwaa. Your main hobby was recitation of the Holy Quran. Your watchwords were patience, tolerance, perseverance, handwork, self-reliance, contentment and honesty. You were a man of your words who never relented in saying the truth and doing the right thing, whatever the consequences. You were a hustler who struggled to earn Halal. You never complained nor asked anyone. You believed in contentment and had a moderate and realistic lifestyle. You were a very simple, humble, kind, honest, tolerant, patient, considerate, compassionate and wonderful person. Your attributes were so momentous and overflowing, and the glory will follow you to your final home.
To your relatives, you were a pillar, problem solver, counselor, mediator, arbitrator, a building block and golden rope that kept the family united. Your dedication to your people was enormous.
To your friends, you were loyal and always there for them whenever the need arose. You found joy being around them. You always appreciated, cherished and respected them. You got excited when telling your family about your childhood friends and experiences. To you, friendship was a lifelong commitment, based on trust and respect and a special bond that needs to be cherished, sustained and safeguarded to eternity. You trained your family to love, respect, tolerate, accommodate and appreciate your relatives, friends and associates.
To your children, you were a mentor, disciplinarian, character moulder, adviser, guide, inspiration, role model and friend. You loved them, protected, supported, counselled and guided them. You disciplined them whenever they misbehaved. You provided all their needs within your means. You never relegated your fatherly responsibility to anyone, and your children never lacked. You trained them to be of good character, with high sense of responsibility. You instilled in them the virtues contentment, patience, honesty, humility, respect, and hard work and fear of Allah. They will forever cherish your tolerance, understanding, generosity, love, care and sense of responsibility. Some of the legacies you left behind for them are integrity and selfless service to humanity.
Monday, April 20, 2020 was a day I will never forget. It was on this fateful day that the cold hands of death took away my best friend and life partner in my presence.
Words cannot express the vacuum your demise has created in my life, the children, associates and the society.
I appreciated and enjoyed every minute I spent with you in the last 43 years. I loved, respected and cherished you beyond what words can express, but Allah loves you most. The memories of our humble relationship will ever remain with me.
As a Muslim I know that death is inevitable and every soul must test the pain of death, but l had never anticipated losing you at this time that I need your company most, when our children are getting married and the house is becoming empty, the time we had less engagements and spent most part of the day together and discussed issues of our interest without distraction; the best time of our married life. I was always looking forward to your return from your shop.
I have, however, accepted my fate. It is exactly 12 months without you, my soulmate, but the pain of losing you is still fresh in my mind. It seems like 120 years of sharp heartbreak, emotional pain, agony, grief, shock; the reality of losing someone special. I feel entirely lonely, empty, exposed, insecure, disconnected and incomplete.
In the last 12 months, I have learnt that it is impossible for anyone to appreciate the pain of losing a spouse until one experiences it. I have learnt that we understand death only after it places its cold hands on our loved ones. I have learnt the difference between life and death. While life creates a strong relationship and sweet memories no one can steal, death ends good relationships and creates heartbreaks that no one can mend. I have learnt that death changes and destroys everything, while time changes nothing.
I have learnt the wisdom behind companionship and marriage. I have learnt the true definition of support and care. I have learnt the true meaning of the saying, “Life will never be the same.’’ I have learnt that in your life you touched so many souls, in your death so many souls were touched. I have learnt that in your life you filled so many vacuums and in your death so many vacuums were created. I have learnt that when I met you, you changed my life, when you left me, my life changed.
In the last 12 months I have learnt to live without the only man I trusted and relied so much on. I have learnt to live without your care, support, humble advice, guide, gifts and generosity. I have missed the sound of your footsteps, words of wisdom, smile, appreciation, praise, prayers, humours, jokes and laughter, the inspiring stories of your life and the interesting accounts of your daily business activities.
I have, however, learnt to be strong, confident and how to fill the vacuum your demise created in the family. I have learnt to take decisions without my counsellor, to handle the home and the children without my partner. I have learnt to travel without my companion, eat alone and handle all my life activities without my confidant. I have learnt to be everything for my loving and promising children.
I will forever miss the love, comfort and security you gave me. I will miss the future we were supposed to share together. My tears will continue following till my last breath is taken. You were my hero, an icon in my life and role model.
You are gone but not forgotten; you will always be loved. I will continue talking about you because you deserve to be forever appreciated and remembered. I will sustain some of your legacies, maintain your ties and continue to guide the children, in sha Allah. I will always treasure our times together. Although I can’t see or hear from you again, the memories of the good years we spent together will be my strength and source of comfort because you will never be far from my thought.
I will continue to pray for you; that is the only gift I can offer you now and always. May Allah bless your children, comfort your loved ones and continue to support and guide your family. May Allah forgive your shortcomings, accept your good deeds, lighten your grave and make Jannatul Firdous your final abode. May we meet in Jannatul Firdous to part no more. Ya Hayyu, ya Qayum, give me the fortitude to bear this great loss and the strength to carry on without my soulmate, ameen.
The sympathy calls, text messages and personal visits we have been receiving from relatives, friends, neighbours, colleagues and associates touch us deeply. The care and support rendered in so many ways to comfort us were well appreciated. Such humble gestures and kindness will never be forgotten. May Allah reward you all.
Gaji Bello Hussain