June 21, 2020

For the sake of Itua Ighodalo

Ron Kenoly, Tope Alabi, TY Bello, others for Ibidun Ighodalo’s 40th birthday today

By Richard Akinnola

Some of us are familiar with the story of Horatio Spafford who wrote the hymn IT IS WELL WITH MY SOUL in 1873. This hymn was written after some terrible events in Spafford’s life.

The first two were the death of his four-year-old son and the Great Chicago Fire of 1871, which ruined him financially (he had been a successful lawyer and had invested significantly in property in the area of Chicago that was extensively damaged by the great fire).

Second, his business interests were further hit by the economic downturn of 1873, at which time he had planned to travel to Europe with his family on the SS Ville du Havre.

In a late change of plan, he sent the family ahead while he was delayed on business concerning zoning problems following the Great Chicago Fire. While crossing the Atlantic Ocean, the ship sank rapidly after a collision with a sea vessel, the Loch Earn, and all four of Spafford’s daughters died.

His wife Anna survived and sent him the now famous telegram, “Saved alone …”. Shortly afterwards, as Spafford traveled to meet his grieving wife, he was inspired to write these words as his ship passed near where his daughters had died. – See Wikipedia. In today’s world, some people would lampoon Horatio for writing the Hymn -IT IS WELL WITH MY SOUL instead of mourning his dead children and his collapsed business.

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It is against this backdrop that l find it very wrong for some people to accuse pastor Itua Ighodalo for going to conduct a scheduled funeral  when he lost his wife that same morning.   People don’t understand that we mourn differently. If you watched the video of that exhortation at that funeral, Itua was actually speaking to himself, trying to lift up his spirit. It could be therapeutic to him for all you care.

Some people, out of shock, after losing a loved one are in denial, while some, due to their spiritual maturity or depth, don’t react the way normal people would react to such things. Besides, you are not with him when he is alone in his bedroom.

Some people want him to be rolling on the floor to show that he is mourning his wife, like they do in some parts of Ghana where they hire mourners to come and cry and roll on the floor at some funerals. These hired mourners tell you that is their business; they get paid for it.

I think we should allow people to mourn the way they choose, just like some women give birth without undergoing childbirth labour.   Would you insist all pregnant women must undergo labour pains because that’s the norm?