Chukwuemeka Akachi
A selfie of Chukwuemeka Akachi

I have been very sober since the new wave of suicide struck Nigeria. Akachi’s suicide got at me because I know a bit of what he felt and I have been there. Chukwuemeka Akachi was a final year student of University of Nigeria Nsukka who relied on his poems to pour out himself. For him, sadness was his muse. It is sad that he couldn’t pull through. Many people have put the blames on his friends for not being so attentive or even his family for not giving him so much love but I think otherwise. I believe he received love and attention, there was just more to this.

Naturally, humans tend towards “me first” and therefore may not even notice the other person is dying. We all have one point or another where we had needed sincere help and no one ever came to our rescue. Right in my inbox, I have so many people wanting me to help them one way or the other and I keep staring at their messages wishing there is much I could do and seeing these things, I can’t even tell anyone I have my own struggles. We all appear happy and shiny here with people thinking that we are very happy and issue-free!

No one is to be blamed for another person’s suicide. We can only wish we had known better. People commit suicide every day all over the world and it isn’t something peculiar to us. Some people even with all the love they had received still follow the pathway of suicide. Everyone laments on the level of their bereavement and everyone with spill out what he or she has been filled it.

The case of Akachi brought tears to my eyes and I have been soberer after realizing that friends truly reached out to him. For Akachi and several others, suicide was a journey and the demon was so strong in their head that every other option seemed pointless. People showed him love and acceptance but there was just more it seemed he was looking that doesn’t exist. Since yesterday, I have been on his timeline letting those tears flow. I have been there and I know how we search into emptiness only to end up finding nothing. I have asked God countless times to prove himself yet again to me and guess what it seems I am greeted with? Silence! Why it is that way, I don’t know! God knows! I have experienced God, in a greater way but it doesn’t happen as fast as we want it. For Akachi, he stares into emptiness, hoping to find something he can’t even describe but it is not there.

I am so sure Akachi has been seeking answers to the essence of life, he has been looking for the source of happiness and the Bible kind of joy makes no sense to him because it is not logical to say that God gives joy even when things aren’t alright. He doesn’t understand the wisdom in telling people “God cares” when it seems all that God does to the Children He so loved is, keep silent from them! How do I know this? I was studying Akachi right from his timeline and if we shared anything in common, I crossed that path where he got stuck and so describing him seems like describing where I escaped from.

Akachi feels betrayed by God and he makes it clear that believing in Jesus was one of his worst decisions. There are people who say Akachi is in hell, some of them aren’t trying to be mean, they are grieving with the information they have. I have looked at this beyond what I had thought earlier and I realized we all function on the information we have. When I was little, one of the only reasons I cry for dead people was because “I don’t know their fate. Only they know.” People who express their fear over the choices Akachi made while he was living, do so because they know that the “Christian salvation” is only received by faith in Jesus. Only God can decide this for Akachi at the moment. Only God knows the condition of Akachi’s heart which appears really dark on the surface with absolute emptiness.

Blaming ourselves for people’s suicide makes it no better because some of us are not even trained on either detecting depression or handling it. This is a case of mental illness, some people have developed bipolar over time and it isn’t something mere words and even attention could handle. Akachi as our reference have struggled with coming to terms with himself and people can only help with what they had. Some had religion, some had motivations but these things had become undesirable for the young man. He considered happiness so boring and considered sadness lovely. I learn he also went for therapy but couldn’t even open up to the therapist. From his timeline, I learnt he also lost faith in the entire process and decided to do it his own way. He was more at peace with those who share the view of suicide being a way of freedom than those who would try shoving their religious opinions down his throat.

Akachi at some point was afraid to die and yet he was afraid to live! With all of these things going on in his mind, with all the answers he sought but never found and with the depth of love he desired that existed nowhere else but in his mind, Akachi declared “Finit hic Deo” which means “God ends here.” A line he borrowed from the movie “THE NUN”. For him, God is dead, if there was ever God. Now, since God is dead, he had to seek hope from somewhere else! Atheism wasn’t the answer and even though atheism appears to be the quickest way to hide our fears of the unknown, Akachi still felt there was more and in pursuit of this more, he kept loosing himself. Certain things he was looking for I believe were merely just answers he may find in life as he lives gradually and not in papers, opinions or even in death.

To cut it all short! People cared but to some point, he was done with it all. Although he was afraid to live or to die, he felt death was a better option and a better way out of all this puzzle that we seem to be living in. Whatever people have felt, it is how they should have felt and people will always say what they feel is the truth. For some, Akachi has escaped the misery of life and for others, Akachi has embraced the misery of death.

Certain people feel empathy, not because they are so kind but because it is part of the human feeling. Even when Jesus was crucified, one of those soldiers felt empathy towards Jesus. We learn every day and we try to be more. Everyone needs love. Certain things trigger emotions… It will trend for a while and it will pass. The best we can offer anyone around is love and we will get better at it every day as we keep loving. And like you rightly pointed out, we must always do a self-check to know when we are hurting others but ultimately, we ought to find hope beyond what humans can offer because the flaws of humanity are just there.

I am sorry it was this long but I feel more than this and this is just how I pour it out!

~George O.N

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