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Wednesday, 20 May 2015

Toluwalase Falode - Finding Strength and Inspiration In Her Grief

Ace TV presenter Aisha Falode lost her only son, Toba Falode  in faraway Dubai about a year ago. He was believed to have been murdered and still justice is yet to be served. His sister and only sibling Tolu Falode found new strength and inspiration while coping with the loss of her brother. This traumatic season in her life birthed the book ‘Gift of Grace, A Sibling Bond’ , a book she has dedicated to her brother.

Tolu reveals that writing helped her deal with the tragedy that befell her family. She kept writing until she realised that she had enough material for a book. She says, that the aim of her book is to help the lost and those who are grieving, to show them that they are not alone and that God is ready to help them through it. The book was released yesterday May 19th, the day her brother would have turned 21. Read excerpts of her interview with the Vanguard below:

How did you set out to write a book about this?
The process of writing this book was accidental. It was my coping mechanism. I remember that when I first heard about his death, I couldn't walk on concrete and I couldn't look up because I really loved my brother. The thought that he had to die in such circumstances was too much for me to bear. His body was splattered on the floor and this is somebody I had known all my life and we loved each other very deeply.

So how do I begin to compute the fact that he fell from the height of a building I couldn't see from the ground? How do I digest that? So, I started writing because I was fighting depression and all sorts of bad thoughts. I was feeling suicidal because I couldn't digest the fact that he was no longer living and I was still alive. I started writing a lot.

My mum had her own battles to fight losing her only son because we are a very close knit family. I shared some of the things I wrote with her to help her deal with it. I'm not sure how much it helped her, but I think it comforted her to some extent. One day, she said to me that it would be nice if it’s published as a book. At that point, I realised I had written about a hundred pages. That was how the idea of a book started. I had started writing before I knew it would become a book.



Could you give us a brief preview of the book?
‘Gift of grace – a sibling’s bond’ is a semi-biography of my family story. It goes into details to some extent about my life and by extension, my brother’s life and my mother’s involvement in bringing us up. It explains how I heard about my brother’s death and how that affected me as a person and how I found my faith in Christ as a result. So, the book is a mix of family, love, laughter, loss, death and life.

How has your mother coped since the death of her only son?
It’s not easy. My mum is a very strong woman and I respect her a lot for that. I didn't think it was possible for her to survive losing either of us. I remember she said those words exactly to me that she wouldn't know what she would do if she lost either of us. That was because of the love and dedication she had poured into our lives in trying to make sure we were well catered for.

When Toba died, my mum was broken. I looked at her and I couldn’t recognise her for a while. She had aged immensely, with about fifteen years. Her whole body was crumpled and she was in that state for a very long time. I just thank God that slowly she has begun to see past Toba’s death and the whole experience. Now we are trying to keep a memory in his honour through this book and the campaign ‘Justice for Tyler Fray’.

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