Joseph Iregbu

Purpose Guy

Remembering My Father


June 12 is significant to so many people for many reasons. If you’re Nigerian, you will understand why. But for me, today has a different significance, a personal one. Today marks the 17th anniversary when my father lost his battle with diabetes and asthma.

He was such a brave man. My hero. My first mentor. He carried an aura of confidence about him that made many respect him. I grew up wanting to be like him. I clearly remember my childhood moments with him. At the risk of incurring the wrath of my siblings, I still think I was his favourite.

Dad once said to me:

“I have high hopes for you, I want you to do well. Whatever happens, get your education and make me proud”

He was never the emotional type but that experience, that moment was different. His normally strong voice was softer and he looked me in the eyes. It was a defining moment for me. I can never forget.

News of his death had a significant impact on me. I was deflated. Imagine life as a teenager deflated of hope. I remember thinking that was the end of my dreams of achieving significance in life. And it was; for the next 8 years that followed.

But God had a purpose in all things, including this loss.

And in reflection of that sovereign purpose today, I remember my father.
I remember my father for his bravery in the face of life-threatening illness which he battled for over a decade.
I remember my father for teaching me to pursue my dream.
I remember my father for his unrelentless courage.
I remember my father for his never-ending benevolence, even when it hurt.
I remember my father for his mistakes too (and there were a few of them).

The very things I am thankful for, the very reasons I remember him today became the foundation for how I dealt with his death over the years.

Dad gave his life to Christ before he died. What a huge consolation! And the joy that will fill my soul when I see him again.

Have you lost someone special to you in the last decade? How did you deal with the pain of your loss? How did you pull through? What emotions come to mind when you remember?

Feel free to share your experience here. Leave a comment. You might just be helping someone deal with theirs.

About Joseph Iregbu

From a homeless, near-school-dropout to living a story worth telling. Purpose is my passion. What's your story?

13 Replies

  1. today brings to mind memories i wanna put behind me. People are posting happy father`s day, i love you dad and so on and i get this feeling of emptiness, i do not even know whaaat fathers are about, fatherly love is foreign to me!

    1. And why is that, Chioma? Something you want to share?

      1. My own father caused me pain in no small measure.. He is late now, but everytime something or someone makes me remember him, I cringe. Went through some serious torture, the fact that I am alive today is just God`s grace.

        1. I am sure there are others out there whose experience will also resonate with yours. My challenge to you is to live above that past. I know it’s difficult and I don’t say that lightly. But there must be a reason for the pain you experienced and today you’re alive. Let your story become your strength, your test your testimony and use that past to reach out to somebody’s future. You can do it, I believe in you Chioma!

  2. Ayo

    Funny how perspectives can be different. I was around for some of the 8 years you mentioned in this post, the years during which you doubted your dreams of doing something significant with your life. Of the people that knew you, I suspect you are one of the few that had those doubts.

    Till tomorrow, I still share your story with friends. I tell them of a Joseph I know whose name couldn’t have been anymore apt.

    1. Ayo
      Your observation is spot on. But there are some struggles a man carries alone. I had those moments. Lots of them. There were experiences after experiences that threatened my hope, some (or most) of which you knew as well.

      Thanks for being part of my journey. Our friendship did (and still does) more in me than you can imagine.

      1. Bidemi

        Though we were not that close, I remember your level of humility was so high that it drew a lot of teenagers to you. Please continue in that manner because that, I believe, is one of the secrets of your achievements in life.

        1. Bidemi

          I don’t remember the name but I appreciate your comment. Keep doing good. God bless you.


  3. Seye

    I’m feeling u Jossy. And maybe because I was around u for a part of your teenage years, I can relate with this piece. We were together for a few years and I didn’t know these struggles were these deep. I’m glad you’re doing great joseph. God has great plans for you.

    1. Thanks Seye. You’re a true friend!

  4. Erica Hatcheu

    Like you Joseph, i lost my father 11 years ago when i was still a young teen. It has ever been the saddest moment of my life. it almost traumatised me at that time, due to the fact my dad was murdered (shot) by thieves who came by night in our house to steal. it was a terrible experience which had a serious impact on me and my family. We were so affected by the situation, but no one was willing to share his feelings. We all closed everything on ourselves and it made the situation worse.
    Well, i really thank God because many years after, when i gave my life to Christ, his grace helped me and is still helping me. The scriptures are true.Indeed,the Holy Spirit is the Comforter and the grace of God is sufficient and i can testify to it. God has been so good to me and my family.Today we are healed from that great pain.

    1. Wow! Erica, words fail me. Words fail me indeed. Your story of healing and strength is nothing but remarkable. I sincerely pray someone reads your story and feels comforted in their own pain. Simply amazing. Remain a blessing.

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