I warned you about the risks you were taking from being with him.
When he first hit you, the anger I felt was immense. I told you to get away, leave him, go back to your mother’s or even come to mine.
As I stare at the priest talking, I go back to brooding on the church bench.
You told me after that first time that it was your fault, you went out to see your sister when you should have made dinner for him. That you could see why he hit you.
I couldn’t make you see sense. I told you again to leave. You refused, saying the love is there, he just doesn’t know how to express it.
And then he hit you again a week later. You tried to deny it, but the bruised eye, the swollen lip, the limping was enough evidence.
You told me again he didn’t mean it. I told you again to leave.
You couldn’t, because you found out you were expecting a baby. That was your excuse for not leaving him and that was his excuse for hitting you. You said it was shock, that’s why he lashed out. I couldn’t believe what I was hearing.
A month later you ended up unconscious in hospital, and that is when I reported everything to the police and your family.
But you denied everything. Your family knew you were lying. The police knew. Everyone but you could see this would only get worse.
You held your tongue after that and suffered in silence. You stopped answering my calls and texts. It was frustrating but I gave you your space.
Everyone in the church is standing while I sit thinking of you. I quickly open the hymn book and stand too.
I should have done more. I should have forced you to talk to the police. You were expecting a baby.
I can’t stop the tears as I gaze at the coffin which holds your body.
When I got the call that you were found unconscious, I knew it was him. I told the police again and they seized him.
Now he’s doing time for manslaughter. But it’s not enough. No amount of years will bring you back.
Your coffin is carried out of the church, everyone following solemnly.
I can hardly stand as you are lowered into the ground, gone.
Gone because you were in denial.
Gone because you believed he loved you.
Gone because you believed he would change.
Gone because of your wishful thinking.
Domestic Violence is a serious thing and shouldn’t be ignored. If you or someone you know are suffering at the abuse of another, do not hesitate to get help. I know it is easier said than done, but think of yourself or that person and what you or they are going through.
Nobody should have to suffer.
Makala Thomas. 🙌