The next morning after my call with the nurses on duty , I prepared to visit Kene . Excited to finally hear her speak after weeks of drifting in and out of comas , I went ham , shopping all sorts of goodies- buying all the things Kene loved but have missed out on enjoying . The TB in her system had been fully cured and she was now in recovery mode .
On my way into the hospital , I got a call from Dr . Franklin . Surprised by the urgency in his voice , I told him , I was only downstairs and will be up in a minute . Over taken by panic , I dashed up the stairs and ran down the corridor leading to the ICU . I bumped into Dr Franklin , who managed to steady me . He led me into a family room around the corner and offered me drinks . In the gentlest tone ever , he said “ I ’ m really sorry , but I ’ ve emptied the kitchen sink and at this point I don ’ t have any more tricks .” What is he talking about , I glared at him “ Kene has a few hours left to live ; she suffered a reflux last night . We drained over a litre of fluid from her lungs and on scanning her , we discovered that the acid from the liquid had burnt and bored holes in her lungs ” I was looking at him but my spirit had left me . I couldn ’ t make sense of anything he was saying …
I only remember walking out of the room like a zombie and into the ICU . I saw Kene lying peacefully , the wires and pumps still attached to her body . “ We are going to make her as comfortable as possible and you can stay with her for as long as you want ” one of the nurses said as they began to detach the medical equipment from her . “ Nneka , we will give you some space to speak with Kene , never mind that she ’ s unconscious , she can hear you ” Dr . Franklin added .
I sat in silence for the most part of two hours , tears streaming down my face . I had no words , my mind couldn ’ t take it . I felt lost , hopeless , helpless . I just sat there starring at my best friend as her breathing rose and fell . I ’ ve never seen anyone take their last breath until Kene .

Grief and depression share many of the same characteristics , but grief is a healthy , natural response to loss , while depression is an illness . Whilst grief can trigger a bout of depression , it ’ s important to understand the difference between grief and depression . If you ’ re grieving , your feelings of loss and sadness come and go , but if you ’ re depressed , you ’ ll usually have a constant feeling of sadness .

My sadness never went away . It felt like Kene ’ s demise awoke a demon in me . I became angry with God , the pastors , the doctors , the whole damn world . There was the feeling of emptiness that morphed into the absence of feeling itself . Nothing will ever be good or bright or wonderful ever again . I turned the pain to myself- I started feeling unworthy to be here , I questioned the justification for my own existence , I felt like an impostor- Why Kene and not me ? What did I do better to be deserving of life while a poor orphan lost hers ? At first , my parents put my mood swings down to grief .
The counsellors said I will feel better with time . I was undecided- I didn ’ t want to let go of the grief but I also wanted to get back to normal . I would go on social media and post all sorts of encouraging messages to people who were struggling with loss , depression and all . I wrote about Kene half the time and continuedwith the makeup tutorials we did on YouTube . I seemed to have improved , to be in control . Fans the world over sent inspiring messages , they couldn ’ t believe how strong I was- they said I inspired them a lot . Years passed and my work and social media life flourished . The ‘ Beauty Dose ’ account Kene and I co-owned amassed over 500,000 instagram followers and shortly after her death , the account got verified . There ’ s not a day I do not wish Kene was here to celebrate these milestones . Sometimes , I feel like a thief , like a cheat . To reap the benefits from our joint hardwork alone fills me with so much guilt . People would come on the page to share personal stories of loss , depression and survival . I will actively get involved in these conversations but when they all go to bed ; I will lay on my bed crying my eyes out .
6 / BLANCKLITE / OCT 2018 / www . blanckdigital . com
The next morning after my call with the nurs- es on duty, I prepared to visit Kene. Excited to finally hear her speak after weeks of drifting in and out of comas, I went ham, shopping all sorts of goodies- buying all the things Kene loved but have missed out on enjoying. The TB in her system had been fully cured and she was now in recovery mode. On my way into the hospital, I got a call from Dr. Franklin. Surprised by the urgency in his voice, I told him, I was only downstairs and will be up in a minute. Over taken '2F6VBWFR7F'2B&FvFR6'&F VFrFFR5R'VVBFG"g&ƖvvVBF7FVGRRVBRFf֖ǒ&&VBFR6&W"BffW&VBPG&2FRvVFW7BFRWfW"R6B( Ğ( &RЦǒ6'''WB( fRVFVBFRF6V6@BF2BF( BfR&RG&62( v@2RFƶr&WBv&VBB( ĶVR2fWrW'2VgBFƗfS6R7VffW&VB&VfW7@vBvRG&VBfW"ƗG&RbfVBg&W Vw2B66rW"vRF66fW&VBF@FR6Bg&FRƗVBB'W&BB&&V@W2W"Vw>( v2rB'WBא7&BBVgBR6VF( BR6V6RbЧFrRv26~( `ǒ&VV&W"vƶrWBbFR&ƖP&RBFFR5R6rVRǖpV6VgVǒFRv&W2BV27FGF6V@FW"&G( vR&RvrFRW"26Цf'F&R276&RBR67FvFW f"2r2RvN( RbFRW'6W26@2FW&VvFFWF6FRVF6WVV@g&W"( VvRvvfRR6R76PF7VvFVRWfW"֖BFB6^( 2VЦ666W26R6V"^( G"g&ƖFBЦVBऒ6B6V6Rf"FR7B'BbGvW'2FV'27G&V֖rFvגf6RBv&G2ג֖B6VF( BFRBfVB7BVW72VW72W7B6BFW&R7F'&rBג&W7@g&VB2W"'&VFr&6RBfV( fRWfW 6VVRFRFV"7B'&VFVFVRb$4ĕDR5B#wwr&6FvF6Фw&V`BFW&W766&R琦bFR6R6&7FW&7F72'WBw&Vb2VFGW&&W76RF72vRFW&W762খW72v7Bw&Vb6G&vvW"&WBbFW&W2Ч6N( 2'FBFVFW'7FBFRFffW&V6P&WGvVVw&VbBFW&W76b^( &Rw&WfrW"fVVƖw2b72B6FW726RBv'WBb^( &RFW&W76VB^( W7VǒfR6Ч7FBfVVƖrb6FW72ג6FW72WfW"vVBvBfVBƖRV^( 0FV֗6RvRFVR&V6Rw'vFvBFR7F'2FRF7F'2FRvPFv&BFW&Rv2FRfVVƖrbVFW70FB'VBFFR'6V6RbfVVƖrG6VbFrvWfW"&RvB"'&vB"vЦFW&gVWfW"vGW&VBFRFח6Vb7F'FVBfVVƖrVv'FF&RW&RVW7FV@FRW7Ff6Ff"גvW7FV6RfVBƖP7F"vVRBBSvBF@F&WGFW"F&RFW6W'frbƖfRvR""Ч7BW'3Bf'7Bג&VG2WBג@7vw2FvFw&VbFR6V6V'26BvfVV&WGFW"vFFRv2VFV6FVBFF( BvBFWBvbFRw&V`'WB6vFVBFvWB&6F&vV@v66VFB7B6'G2bV6W"ЦvrW76vW2FVRvvW&R7G'VvvƖpvF72FW&W76Bw&FR&WBVPbFRFRB6FVVGvFFRWWGWF&2vRFBUGV&R6VVVBFfP&fVBF&R6G&f2FRv&BfW 6VB7&rW76vW2FW6VF( B&VƖWfPr7G&rv2FW6B7&VBFVBॖV'276VBBגv&B66VFƖfPfW&6VBFR( &VWGF6^( 66VBVR@6vVB76VBfW"S7Fw&fЦvW'2B6'FǒgFW"W"FVFFR66V@vBfW&fVBFW&^( 2BFFBv6VPv2W&RF6VV'&FRFW6R֖W7FW26RЧFW2fVVƖRFVbƖR6VBF&VFP&VVfG2g&W"B&Gv&Rf2PvF6V6wVBVRvVB6RFRvRF6&RW'6Ц7F&W2b72FW&W76B7W'ffv7FfVǒvWBffVBFW6R6fW'6F2'W@vVFWvF&VCvג&VB7'ЦrגWW2WB