For something so fundamental to being human, there’s still a great deal we don’t know about the grieving process.
The conventional wisdom about grieving is that it’s something to be worked through in a series of stages. Lingering on any stage too long, or not completing them within a certain window of time, might be dysfunctional.
Clinicians disagree about how long is too long to grieve, about whether the grieving person should wait for her grief to shift on its own or do something to initiate that process, and about what to do, and what it means if grief is slow or stalled.
The emotion of grief may be triggered by the loss of a loved one or the result of a life circumstance.
Many people believe that if you have effectively mourned a loss, you will then achieve closure. The notion that one mourns a loss and then gets over it, to the extent that emotions about the loss are not triggered in the future, is a myth.
Zimbabwe Assemblies of God Foward In Faith International (ZAOGA FIFI) founder, Archbishop Ezekiel Handinawangu Guti seems to be going through a heavy agony since the loss of his only son Evangelist Ezekiel Guti Jnr (EJ).
EJ died in intensive care on the 27th of December in 2017, after nearly drowning in a swimming pool while on holiday in South Africa, leaving behind wife Carol, children Dorcas III, Eutricia Eunor and Ezekiel III. He was 35.
For the first time since the death of his son two years ago, Archbishop Guti (96), opened up about the tragic incident and how the family is missing the late Ezekiel Jnr.
“I miss EJ, the family misses EJ, the church misses him, in fact we all miss him. I am a leader and father to many therefore I ought to remain strong, but I really miss him. In the Bible it is clear that death is God’s doing so, we simply have to accept it and be strong. But inside we are hurting,” he revealed.
Archbishop Guti fondly remembers how close he was with his son.
“As EJ got into ministry, I discovered that he looked so much up to me as he frequently consulted me on several issues. At times I would come back home very late and tired, but I would find him (EJ) waiting for me if he needed to talk.
He would not allow me to sleep. He would say, ‘Daddy talk to me, help me.’ I had no choice but to help him. That was his nature, that’s who he was, if he needed something, he was determined to get it,” said Archbishop Guti.
By the time of his death, Archbishop Guti believes that ministry was EJ’s greatest achievement.
The book “The Man Who Defied Condition”, authored by his late son, became a lesson for him as a father. The book chronicled his life experiences.
“He had become a great preacher and I believe that is the best gift he gave to God and it was a lesson well learnt for us, especially myself. In the word, I understand that God never promised that we are not going to die. When he gave us EJ, he never told us when he was going to die, it just happened.
People may say a lot, but I said to myself, I will leave it in the hands of God. For me, the most important thing is that EJ was born again and he feared God. I am a happy man because of that.
When he died, it was painful, but I knew God was there when all this happened. I had no control over it so l was satisfied that I had played my part,” he said with a smile on his face.
Meanwhile, Zaoga celebrated its 59th-anniversary on Sunday, a milestone which marked the beginning of this institution in Bindura under a eucalyptus tree, a site that now houses Ezekiel Guti University.
Despite his age, Archbishop Guti continues to travel the world and preach the gospel of Jesus Christ. He keeps himself fit by taking a two-kilometre walk every morning and eating natural foods.
“Currently, the church is in more than 148 nations and states and it is continuing to grow. I do not take the church to be mine, it is God‘s church and I am his servant. This is how we have managed to stay intact.
A servant leader does not do what he likes with the church and its funds, a leader should be controlled by God. Until the church is run by true and God-fearing leaders with true callings, issues of church splits will never cease,” said Archbishop Guti.
Archbishop Guti has reached places that include Australia, Cayman Islands, Jamaica, New Zealand, USA, the Dominican Republic, South Pacific Islands and the Caribbean Islands, among others, to spread the word of God.
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