By Michael Nnebife
Tansi International College, Awka, has engaged her students in a post-traumatic counseling and therapy to enable them to ease off the negative impact of the tragic deaths of their mates on 4th November as a result of thunderstorm.
According to the Principal of the College, Rev Fr Fidelis Izuakor, the essence of the psychosocial intervention, which took place on Wednesday, 8th November, 2023, and facilitated by three Rev Sisters, Sr Bibian Marie Okelue, Sr Raphaela Maria Nnorom, and Sr Maria Echezonachukwu Dim; all of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, Mother of Christ, Amawbia Community, was to rehabilitate the students from shock and trauma resulting from the deaths of their mates.
The principal who spoke to Fides in an interview shortly after the all-important event, said, ‘We believe, as humans that the shock or the sight of the incident could cause one form of trauma or the other on the students because they were all there when it happened.
‘We are not sure, and cannot dictate any of them with trauma. So we decided to invite these counselors to help us talk to them, counsel them, take them along that particular place of trauma, bringing them out of it. That is the essence of this counseling section,’ Rev Fr Izuakor said.
Addressing the embittered students, Rev Sr Dim stated that the effect of the incident, if not handled properly now might cause negative impact on the lives of the students in future.
She reminded them, ‘The lives of Micheal (sic), Francis, and Emmanuel, have a spot in every one of you as a part of a bigger family here.
‘But today, they have gone. This has created a negative vacuum in you.
How do you handle it? This is why we came to help you reduce the negative behaviour that always accompanies any trauma.
‘You may not know that if you don’t handle well what happened to you on Saturday, in 30 years, it may cause something you may not know.
‘I know all of you know Micheal, Francis, and Emmanuel. So, the major reason we are here is to help you handle the fear and your thought about them in the best and positive way,’ she said, and advised the students to dwell their thoughts more on the positive memories and qualities the deceased left.
Also, Rev Sr Okelue, who thrilled the students on death and fear, especially of rain, told them that thunder and death were unpredictable natural phenomena which occur in every part of the world; not only at Tansi International College.
‘Science has taught us a lot about earth and some of these natural phenomena that thunder blasts usually have a particular line through which they use.
‘So maybe this compound may be one of those areas where thunder blasts can be very strong. We may not have known that before now, but we have gotten to know that through this ugly incident.
‘It did not happen for a purpose, or peculiar to us here; it just happened by chance,’ she said, while charging them not to dwell on questions and regretting what happened.
While reminding the students that death was inevitable and came to anyone without notice on when and how to come, Rev Sr Okelue advised them to always get themselves prepared by indulging in only good behaviour so as to make heaven on the last day.
For her part, Rev Sr Nnorom took the students on the best positive way to remember their departed mates, Micheal, Francis, and Emmanuel.
‘We celebrated the saints on Thursday; on Friday, we celebrated the All Souls (who may be in purgatory). Many people we know that have died, including some of our relations, are in purgatory. We celebrated, prayed and continue to pray for them.
‘Then, on Saturday, our three brothers, friends, classmates, and schoolmates, joined the saints in heaven.
‘Tansi International College has gotten a family in heaven. These three that left us are there representing us before the Lord,’ the Rev Sister said, urging the students to fear not.
In an interview, the Senior Prefect of the College, Master Ugochukwu Anosike, expressed appreciation to the school management and the Rev Sister counselors for the therapy session, which, he acknowledged, had made him, including his fellow students, to have a better feeling regarding the passing of their classmates.
The event which took place in the College’s Chapel, also featured intercessory prayers for the families of the deceased students, as well as prayer of thanksgiving for divine mercy which God bestowed upon 22 other students who were playing the same football alongside the deceased at the time of the tragic incident.