Death is the least topic to start the week with. As a matter of fact, it is not a welcome topic anytime. I personally do not like to talk about death any time any day… but the occurrence of death, the loss of a dear one, the passing on of someone you know closely or remotely, is something I doubt the living can completely avoid. Death unfortunately is a part of life; it is a constant reminder that our life here is temporary.
Death sounds so distant and surreal when it’s the obituary of a stranger or someone you really have no relationship with… at that point sympathy is just enough. The ‘Take hearts’, ‘It is wells’, ‘God knows best’ ‘Rest in Peace’ and it’s likes are enough and life goes on with business as usual… until death comes visiting your neighborhood. It could be the loss of a parent, uncle, aunt, sibling, cousin, child, niece, nephew, friend, neighbour or colleague or any dear one. Then reality dawns that even though time goes on as usual, life isn’t the same. With the death of each loved one, a part of me attached to them dies. Even though I jump around and try to remain my cheerful self, deep within the ‘What ifs’ pile up. I query myself on what I could have done differently to prevent the sad event. I ask God why He’d allow such to happen…
Each time I receive news of the death of a loved one, my first reaction is shock, then un-belief, then denial. I might echo with my mouth that the said person is dead but deep within, I still doubt and deny it especially if the deceased is a young person.
On Thursday, I got home from work around 8.00pm and all I really wanted to do was eat and sleep but then I got a call from home.
Mum: Chi, ke kwanu? (Chi, how are you?)
Me: Adimu mma (I am fine)
(I was wondering why my mum was calling me cos I called her on Tuesday to wish her Happy new month)
Mum: Ke maka Success (How’s Success?)
Me: She’s fine, I just came back from work.
Mum: Okay, I was trying to reach her but her number is not going through. Biko unu kpor Pastor Joe (please you people should call Pastor Joe), we are just coming from the hospital, Ogboo m anwu go (my namesake is dead)
Me: Jesus! What happened!?
The news was just out of the blues, I couldn’t make sense out of what my mum said happened. Long story short, Ijeoma, my mum’s namesake, fell ill on Wednesday, they gave her medical attention and took her to the hospital on Thursday when she wasn’t getting better… she didn’t return home with her parents, she died in the hospital.
Lil Ije was just a year and 3 months, she was born November, 2014. (I was seriously tempted to put up her pix in this post but I decided against it. I can’t get myself to use her lovely face for obituary even though she’s already buried…)
My mind has gone through a thousand thoughts since I heard the sad news and I suppress the question “God why?” with “God you know why.”
For most Christians, January is the month of Fasting and Prayers and my home church just concluded her 3-weeks fasting and prayers last Sunday the 31st of January. Pastor Joe is my dad’s assistant pastor, a very Faithful, God-fearing and prayerful man of God. The best my dad has had so far in his ministry. Ijeoma is his first and only child at the moment and she has all the attention parents can give their child. My mum doths on her specially cos she was named after her so she takes her as one of her grandchildren.
It’s sad, very sad that the very week the church finished prayers, their pastor loses his child. I asked God why will you let such happen? What happened to our covenant with you “that there shall be no loss of life, no loss of property and no loss of any man’s job?”
I’m still short for words… If I feel this way, I wonder how her parents, my parents and the church will feel. I have called to commiserate with them and i won’t stop praying the Lord to comfort their hearts and give them the fortitude to bear this loss.
For us the living, It is imperative we make the most of every moment, cherish our loved ones and let them know we truly care for them while they are still alive. Death makes us sober, it makes us reflect on life and how wrongly we place our priorities but before long the effect wears off and we continue with our busy routine. When my uncle died in April 2014, I regret not calling him as often as I should have. I was always procrastinating being in touch, today I can’t call him no more even if I have all the airtime in the world. I may have written a beautiful tribute for his burial but the dead don’t get to read our beautiful lines. It is important we create time in our busy schedules to appreciate our loved ones while we still can; the next minute is not guaranteed.
Today’s Monday e-Boost is specially dedicated to:
- Ijeoma Ugwuoke – Rest in peace little one, we love you but God loves you more.
- Nnamdi – I know this weekend is a nightmare you wish will pass you by. But piling up the ‘What ifs’ won’t bring your dad back to life nor prevent his burial from holding this weekend.
To the families of the bereaved, please take heart. I share in your grief even though I do not fully comprehend your pain.
May God comfort the grieving and mourning amongst us, grant them the fortitude to bear this loss and replace their mourning with dancing in Jesus name, Amen.
Wishing y’all a Great and Happy week
PS: In this season of love, let us take some time to make those long overdue calls to family and friends.