One time, I attended the funeral service of a lady in church. She was a 33 year old mother of two or three boys(can’t remember). She died after the birth of her last baby. The boy will never know the touch nor love of his biological mother. It was a painful death for her family and friends. She was a jovial lady. We weren’t particularly close but we exchanged pleasantries whenever we met. At her funeral, my heart bled for everyone she left behind. Death is wicked.
The bible said in 1st Corinthians 15:55 “oh death , where is your sting?”. It has a deeper meaning when translated in Igbo. “Onwu, olee ebe ike gi di”. I can’t understand what the Holy Spirit means by that. Perhaps I will find out when I get to heaven but for now, I know death stings. The sting of a bee is honey compared to death. It is choking, it clutches your heart and squeezes it so hard. It constricts the heart and releases it with a jolt. You feel like a drowning child. You gasp for air and want to hold on to something. For a moment, you are in denial and then it hits you…..gone…gone…gone. Your legs become too weak to carry you. It is like when someone punches you in the abdomen. You double over and need help to get up. It is a feeling I find hard to describe. I felt that way when I lost my little boyfriend. Every time, a close person loses someone, I wonder how they are feeling. I wonder what is going on in their heads. Sometimes, I also wonder what is happening to the dead. What is it thinking? Is it even thinking? What happens when someone dies? Do they think of the job they left unfinished, the goodbyes they didn’t say, the fences they didn’t mend? I can’t tell.
Here is the truth…. A times, I fear death. I don’t want to die yet. I don’t want my loved ones to die. I wish we will stay till Jesus comes back. You see, I am not a good communicator with words. I don’t always speak with my family and friends as I should but they are always in my heart. I don’t imagine losing them . I believe they will always be there. But, I am growing up and everyday, I realize that nothing stays forever. Yesterday, my beautiful friend, sister and nwunye di m(co-wife) lost her father. I hesitated before I called her because I don’t know how to say those kind of things. I have someone that will be angry with me because I didn’t speak with her when her mother died. Wicked me, I know, but the few words I have fail me at such moments. My husband said that part of growth is having to say those kind of words at certain times. I believe him. My brother lost a childhood friend recently. We wondered how his mother must be feeling. Death stings. The sting is real, as real as we are alive. The sting never ever goes away. It can only be managed with time. I am not an authority on how people feel when they lose their loved ones. But if anything is near the way I feel now, then I can be allowed to ramble on.
I remember that Christmas day, 4 years ago. We were at my parents’ for Christmas. Christmas food was ready. We had just finished cutting my kids’ birthday cakes when the news came. Boko Haram had struck at a catholic church in Madalla, a suburb in Abuja leaving many dead full story here. Some families perished in minutes. I couldn’t finish reading the story. I was terrified. Why them? Why that morning? It was Christmas, for the love of God! Who was going to eat the Christmas rice they had prepared? Who was going to relax and enjoy the company of friends and relatives as planned? A lot of things ran through my mind. I lost my appetite. I am sure I was not the only Nigerian that felt that way. It was the first of its kind and the beginning of worse killings. I looked at my kids that had just turned 4 and shuddered. Children died in that attack too.
Those kind of deaths are the one that pain me most. To think that someone will plan and execute killings as if he/she was the one that gave life in the first place. When people threaten others with “I will deal with you, I will kill you”, I marvel.. It is the one that gives life that has the power to take it. But look around you these days and you will see that we have made ourselves a god in one way or the other. Wicked house-helps, Abusive husbands, scheming wives ,Boko haram bombings here ,The Beirut killings here and yesterday the Paris Horror full story here. These acts of death makes me become weary of the person next to me. Not for fear that he/she might be a suicide bomber but for fear of what is going on in their minds. The mind can harbor scary thoughts and images.
Why are we so evil? Why do we give ourselves to willingly hurt others. Why do we hate it when others are happy? What is taking over us? So many questions but no answers. Like a post I read here says, “….for a world that is falling apart in all corners”. May we find peace in the midst of these chaos.
I guess these deaths got to me today. For those that have lost loved ones and can’t seem to find the answers to their questions, may these words of our Father in heaven comfort you.
John 14:27New King James Version (NKJV)
27 Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.
Romans 8:38-39 For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Romans 14:8 For if we live, we live to the Lord, and if we die, we die to the Lord. So then, whether we live or whether we die, we are the Lord’s.
Revelation 14:13 And I heard a voice from heaven saying, “Write this: Blessed are the dead who die in the Lord from now on.” “Blessed indeed,” says the Spirit, “that they may rest from their labors, for their deeds follow them!”
“When the time comes for you to die, you need not be afraid, because death cannot separate you from God’s love.” ~ Charles H. Spurgeon