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And the beat goes on!

By Debbie Olujobi

Life is a forward moving event, it’s wheels turn constantly and it goes on in spite of our personal challenges, triumphs, tragedies and successes. The world doesn’t miss a beat and the rhythm of life is uninterrupted day in and day out.

It is possible to have that wheel screech to a halt or slow down to a trot when tragedy or something extraordinary happens but that halt is always limited to a particular person, community, country or even situation. Some events are capable of changing the course of history but nothing save a cataclysmic breakdown of the planet will ever stop history from being made. In the big picture one person/family or community hardly causes a ripple in scheme of things. The beat goes on and on and on!!!

Lately I have been trying to look at everything from the big picture angle and the result is that I am taking better care of myself and my loved ones even more. A lady raised a question about what people would say about everyone of us when we all pass on and my answer may have shocked some of the people present but I hold no punches about the expressions of my truth. Most people wanted to be remembered for good works, to be spoken of well by those who had known them and I guess that is fair enough.

I made peace with my mortality a long time ago and my preferred eventuality is that I end my race well enough to be welcomed by my saviour into glory. I honestly do not care what people say when I am gone, making heaven is the reason to live a good life. Big picture is people’s opinions don’t get souls into heaven, so courting affection to impress an audience that won’t guarantee me a place in heaven is a waste of valuable time.  What people say is their business, what God says is a lot more important! I don’t mind being erased from people’s minds if it means like Lazarus and the rich man; I am the one breaking bread with Abraham.

A beautiful soul had just passed very suddenly and unexpectedly and we had all been struck by the sad event. As Christians we know not to sorrow because of the promise of seeing those who sleep in Christ again but the flesh was in shock and we were all saddened greatly.

Pastor Mrs Remi Ojo, was a very vivacious and lively member of the King’s Court Parish of the RCCG and the suddenness of her passing was a shock to say the least. I had always been especially fond of her and her husband Pastor Jide. They were always very kind to me and I could count on their support in whatever I wanted to do. They were a staple, if you saw one, the other was not far behind; my immediate dilemma that day was how to look at the pain I was bound to see in his eyes.

I hate my loved ones to suffer and I didn’t want that pain for him; they were so good together! It was at their house that the conversation above took place and while Aunty Remi as I called the deceased was spoken of in wonderful terms by everyone, it was still sad to watch her family suffer.

I hold the opinion that tragedy is a pointed arrow that pierces particular hearts and those struck need support more than an outpour of grief that is often fuelled by fear of our own mortality and hysteria rather than genuine concern. It was gratifying to find that help and support came for the family and she was laid to rest within 7 days of her demise.

I have been where they are now and my heart aches for the entire family. It is especially painful after the burial of a loved one to face the emptiness that engulfs the house after the relatives and friends have all gone back home and moved on. That is the time for aloneness and desolation, it’s when you realise that the beat goes on for everybody. The bereaved may not have an appetite for food but everybody will eat. Celebration may be a distant thought but others will celebrate and be merry even though those hurting may feel stuck in the trenches of sorrow.

It’s natural to feel left behind and abandoned in the aftermath of grief and I don’t even mean the above family as their faith and strength have been an encouragement to all those who know them. I am concerned about those who are in pain anywhere right now who feel left behind because the well of sympathy and love seems to have dried up. In the last week, I was at the morgue to make the arrangements and it is sobering to find that it was full to capacity with people below 40 making up 80% of the population of the dead.

My point is simple, we need to live life fully with our eventuality of mortality as a given!! No one is exempted from death, it’s the dates that differ, the beat will go on, people will move on, life will continue when we are long gone. It’s time to follow Pastor Remi’s example and start mending all the broken fences, she made peace with everyone she could think of in the past six months and by the time she died all was very well with her. The beat goes on for her into eternity, the rest of us need to live better, love better….


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