By Debbi Olujobi
Last week was not a particularly great week. Monday began with a first appointment at a morgue. I was there to support a younger sister who had the grim task of collecting the body of her 30 year old brother. In between filling forms and fulfilling all protocols, tempers flared and emotions raged but nothing could distract from the fact that the sky was falling.
In that same morgue was the body of the young man’s father billed for collection later on. The duo of Tunji (Father) and Tunji (Son) Okusanya had tragically died along with four of their employees in a plane crash on the 3rd of October 2013. To say Monday was grim would be a mild exaggeration and I was to make a return trip to the same morgue the next day to pick up a permit we left behind. When a sudden and tragic event of such magnitude occurs, there are simply no words appropriate or adequate to comfort the bereaved. The best one can do is be present and I was thankful to be able to do at least that, if nothing else.
There are many things we take for granted in life. We take the air for granted. We take love and affection for granted. We take the ground for granted and even the sky. Its unimaginable that the ground beneath us will disappear or that the sky above us will crash. Its unthinkable to imagine life without the pillars that keep us standing but life is never without a tragic twist.
When I first found out my mother had terminal cancer, the sky began to crumble above me. That disease took over the horizon and her eventual death brought the sky to a fall. I have often wondered whether sudden death was preferable to a slow and painful one and I am still undecided. The last year of my mom’s life was not a picnic but I had the chance to say goodbye.
I had the opportunity to make more memories and say things that needed to be said. On the other hand watching her slowly and painfully succumb to cancer almost drove me and my siblings insane; it felt as if the grim reaper (death) had moved into our house and stained everything with a pale shadow. By the time she died; we were all drained and depleted emotionally, financially and physically. So who can say what fate is preferable? Thankfully life doesn’t give us a choice; the manner and passage of death is a divine call.
Wednesday would definitely take the cake as the official worst day of last week. It was the day I attended the funeral service of a young man, full of hope, goodness, humility and dreams. I looked at the faces of fellow mourners and we were all just numb; some of us didn’t even know the young man but we knew his father; loved his father and we had come to stand by our brother and friend even in death.
We were burying a father’s pride and joy in his prime, the boy that should have taken the baton from his dad, was being buried just days before him. This felt like a nuclear bomb of hate; hate that took a tree and its fruit; hate that annihilated a dynasty; hate that took 2 generations of men; hate that tore many hearts into pieces, this really just felt like hate. I have no theories, no insight; like everyone else, I am stunned and grieved at the loss. I choose to believe the integrity of the God we serve and know that he will make all things beautiful in His time; even this.
In this same week, another beautiful soul will be buried, Vivian Jemide died last week just a few days shy of 50! Beautiful, vivacious, lively Sis Viv, was electrocuted in the shower of all places!! She leaves behind a husband, children, sisters and friends who are all shell shocked at this unexpected tragedy. For her family the sky has fallen; preparations for a birthday have been shelved and in its place is a burial, a wake!
Its a sobering week, one that calls us all to make peace with the inevitability of our demise. We should make peace with life, enjoy it, make the best of the time we have been given, no matter how long or short. At some point in time, the sky will fall, all that we know and trust will be tested, shaken maybe even shattered. We can only trust in the grace of God to persevere and eventually prevail.
I end with a quote by Olatunji Abimbola Okusanya, it was poignant and heart wrenching to read, contained in the biography, written by him on the 17th of August 2013.
” We are busy building empires, lasting dynasties, celebrating luck and all…the sad part is every bit of it ends HERE.. It makes no sense going through all this and not preparing for the place that actually needs a whole lot of hustling to enter…
Olatunji Abimbola Okusanya 1983-2013. Rest in peace…