Sooner or later, we all die.

Think about that

In the year 2000, my uncle died.  I was 10 years old and I did not (and still do not) know  what death all meant. I remember I was deeply unhappy and all I could do was join everyone around me in tears. He was my mother’s youngest brother. She still misses him. Once, we had watched a really frightful Nigerian movie and I was particularly scared of a character called ‘Andy’. My uncle would send me to ‘go get him something’ in the room, and when I had gone far enough, he would howl hoarsly: “Aaaaandyyyy’. I would scream  and come running towards him. I have some pictures with him. I don’t remember his voice anymore.                                                                                                                            I  remember he loved me very much.


 

My paternal grandfather spent his last days with us. Everyone says I look a lot like him. I have seen some of his picutes. I think it’s true. And, from all indications, we are a lot alike. My mum says we laugh and walk the same way. She found him pretty terryfing- that he always sounded as though he was scolding. That was his natural voice. I know because unless you know me personally, you would always think I am scolding at you. He was really tall too.
Just before he died, he wasn’t very well.  He was about 100  years old. My father took care of him. . He wasn’t very sane anymore. In his life, he had worked hard and taken care of many people. He was a very generous man. My father fed and bathe him. I watched them talk for hours and saw the father become the son of the son. I was about 12 or 13.  I did not know what that meant.
The first time I saw my father cry was when he died.
I now know what it meant.

My father’s older sister spent some time with us before she died. Her kids too lived with us for a while. The relationship wasn’t very smooth.  My mom really wanted everything to work out. Unfortunately ( or fortunately?) she’s just human. My aunt eventually  left after a while. My cousins and I don’t have childhood memories to share. I remember my aunt was very softhearted and that she loved her children very much.
I am sure they miss her. My father clearly does.

The second time I saw my father cry was when my mother’s father died. I don’t have much memories from my encounters with him. What marks me about his generation is that they worked really hard and they raised really great children. I know because ALL of my mother’s sisters and brothers reflect their respectful, humble and righteous upbringing. My mom still sleeps in her room when she goes to her father’s house. And, you can’t be a naughty kid around her.
During the last christmas vacation, my cousin from Germany said my granddad had once let him shave his head.
” I was really scared”, he said. My granddad had  smiled and told him  in pidgin:” No fear”.
Don’t be afraid. He trusted his kids and grandkids. And he loved them very much. From my mother’s upbringing, what I can certainly confirm is that he never spared the rod. He has no spoilt children.
I remember my father tearing up a little during the funeral. He quickly went away. Maybe he thought had not seen him.
My mom always talks about about my granddad. About his bicycle (Iron horse) and farm and how he worked on his cocoa farm everyday until he had a stroke that rendered him less mobile.
There’s a picture of him carrying my younger brother at home. This was after his stroke. My brother is pissed. He is crying and trying to run away. I guess he is scared of him.
I can see the pride and love in my grandfather’s eyes.

Last Friday, my father’s mother died. She had a heart attack. We were not very close but I bet she loved us very much. The night I received the news, I had a dream a friend of mine died. I don’t have premonitory powers( yet) but I know that was my subconscious coping with the news. My brother and I went to Kumba the next day. We met our parents at the park and sat for a while in the shade. They had been drinking for ‘refreshment’ purposes.  My brother and I took a drink too.
That was the third time I saw my father cry.

Three days ago, a 36 seater bus carrying students  from the Pan African Institute for Development, West Africa (PAIDWA) on a field trip  collided with private vehicle. 11 people died  on the spot.
8 of them were students.
My friend Brian lost his younger brother in that bus.
Casualties are currently at the Buea regional hospital. Two more people died today raising the  toll to 13.
I want to call my friend and tell him I am sorry for his loss.
I don’t know how I would feel if my younger brother died.

Fact: we will all die. So, what matters now is: how did we live?
Death sucks. Seriously. But, I think  death only sucks for the living. I cant’t picture my uncle and grandparents saying:
” Man…I wish I was alive…”. 
I don’t know anyway. I lost my ghost whisperer powers.
Steve Jobs summed it all:
“Almost everything, all external expectations, all pride ,all fear of embarrassment or failure,these things just fall away in the face of death leaving only what is truly important”.
What IS truly important?
I have no idea.
I know this post is pretty melancholic. I won’t exit with a smart sentence that makes you see death as a best friend. 
Death is not your best friend but whether you embrace the concept or not, it is coming. It is inevitable. No one is too young or too old to die.
Death WILL come. 
Be ready.

Remember

PS: Life is here too…don’t think about death and forget to live okay?

 

Advertisements

16 comments

    1. If you are happy after reading any of my writing, then my mission is accomplished. Thank you so much for stopping-by. I hope to see you often here. 🙂

      Like

  1. Hey-low, you may not remember me but i remember seeing you as a senior student back in Bede’s. I love your blog. The first article i read was “friendship 101″ it spoke to me deeply and I’ve read all the rest. Thank you for inspiring me through your courage to share. i will love to start a blog of my own and am looking up to your mentor-ship. keep doing what you’re doing, you’ll be surprised how many lives you’ve and are still touching.
    The message i have for us living is ” Fall in love or fall in hate, get inspired or be depressed, ace a test or flunk a class, make babies or make art, speak the truth or lie and cheat,dance on tables or sit in a corner; we should know this, life is divine chaos, embrace it, forgive yourself, breath and enjoy the ride.” and happy val’s day…..hope you give us an inside on how yours was spent….hihihihih

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Wow! I am blown away by your comment and I would love to read your blog. Start it as soon as you can. I love this statement: “life is divine chaos, embrace it, forgive yourself, breathe and enjoy the ride”. Let me know if you need any help. Reading your comment inspired me to write my next post. You can find an insight as to how I spent mine in it :). I hope we meet soon. Thanks for stopping-by. Best wishes. T.K.

      Like

  2. Do you remember the book ‘life life to the full’? I can’t remember what it was all about but i have lived by the above words. Once you know you are a passerby in this world, you try to do your best to enjoy the best. I don’t like the idea of dieing or loosing someone special and close to my heart; in fact I hate the idea but I also know it will eventually come. It is the only entity that does not discriminate. It chooses anyone at any time. if it is not you today, then it will surely be you someday. No matter how you life your life Dead is the final and ultimate destination. when i think of this,it gives me reason to celebrate every new day. Join me to celebrate life AND STOP WORRYING DEATH for it will surely come.
    PS: I love your blog: fan *****1

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks for stopping by Annitta. I am very pleased you enjoy my writing. I have never heard of the book book but I definitely want to read it now. And you are right: ‘It chooses anyone at any time. if it is not you today, then it will surely be you someday’. Let’s live and have fun…we all die anyway. 🙂

      Like

  3. Very nicely written. About death but really all about memories, relationships and life. Knowing the people really makes it come to life for me too. Yes, our grandfather has no spoilt children. He did love us all very much. Most of my long holidays were spent in Kumba. At first we stayed home while Big papa went to the farm on his bike & we would greet him at the road as he came back home; we were too young to go. Then he had that stroke, we got older and he stayed home while we went to the farm. When it was time to go back home and prepare for school, he would bless us, give us some money and words of wisdom – unfailingly. I took pride in helping to set up his bath and helping him to the bathroom. I cooked some of my first meals at my grandparent’s, all by myself and oh was I proud.
    And our uncle, the youngest, his was a very sudden departure; it left his siblings in deep grief. They all still miss him.
    Ok, I’ll stop so I don’t hijack your blog. I love the conclusion: death will come so live now and make it count!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. We are our memories. We will all die and on our journey of life, our family and friends are the human fuel we need. Thanks for your words big sis. I am so grateful for everything.
      P.S: I beg hijack my blog yah…it’s when I know you( and my friends around the globe) read that I have the impetus to continue.

      Like

What do you think of my post?

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s