Physical death, has been striking in succession lately. If never obvious to me, now it is.
One dies watching Nigeria defeat Ethiopia in a football game last Sunday.
Another’s friend’s been buried not long ago.
“I’ve just been told I lost a cousin. He was little; just 13 or thereabouts. He drowned,” she sadly declares.
“He was a very close friend of mine”, says a dear one.
Was I next to be left to sorrow over one?
Tuesday and Wednesday were holidays. He had to spend them with his grandma. On Monday he’d left, on Wednesday to return.
On Wednesday evening, I returned for the day, and met the door locked still from the outside: a sign he wasn’t back. The day approached its end as night drew near, still no signs of him. I assumed granny’s company was too good for him to leave just after a couple of days. “He’ll return tomorrow” I thought.
Tomorrow – today, Thursday – came and news I heard later in the day would have placed me in a rare moody twilight zone, lost in thought, and entrenched in silence for the loss of one, if they’d taken a different turn.
Then, “God’s God, He’s no man…” we sing.
Today proved it.
Turned out granny’s company wasn’t exactly captivating after all. He did more than plan returning on Wednesday! He was at the park, boarded a vehicle which left on a journey expected to last an hour. An hour’s journey, concluded in a dozen minutes, maybe less. They’d had an accident: a ghastly one or fairly so. The vehicle got transformed – pun intended.
And that without hurt, save that of delaying his journey an extra day. Every life lover would unarguably choose such hurt over that which would have been, with delight.
If the accident had borne opposite results, I’d have been hit badly. Twenty-four months as acquaintances, three-score dawns and dusks in each other’s company isn’t too little or too long a time to forge a well-knit bond. That Hate guy would gladly severe this in a moment.
Mortals seldom succeed in seeing beyond the ordinary. I’m seldom comfortable staying so: What if God permitted that accident just so He’d prevent a fatal one halfway into the journey? There’s a healthy chance it could be; though I’ll decline dwelling on this but will rather be grateful I could get the chance to sing that Akpeji Chorus seconds after I saw him again.
“The steps – and stops – of a righteous man are ordered by the Lord”
Tonight, I’ve observed far more than a minute’s silence for the lives of those lost – my pen only refraining from the silence – again reminded of the question I think of when I hear of a soul’s death: “Did he live right? Was he a Christian?”