Love Is All That Matters

by Michael Ewetuga

It’s been a long time since last I went to a funeral. I thought about it now and the last one I could remember was my dad’s in 1982, until recently that is.

I generally don’t like funerals, especially of a young person; I hate to see people crying ostensibly for the dead when all they are really crying about is their own loss. What he/she would not be able to do for them any longer. Most times I envy the departed; it’s not as if this world is so fantastic that anyone would want to hold on to it. Not that I’m suicidal, far from it. To be truthful I do think about it sometimes but too cowardly to carry it out, if I could maybe I would. Plus I have responsibilities, even though I can’t seem to catch up with it these days.

Not catching up with my responsibilities, I dare say, is not my fault, at least I don’t think it is, a situation that made someone to call me a failure very recently, after all I am 40 and cannot really lay claim to any property or some fancy cars or some fancy office or house. I do have a law degree and a law license to practice in America, what good does that do you when it is not translating to money, the only language most fools understand. Most of my heroes were not rich materially anyway, intellectually they were giants and when the fool is parted with his money intelligence stands the test of time.

I avoid the dead like the plaque whenever I can and when I do go the person is either very dear to me or close to someone that is dear to me.

I observe people at funerals. All sort of people, it is indeed the gathering of the good the bad and the ugly. The pastor, if there’s one would tell us about life and how the person had lived a good life. I bet if I die today and the family can afford to give me a burial and a pastor were to be there, no matter how much anyone thinks I am a failure I would still have lived a good life, wouldn’t I? People that consider me a failure would suddenly have a different view of me; after all you don’t speak badly about the dead. My life would suddenly be one that is worthy of emulation.

At a funeral someone said no matter how strong you are you can’t win the fight against death and said of that dead person “she had fought many battle but this is a battle she lost” I thought that wasn’t very nice but facts are hardly ever nice. Another person stood up to say she won the battle against death, everyone, including me, seems to like that but the fact is no one wins the fight against death, maybe cancer these days but not death.

The pastor too glorifies the person’s death by saying she said she was ready, are we ever really ready?

I like to think I am ready sometimes, when I look at my responsibilities, most of which I cannot meet like I said earlier, it would be so very selfish to say I am. Ready or not death doesn’t really give a damn, when it’s your turn you are gone.

So there was the pastor talking about brevity of live, the uncertainty and the futility of the things we place some premium on and how it is a better place up there and so on and so forth. Whether or not there’s a better place I can’t say, death seems to have such finality about it, you don’t ever see the person again although the pastor did not agree, the person was born again and is presently feasting with the savior but if you must see her again you must be born again too, he says.

That must have been a bit difficult for some family members who are Muslims. Probably that will be the last time they see that particular person since according to the Christian doctrine they will not be seeing heaven after all what is the connection between light and darkness, remember “do not be unequally yoked with the unbeliever”. Perhaps to those Muslims she won’t be going to heaven, after all “you may be born as many times as you want but die not except as a Muslim” I guess God must be the judge in that contest but then we won’t know until the judgment day since “it is appointed unto man once to die and after that judgment”.

When I am cold dead and laying in a casket, assuming there is one, I wonder what they would be reading, probably the bible since majority of my family are Christians and I was born one or maybe one of my sisters all of whom are married to Muslims would bury me and it would be according to the Muslim’s rites, as the papers usually say.

I lost my niece once, she was going to be one, my sister’s first child, she did not have another one for a long time after that. She was so bitter, she cried, she was inconsolable. That was then, life continues, I wonder how many times the dead girl crosses her mind these days. When 56 years old people die these days I think they were young, they were 56, maybe younger, they must be young to me, I am 40 and that means 16 years time, frightening isn’t it? At 56 my oldest will be around 25 going on 26, I wonder what he would think.

So the pastor said the things we care about in this world doesn’t matter, some people wrote down the messages including that one but would that make them not think much about someone leaving a scratch on their cars or their valuable tables? You bet it won’t. the pastor might have said worldly possession does not matter and they might have written it down but that is all about going through the motion of funeral, if anyone’s car was stolen at the end of the funeral service or his/her house bugled I bet it will be another grieving moment.

Love is all that matters, says the pastor. Maybe, maybe not. What do we understand by love anyway?

Is love admiration or affection or consideration or what?

Love and marriage, I love some bible verses on them:

“When one finds a worthy wife, her value is far beyond pearls. Her husband entrusting his heart to her, has an unfailing prize.”
Proverbs 31:10-11

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1 comment December 26, 2007 - 1:25 pm

Love this intropective piece, especially the part about funerals. last time i visited home I was shocked to find out that funerals were now fashion runways. Everyone and their third cousin tries to show off in their aso ebi. I was horrified at how we had come to debase a time for reflection on the life of one we loved.


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