This thing called death…
How does it feel like? There is always a word for every emotion felt except when our brain has seized functioning properly for a while, when we are consumed by too much grief, bewilderment, shock or that which cut across all these emotions to form a state of nothingness.
How does it feel like being the one whose loved one was snatched by the thief of life? The incomprehension felt when you tried to reconcile the moments you shared fighting, gossiping, eating from the same plate, sharing dreams, hopes, aspirations. Is it truly an invisible pain that stabs the heart that is felt? What is it like for the poor mother who just lost her child, who wraps and unwraps her wrapper dusting off nothing, deep sighs and hot tears, wails of ‘ina omo jomi, the blazing fire called death took my child.’
The tears from consolers made of friends, enemies and those who cared less. The ones who were clear-eyed but burst into loud cacophony of sounds at the entrance of the home of the bereaved, putting up a show of emotion, acting their sorrow and crying more than the bereaved. The shocked one who keeps talking about how she saw the deceased just minutes ago through shivers of doubt. The ones who are tough hearted and wouldn’t shed a tear not even when the mother of the deceased starts a painful dirge. The ones who are there to preach and tell the mother of the bereaved to take heart and accept fate. Tell me would they accept fate when death becomes the unwanted visitor knocking on their door? Will they welcome fate when it enters uninvited even though it was told to wait a little while longer at the door? The ones who are only there just because they are meant to be there, who sigh deeply because sighing is what is done when people express their condolences and no one replied because everyone is shocked, sad and crumbled.
‘E lo ra turare wa, who is getting the perfume?’ Someone will call from where they bathed the deceased.
There are also those who are there to just observe, accepting it as one of those things ‘verily, the dark times are here.’ They will mutter.
But why fear death when it’s a journey we shall all embark on? – Abdulazeez Kaothar
Every one of them converge around the mother of the deceased without a care for the father. The father acts the way he must act, the way he should act, the way the society wants him to. He shouldn’t cry when his wife is there to do that. He musn’t cry when his wife is there to do that. So he swallows his grief like the hot pap forced down his throat because he must eat, he needs the strength they would say. Nobody cares about his feelings because he refused to wear it on his sleeve.
The deceased is getting prepared for the sojourn to another world, wrapped in white travel clothes waiting to be transported to the other side.
‘E gbe posi wa ati kirun tan, bring the coffin the prayers are done already.’
The deceased is transported in a wooden ship of death. No one followed, not even the Mother who ferried her to Earth in the beginning.