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The agony of death

By Tewroh-Wehtoe Sungbeh     death and dying


I don’t like funerals.

Funerals are sad events.

I attend funerals, like most people, to pay my respect to the deceased, and to express my condolences to the grieving family who are left behind to mourn the loss that loved one.

Why funerals, in the first place? Why do we have to die?

Someone was telling me during a conversation the other day that they wished we humans were like snakes that shed their skins during certain seasons. Because of that the person perhaps believes snakes don’t die.

Even though snakes shed their skins to allow growth and to remove unwanted parasites, snakes do die, I told the individual.

“Death is occurring around us almost daily. It is not fair,” a friend said. “It is a natural phenomenon,” I told my friend who was as shocked as I was when we both got the news of the passing of our dear friend, Jlator Nah Gewleh. Sadly, I will be attending Jlator’s funeral in Brooklyn Park, Minnesota in January 2014

Death spares no one. Not a soul escapes from death’s cold and unmerciful hands. Not even our most cherished and beloved parents, siblings and other relatives, are ever spared.

“Won’t you spare me over till another year,” the singer, Ralph Stanley asked in “O Brother, Where Art Thou?”

The great Prince Nico Mbarga, in “Oh! Death” (Walenga), sang that even the rich or poor couldn’t escape death, which is so true as he too in 1997 met his tragic death riding a motorcycle.

Some of us are too scare to even discuss the subject of death and dying.

It could be because discussing death has an eerie feeling to it; and watching a loved one’s lifeless body lying motionless as family members looked tearfully and unable to provide the necessary assistance to bring the person back to life, is also a heart wrenching experience.

We are also afraid of dying because of the unknown phenomenon death has been to society, especially to those of us who experienced the pains of losing our loved ones.

I wished I had my beloved dad and brother around today. I love and cherished those two individuals during their days on this earth, and even in death.

It has been a painful three decades and counting since I lost my dad, and 29 years since I lost my brother, whose brilliance would have made him ‘somebody,’ and of course, he would have excelled in whatever profession he chose, had he lived today.

I miss those two gentlemen so much that I am always having endless dreams of them quite often, even decades after I lost them. They are constantly in my thoughts.

Another thing about death is when people you know – non-family members continue to die around you.

When friends who are they same age as you are whom you hung with and do things with, or professional colleagues passes away, can make you to think about your own passing.

Cornelius Geegbae, S. Pewu, Tarnue Mawolo, P. Gbessie, Gabriel Gworlekaju, Bodioh Wesseh Siapoe, Musue Haddad, Jlator Nah Gewleh, Gus Major, Francis Nimely, and many more were taken away from us too soon, recently, and over the years by the cold hands of death.

It has been a tough year. Equally tough are the previous years and decades of losing family members, friends and professional colleagues.

I have done my share of weeping. At times, I often will whisper to myself never to weep again when another person dies.

It is a tough call not to weep during those painfully mournful periods.

All I have to do now is to prepare for the day when the cold hands of death takes me away from my wife, children, friends and colleagues.

When that day comes, I will be ready to “fly away to a home on God’s Celestial shore.” Away, I will surely fly.



Category: Editorial, Featured Articles, News Headlines, Obituaries

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