sometime in april
going through my blackberry contacts, I see a picture on one of my friends' display window. the face is familiar,...."Obum,...who's this guy? wasnt he in your department in uni", to this Obum replied, "he was shot dead a few days ago by armed robbers & I just saw him 2weeks back. he always adviced me to remember to pray". Obum was crying on the other end of this chat.
it shocked me,......and everytime I saw Obum change his display picture to another one of his pics, with the personal message: 'RIP, I cant stop crying', it pricked me, like a little hungry child tugging on his father's shirt, I was trying to be reminded of the grim one,....but as most "tired" parents would, I did my best to brush it off, and stay focused. I did my best to ignore.....I was doing such a good job of it till,.....it hit closer to home. you know that little kid I just spoke about now, tugging on his father's shirt, & was ignored? Lets just say, this time he tore the shirt off my back on a chilly cold night. I couldnt ignore anymore,....death was realer this time, as it snatched an old friend of mine, that just lived 2 streets from my house in Lagos, he was my age,.....he just turned 28, a few days later he was gone. slumped, coma, life support, awake, dead.I didnt know when tears came to my eyes,.....like a pick pulling on guitar string, my tear ducts pinched my eyeballs. the cliche question kept swirling in my head like the pungent smoke from a rotten sacrifice. Polluting my head with questions,........rhetorical questions, that I can never answer. he was so young, so intelligent,.....so cheerful......WHY?!!!! My day was ruined, & my mood was absolutely shattered. I trudged hopelessly on my usual 15mins trek, past telegraph park, to new cross gate, where I board a bus to Uni..... all the time, thinking,....pondering,....and fighting the tears. School seemed useless. why am I going to school? I'm still going to die, innit? "Depression" hounded me non-stop and I wanted to be left alone. Class just seemed like a bad theater show I had to endure. Tears welled up in my eyes, but I couldn't cry......not now,....not here, but on my trek back home I did. ipod earphones plugged into my ears, I belted tracks from eminem (was his favorite artist). I could picture my friend's face, smiling widely and hoping around, as was his usual giddy character. He was indeed a character, a really cheerful lad. Tears streamed down my face, as I knew, this my friend would soon be placed in a box, and then buried in the ground, and covered with dug up sand. It cant be true,.........I'm sure he's still alive, if they try to bury him, he'll hop out of the casket,.......and if he doesn't wake up before they do,......they should leave the grave open cos he might wake up later, and then he'll be able to come out of the grave. Thinking about it now, it sounds crazy,.....but what am I to think? I just cant believe he's dead, it's hard to understand, and its hard to believe.
But I guess, I just have to believe what everyone says.......I have to believe he's dead and gone. I guess its about time, I faced my fears.
Thinking about it now,.........I see no reason to cry, actually I think it should be the other way round. Believing in life after death, and hoping they made it to heaven, I'm sure my friend, as well as the other people we have lost, would be having a laugh when they look at us, trudging on like zombies, besotted with daily challenges and sometimes seeming inextricable problems. Our lives, where we wake every morning, and march to work, to be able to pay mounting bills, and as we get more successful, our paranoia increases in direct proportion, almost always in fear of the unknown. Where we all seek something that seems so mundane, yet so hard to get, something so intangible, yet we want to hold on to forever. We seek happiness and peace so much, but yet we cry for those who have left us and found peace. I'm not saying we should laugh and celebrate losing a loved one, but rather we should mourn and then remember that, they have found happiness, and we are the ones searching. Looking at this from the other end, I'm not suggesting we should commit suicide, in a bid to find happiness, but being that we are still alive, we should make the best of our time here, and stop looking for happiness in the big things, and setting huge targets, but instead take out time, and be happy with the people we care about the most, put that smile on your mom's face, watch that sport's game with your dad, and enjoy the banter, spend time with your family, and build bridges that might have previously been destroyed. Life is too short for bearing grudges.
Drop the pills and drugs you take, to fight your depression, stop pushing the ones you love the most away from you, because your scared to face personal fears. Find happiness and hold on to it. In the words of Ghandi, the two things no one can take away from you without your permission are your will and your peace of mind. Find it and live happy.