The Last Enemy

The Last Enemy

I wrote this two years ago after we laid my uncle to rest. He was sixty two years old and looking forward to the arrival of his first grandchild. We had no warning. No sign. He went to bed hale and hearty and never woke up again. It hit the whole family hard.

I am bringing it back now because my family suffered another hit in the early hours of January 10, 2011 – We lost another uncle, my mom’s only remaining sibling. They were just three; her elder brother died two years back and now, her younger brother too. It was heartbreaking watching my gentle mother weep that she has been left alone. And my mind went back to the same question I asked two years ago – WHEN?

“The last enemy that shall be abolished is death.” 1 Cor 15:26

I have lost a lot of people over the course of my life. I lost my dear friend who helped me to Christ; I’ve lost a brother, friends, cousins, grandparents, aunties, uncles, colleagues, acquaintances. It has never gotten easier. I have asked ‘Why?” a lot of times.
But looking on as my Uncle was being interred, I asked another question. I asked “When?”

When will we overcome death?

I do not believe we are to wait till resurrection to become immortal. No! I believe it is something we are to become while on earth. Adam was not created to die. He was created to live forever. He lost it. Immortality was one of the things Christ came to restore back to us.
When Christ died on earth, He also rose on earth. In flesh and blood. He did not get to heaven before overcoming death. He overcame death then ascended to heaven. Why then have we accepted death as our lot in life?

Resurrection is not an event. It is a person – CHRIST! “Jesus said unto her, I am the resurrection, and the life” –John 11:25

As long as we have Christ in us, we have resurrection in us. We are to be as indestructible as He is. But if we do not understand that we will continue to be subject to death. “I said, Ye are gods, And all of you sons of the Most High. Nevertheless ye shall die like men, And fall like one of the princes” –Psalm 82:6&7

I agree that that is not a day’s job. Just as we are to grow into fullness so also we are to grow into immortality. We have to overcome a lot of things before we get to overcoming death. It is after all, the Last Enemy. Many of us will die physically before that is achieved. I understand that.

But standing by the grave and bidding my beloved uncle goodbye, it is hard for me to accept.
I can only ask, “WHEN?”



38 thoughts on “The Last Enemy” by Lade (@Lade-A)

  1. Nice concept, though i dont want to delve into it.

    1. Thank you, xikay. I understand.

  2. As someone who has lost people too (recently too), I can connect with this…Evocative, and thought-provoking…

    1. Thank you, Raymond. May the God of all comfort be our solace.

  3. @raymond you can say that again, thats why i dont want to talk about it’…if only we could live forever..and if we do????!!!

    1. Believe me, @xikay, you would just HATE living forever, I tell you. You want to be a burden unto mankind, hm???? Just kick the bucket at the appropriate time, hm? But then again, we don’t know when THAT is, do we?

      1. But we will live forever. New earth and new heaven, abi?

  4. @Lade: I am sorry for your loss.When my kids reach 4, they always ask:”Mama,are you gonna die soon?” and I explain to them that everything living will die one day,all in its time.It is a concept that we all have to struggle with and we all ask ourselves the same questions like you mentioned “why?” also “what is the purpose of life if we are going to die?”.When my kids are older I tell them that “what makes life priceless is death.”It doesn’t take the pain away though.I agree with Raymond; I like this piece because it is thought provoking.

    1. That is wise, Jef. Thank you for teaching me something new.

  5. Written with a deep sense of loss. Sorry @lade-a. Sorry @xikay. Sorry @ray.

    1. Thanks, Jay.
      How have you been?

  6. Sorry about your loss, Lade.

    This is quite deep. I guess only the people who are around for the Rapture will be said to completely overcome death. For everybody else, death remains the vehicle through which we achieve our immortality.

    1. Thank you, Roo. I guess you are right. Its just so hard to say goodbye.

  7. I’m totally sorry for your loss..
    Well written too…
    Your musings were deep.

    1. Thanks, 2cute. Pain from the loss of a loved one always reaches deep into the soul. That’s where this came from.

  8. Lade,sorry for your loss. This is really thought-provoking. The truth always leaves us quiet,speechless,or in deep thought!
    I’m lost in deep thought! Indeed, “When will we overcome death?”

    1. That’s the million dollar question for me right now, love. But i think Emmanuella has answered it – ‘if God says we have overcome death . . . .’
      Thank you.

  9. Lade, this is the second loss you’re sharing with us, dear. E kpele!! This is an inspirational piece that could be part of a motivational book. For quoting the holy scriptures, you definitely can understand how infinitely awesome, infinitely powerful, infinitely caring, infinitely attentive [in fact, infinitely ‘everything’] our God Almighty, the Lord Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit are and always will be. Yea, when ‘silence’ comes, it makes you numb of course as a human being, for a long time, depends on how you let it and how long you want the numbness to last. I still get shocked when someone close to me dies, but the shock doesn’t last for me. I somewhat ‘conquered’ it by creating this: http://www.naijastories.com/2010/07/my-concept-of-death/. The answer to the question WHEN? continues to elude us as human beings. If God has said He conquered death, then he did. This is MY way of ‘conquering’ death.

    1. Your words, Emmanuella, are a comfort. Just what i need.
      Thank you.
      I will visit your site.

  10. My warmest regards to you and your family, especially your mum. It is well…

    1. Thank you, scopeman. Will pass your regards to her.

  11. Sorry for your loss. The piece is novel in its perspective. My opinion(s) on the issue I will keep to myself lest I sound improper. After all no matter how I try I can’t feel your pain. God is the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort. May he comfort you and yours.

    1. Amen, Shope.
      Thank you.

  12. @emmanuella, CONCEPT of death? i must read it

  13. Lade, accept my sympathies over your loss. I quite empathize with you, for I am just coming out of grief myself over the death of my dear mother.

    @Emmanuella, I shall go at once to see the solution.

    We shall overcome.

    1. I am so sorry about your mom, Jeff. May God comfort you and your family

  14. I am so Sorry. Have you read ‘Death be Not Proud’ by John Donne? He laments on some of the issues you have raised. In the end, he concludes that ‘death shall be no more; death shalt die.’

    1. I’ve not read it, but it sounds like a must read. I’ll search for it.
      Thanks, colotrend.

      1. :) I remember my favourite English lecturer [he has also passed on] who quotes John Donne and John Dryden so much and so well, it’s a pity that I didn’t get that poetic verve from him, he was a poet. I also remember weeping without end at his funeral, and just recently, this lecturer’s first child, daughter, died in an accident. She and her husband were my classmates. *sniffs* Em, the thought of death can be so thick that it dulls you, makes you inert, impotent [Well, I am ‘literarily inert’ right now, but it wasn’t death’s fault this time, hm? :D]. Eh, Lade, remember this: http://www.naijastories.com/2010/08/bury-me-in-dry-leaves-silence/? Well, that’s another way I ‘conquered’ death. And you know, when John Donne said “Death shall be no more; death shalt die”, I think he meant it mentally, emotionally and spiritually. Death is real, and it’s here to stay.

        *coughs* There are five stages of grief [I hope some of you gals and guys must have heard about this]: “(1) When someone dies, we first go into DENIAL because the loss is so unthinkable it is impossible to believe that it happened; (2) Then we become angry with everyone, but most of all, that ANGER is directed at ourselves; (3) Then we start to BARGAIN, we beg, we plead, we offer everything that we have, we even offer up our souls; (4) When ‘bargaining’ fails and anger cannot be maintained, we fall into DEPRESSION and despair; (5) Until finally, we take in the whole situation and move on. ACCEPTANCE comes in. We let go.” These ‘stages’ were created by Elisabeth Kubler Ross who, according to Wikipedia, is a Swiss-born psychiatrist. I thank that currently famous medical-romance TV sitcom series GREY’S ANATOMY for enlightening me on this. A problem shared is a problem half-solved.

        1. Thank you, Emmanuella. And i’m so sorry about your lecturer and his daughter. Really sad.
          Funny thing is i don’t think i went through the five stages. When i got the call from his friend that morning that he was ill and had been rushed to the hospital, i just KNEW he was dead but they didn’t want to tell me. I called my dad and said ‘i think Uncle A is dead’, he said ‘WHAT?!’. I told him about the call and asked him to confirm. He did and called me back. I told him not to tell my mom till i got there.
          I didn’t cry, i was just thinking, ‘Uncle A is dead! Lying in the mortuary, cold and alone’. Morbid, i know. But what hurt me most was the thought of my uncle, a friendly, funny, people’s man being alone in a cold dark chamber. I just couldn’t get that out of my mind.

  15. do what you can while you live! finito

  16. This is good Lade.I can totally relate to this,having suffered some losses recently too. I think the most we can make of living is impacting others. That is how we are ablt to ‘live on’.

    Nicely written Lade.

    Well done!!!

  17. Your writing mirrored my thoughts though (mine) not so elaborate. I lost 2 uncles within a month last december. I had a black christmas and they were buried in the new year. It rubbed away my festive spirit over that period. Especially the clean slate feeling that spurns new goals and targets was lost to me.
    Before i put down an essay, I wish you and your family God’s strength during this period. And in some way your piece has brightened some darkness i feel.

  18. DEATH, death, death, abeg e don do.

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