Life is no fairy tale; it knocks out pretty hard!
…I have always had a delayed reaction to pain…
I read about the dreadful news, both the bomb blast and the Dana crash, as soon as the news broke but it didn’t quite register in my mind. I was busy after all. The numerous bombs that have gone off fairly often, lately in the country have a way of making one jaded and oblivious to all the pain.
I still cannot say I have seen images of the crash. That I could keep from seeing. I have however been unable to keep from seeing the pictures and reading the stories: stories of beautiful people with dreams, hopes and desires; stories of love, friendship, laughter and family. Stories of lives lived so beautifully; of love built quite magically; of youth and innocence so enchanting…and it has been heart wrenching and tear inducing.
I do not cry, as a matter of principle. Of course, I’m moved to tears but I refuse to shed them. It always starts a downward health spiral for me. There are other ways to express grief than through crying. I prefer to think it through.
Must be why I wonder at the seeming futility of life. Yes, we will die. But need it be in such a violent manner? That part caused me to shudder.
I imagine the irony in the scenario that people, who probably had never met themselves before, were suddenly united in the moment of their death. Did they exchange eye contact? Did they try to smile reassuringly one to the other? What were their last thoughts? Did they regret their lives? Did they alarmingly cry, “Why me?”
There was an expectation on their part to go ahead with plans they had made when the plane touched down in Lagos.
Instead, they were torched!
Excuse me, my eyes are teary and I can feel the beginning of a headache.
I think of couples on the plane and wonder what the content of the conversation that passed between them at those defining moments was? What many hitherto unsaid things were said in those last moments? How many bothersome issues suddenly became unreasonable? I imagine the fear and regret apparent on faces, the realization of the folly of unnecessary arguments, forgiveness, holding of hands and resignation to the imminent fate.
What about work colleagues? How petty did their competitiveness seem in the face of death? The soon-to-be bride? The sister? The kids? Especially the kids; the ones who rent the air with the cries of “Mummy” and “Daddy”, totally oblivious to the fact that neither could help them.
The death they faced was not sudden; it was slow, gradual, deliberate and excruciatingly painful; almost vengeful.
These thoughts have made me sad and feeling quite ill; the headache’s worse now too. The fever’s not far off.
I think of us; the people waiting for the plane to land: partners, friends and business associates, maybe a vexed acquaintance just waiting to give whomever a piece of his/her mind. What are the thoughts going through our minds now? Now we realize we loved them; that we should have told them; that we should have made the times they were around count.
But what we have now are memories.
Far too many people lose their lives for no reason at all. I cannot begin to tell all the stories; I do not know them all. There weren’t just lives on that plane but in the homes it crashed into, and at Living Faith Church, Bauchi. There are lives lost daily from poverty and consumption of fake and expired drugs; lives lost from maltreatment from the hands of a spouse or relative; lives lost from reckless driving; lives lost from good old ignorance or even from voting in a corrupt and incompetent politician; lives lost from plain old age. Lives lost last week and yesterday and undoubtedly, lives to be lost tomorrow.
The stories are not done yet.
I have always believed that when people die, the lessons inherent are for the living to learn.
I was also jarred awake by a personal experience. Fortunately, it wasn’t fatal. It could have been though, considering the age of the individual and the realization that incidents less dramatic have been known to claim lives. Reminded me that I need to be celebrating the lives around me and telling them their stories because they are important to me.
Our stories are all beautiful, especially to the people who love us. Let’s tell and celebrate our stories today. We are after all, not promised tomorrow.
Quite a while ago, I read that “We commit the dates to mind but forget the lessons.” History repeats itself because people forget.
Hopefully, we will remember to not forget.
To all the lives lost on the ill-fated crash, here’s to telling your stories beautifully!