“Sadly, our late brother was tormented with the challenges of life, and as family, we gave our best, even as death can no longer torment him; no more chest pain, no more’ ‘I can’t breathe well’, no more typhoid, no more fever, no more malaria and so on. Death did not defeat him because he gave his life to Jesus Christ and believed in His resurrection. This is our confidence, as we will not weep like people without faith in God, even with the little kids he left behind.”
By Mark Columbus Orgu, News/Comments, January 19, 2023
…Who will be calling me by this late hour, of 12:15am, Wednesday morning, with a strange number, what would have been the urgent case, that the person cannot wait till the very morning. Hmm, reluctantly, I picked the call, even with plenty of snoozes in my two eyes, dimmed but the voice hearkens in Warri jargon, “I be ur broda, Ochuko, neigbour for Warri. We dey Warri General Hospital, where the doctor confirm sey him don die”
What! ‘But we spoke this morning (Tuesday) when he (Ochuko) told me he was going to take the second injection from the same hospital, so, what would have happened shoddily that ended his life”. The young man moans while I expressed my gratitude for being a good Samaritan and we both dropped the call. All this conversation happened around the time indicated above on January 11th, 2023.
Moving on, the herald has completed his mission, even as I reflected thus with some rhetoric questions without answers, like that of Hello God, by Dolly Parton: “Hello, God, are you out there? Can you hear me? Are you listenin’ anymore? Hello, God, if we’re still on speakin’ terms, can you help me like before? I have questioned your existence; my resistance leaves me cold. Can you help me go the distance? Hello, God. Hello, hello”
I pondered on this song and thought that, God in his infinite mercy will hear the cry of a distressed and sorrowful mother of ours, who had invested almost her hard-earned money, including our efforts in our late brother’s health for more than a year and half till he gave up the ghost. I had also questioned the benevolence and healing of God, but, the consolation floats-in in the book of life, the Holy Bible when it attests in 1Thessalonians 4:13-14: “Our brothers and sisters, we want you to know the truth about those who have died, so that you will not be sad, as are those who have no hope. We believe that Jesus died and rose again, and so we believe that God will take back with Jesus those who have died believing in him”
Yes, as Christians who mourn or weep profusely over our love ones’ demise, do so by our human nature but it is our prayer that God should strength our faith and give us the courage to bear irreparable losses.
Sadly, our late brother was tormented with the challenges of life, and as family we gave our best, even as death can no longer torment him; no more chest pain, no more, ‘I can’t breathe well’, no more typhoid, no more fever, no more malaria and so on. Death did not defeat him because he gave his life to Jesus Christ and believed in His resurrection. This is our confidence, as we will not weep like people without faith in God, even with the little kids he left behind.
Indeed, the life of our late brother in his early youthful age was filled with dreams, and talents, like-he was one of the lead dancers of the popular cultural group, atilogwu, and was one of the greatest goal keepers in Orogun Kingdom, Ughelli North LGA of Delta State, but, destiny and fortune didn’t meet him, until he ventured into Sea work at Aboh before he departed to Warri where he learnt heavy duty diesel mechanic engineering. He lived a moderated and contented life and loved his brothers and sisters, including extended family. But the only regret we had as family was that, if our late brother had agreed to migrate to Abuja with one of our cousins for greater opportunity many years ago, probably, he would have had greater opportunity with affluent as a diesel engineer expert, but God knows better.
However, as family, we’re consoled by the story of the immortal Joseph Medlicott Scriven, (1819-1866), whose fiancée fortuitously drowned in 1843-a night before their conjugal, and who also in 1855, while living with James Sackville in Bewdley Ontario , north of Port Hope , received the news from Ireland of his mother being terribly ill. He then wrote a poem to comfort his mother called “Pray Without Ceasing”, which later translated to one of the most comforting hymns, renamed by Charles Crozat Converse to ” What a Friend We Have in Jesus:
“What a friend we have in Jesus, all our sins and griefs to bear! What a privilege to carry everything to God in prayer! O what peace we often-forfeit, O what needless pain we bear, all because we do not carry everything to God in prayer!”
“Have we trials and temptations? Is there trouble anywhere? We should never be discouraged; take it to the Lord in prayer! Can we find a friend so faithful, who will all our sorrows share? Jesus knows our every weakness; take it to the Lord in prayer!”
“Are we weak and heavy laden, cumbered with a load of care? Precious Savior, still our refuge– take it to the Lord in prayer! Do your friends despise, forsake-you? Take it to the Lord in prayer! In his arms he’ll take and shield you; you will find a solace there”
Indeed, we have taken consolation in God, even as we ponder on Ecclesiastes 3:6, that says, “a person may have a hundred children, and live a long time, but no matter how long he lives, if he does not get the share of happiness and does not receive a decent burial, then, I say, a baby born dead is better off”. So, we will bury and cloth our brother in peace and in faith, as we lay him to rest tomorrow. Adieu.
Mark, wrote from Lagos, younger brother of the deceased. (08028592006)