By Odimegwu Onwumere
On the theme, what would you do if you were told you have 72 hours to live?” it is the tree that stands when plan to cut it down is mapped, but human being would run.
Life is so meaningful to the living. Telling a man that he has just 72 hours to live is not a tea party. But, it all depends. Assuming that the man is 90 years of age, he may not be perturbed, but a young man will be perplexed.
However, the theme of this competition is dicey and extraordinary. Such news might come, but it all depend the organization (occult) the person is a member. If the person had been given such a mandate in the form he filled before his membership, the person might not be disturbed much because he already knew what the outcome of his membership was going to be. But assuming that I was sick and was related with such news by my doctor, I will be in an emotional trauma that will not come to an end till the expected happens.
One expression that I will exhibit if such information comes to me is SHOCK. I will be in a sober mood, and will amplify same information to my loved ones. But since I could not do more than the SHOCK to revert the mandate, I will prepare my mind to accept the worse mandates in the life of any man by always praying to my God for a blissful eternity.
Life is what matters most to everybody, irrespective of our pursuits and desires. On the bed-of-death, no one remembers his wealth, degrees and what have you, but wants his loved ones to be around him. I will begin to orchestrate my life towards accepting this timely death by telling my loved ones my predicament and seek their consolations everyday, which will be balm to my soul. Since life matters to me most, I will be dying in pains if I don’t compromise the life with the death; I will engage in writing consolation notes to my loved ones and posterity. If the LIFE is made to accept the death, the death will be seen as a friend, and not as an enemy.
I will begin to right and write all my belongings, to my people. I have myself to forgive, since I am the persona who is to die. I do not think that it is necessary to think of forgiving anybody at this point because none may come to me for forgiveness. It is not easy to remember all that have wronged us, so I will forgive if anybody makes an advance to me for such.
I will apologise to myself for forgiveness, in respect to my aborted hopes and aspirations in life. I will apologise to my loved ones to accept my death in good faith, since it is not my making and will never be revocable.
I have no long lost friend to find, except my ancestors whom I will be consulting, according to my tradition, to accept my soul for a blissful rest. I have to pray to nature to welcome my spirit.
I have nothing to bother about my family because some people have died in the family before me and the family continued to exist. Again, some couples couldn’t have their own children, yet they live. This implies that whether I was born in my family or not, the family would continue to exist and move on. No one has ever died because he or she lost a beloved one. Assuming that I am living but have no money to take care of my family, it is assumed that I am dead.
However, peace of the mind depends on one’s orientation because what one calls peace might be trouble in the other person’s calculation. I have this belief that even a suicide bomber is at peace with himself, during the period of carrying out the dastardly act. So, I will be at peace with the way I lived my life, because one does not change what he can not correct.
It is imperative to state that man should not be deterred by modern syndrome of stress. After all, in the ancient times, we read about men who paid the supreme prize with their lives in the course of redeeming their community or towns or mankind from external aggression. Some even asked their kinsmen to kill them, in order for the much sorted peace to reign. Death is part of spiritual enlightenment, all depends on belief. Imagine a Muslim who believes that if he dies in a war he is going to heaven; to such a believer, death means nothing during a war. What about a Christian who believes that man should be old before he dies? Or, a Hindu who believes in reincarnation? The handling of death depends on how we understand death.
My specific actions towards accepting the timely death is because I had known that, “A construction and fulfilling society must be based on the equal importance of both material and spiritual values. Since they are inseparable, there can be no mental well-being without physical well-being and vice-versa.”
My past and present could have physical significance, but what matters most is the future. And death is one of the futures that man expects in a life time. My life, my death, my family, my loved ones etc. are all elements of mine. So, they are important because no feather that is removed from the fowl that she will not make noise.
These people, in one way or another, we have influenced our lives at a fundamental level, at an enviable manifestation.
They would help me to appreciate my life fully when they come to accept the various ways of human existence by giving rise to optimism for my determination and joy.
My loved ones would have a sense of peace or place by what I do when they appreciate the fact that within the endeavours of the mind and body, equal opportunities are given. These things would direct them to spiritual enlightenment that man’s existence on earth is only but a shadow.
They should learn from my death that anything and everything in perspective wouldn’t have great meaning if they don’t transform. Only when the desire of understanding that death could come at anytime would corruption, bestiality, cruelty, life-force etc. abate, in the direction of creativity devoid of impelling the spiritual qualities inherent in our lives. Remember: “Fire is a good example of this transformation process. We use the logs of desire or suffering to build a fire of enlightened wisdom. Without the wood, light and heat cannot be generated…”
Odimegwu Onwumere, Poet/Author and Media Consultant, is the Founder of Poet Against Child Abuse (PACA), Rivers State. Mobile: +2348032552855. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org