Death is a garment that everyone has to wear. The moment one puts it on, earthly existence vanish. Death’s garment is not like any other garment that can be worn on our human flesh. Our human flesh cannot accommodate it just as God cannot accommodate sin. When we are alive, we pray for long life on earth and hope for eternal life in the Next (Heaven). When death comes, if given the opportunity to postpone it, I guess we all will claim our state of unreadiness. Unfortunately, death doesn’t make provision for a noticeboard to keep us updated. If we all knew our dead days, certainly amendments will be the order of the day. Test and examination is what makes an unserious student to be serious due to the fear of failure. But in the case of death, such is not the case, death is an unwelcomed visitor who pays you a visit like the second coming of Jesus Christ.
When death visits a family, sorrow becomes the order of the day. Thus, it gives room for condolence visits from loved ones, friends, relations, etcetera to the bereaved family. Day after day, condolence visits diminishes and so does the dead fellow in the heart of those who aren’t closely related to him/her. But to the loved ones, even after decades, he/she is still in their memory.
It is always a thing of sorrow when one hears the death of a beloved one. However, reverse is the case in some situations. Others rejoice at the death of their loved ones for reasons best known to them. Whatever their reasons are, theirs is also coming when people will not be moved by their nonexistence but death still remain the unwelcomed visitor.
The joy of being long sleeve students (SS1 students) of then Life Line Academy Zaria was overshadowed with sorrow when we receive news that one of us has worn the garment of death. Tobi Abikoye was really a friend and a comedian. He was indeed one of our best football player. The month of October 2009 has recorded a deep sorrow amongst the then SS1 students of Life Line Academy. After months of sorrow for the repose soul of Late Tobi Abikoye, we all prayed to God to grant him eternal rest in His kingdom. The amiable class all prayed to God to keep them alive to graduate together.
Months later after the death of Tobi, precisely in March/April, 2010, another icon was reported dead. This time around, it wasn’t the death of a fellow classmate neither was it the death of a footballer nor the death of a friend, it was the death of the most intelligent and brilliant student in Life Line Academy. It was also the death of a dear friend who was chosen alongside myself to represent our school in Cowbell Mathematics Competition. He is by name, Ezra Irmiya Usman. His death was indeed a great loss to the school management, Death, what an unwelcomed visitor.
Three years after the death of Tobi and Ezra, death was at work again. On a fateful Saturday being the 27th of July, 2013, news about the exit of the Matron of Legion of Mary got to my ears. I couldn’t believe it, it was the passing away of Mrs. Asabe John Rwang. The entire Legionaries of Zaria Diocese especially those in Samaru were filled with deep sorrow over the great loss of their most dedicated member. Death has really bitten more than it can chew. Death has really proved to be an unwelcomed visitor.
However, whenever a loved one wears the garment of death, I refer to words of Job in the Bible which says, “The Lord has given, and the Lord has taken, bless be the name of the Lord” Job 1:21. If death gives notice of visits we will amend our evil ways and turn back to God and as well as enjoying every moment we have with everyone we come across. ‘Mama’ Asabe, Ezra and Tobi I want you all to know that we love you all, may your souls continue to rest in peace.