PROF Akinola Akintunde ASIYANBOLA: Death is another phase of existence By Waheed Bamigbade

PROF Akinola Akintunde ASIYANBOLA: Death is another phase of existence By Waheed Bamigbade

 

Prof Akinola Asiyanbola
Prof Akinola Asiyanbola

Death is a leveler. It is not a joke. The semiotics of death is in its warning to humankind: the warning that each of us shall taste it, the divide of class and gender, race and faith notwithstanding. So when someone dies, and we experience the loss either as family or friends, it is a fresh opportunity to reflect and adjust our lifestyle in the right direction.

None can defeat death, yes. But there is a weapon that could reduce the impact of death both on the dead soul and on their family. It is called good deeds and best of intentions in everything. It appears to me that the essence of this life is in what we can add to it of service, and not what we can take of it as rights. This is because as it stands, nothing eventually belongs to anyone. What can the dead make use of their belongings and knowledge after they are gone? And the inheritors of these belongings shall themselves join the previous owner one day. As it was passed unto the dead while alive, so also shall the dead pass it unto the living when it is time. So, in the final analysis, who owns what, including our priced knowledge?

According to an anonymous writer, “we are born without bringing anything. We die without taking anything. Absolutely nothing! And the sad thing is that in the interval between life and death, we fight for WHAT WE DID NOT BRING and WHAT WE WILL NOT TAKE” (capitalization theirs).

Waheed Bamigbade
Waheed Bamigbade

So, rather than fear death, we should fear (the wrath of) God who created death. And rather than struggle endlessly as in a race or a competition, caring little for anyone whose horse might be gored by us on our way to the top, struggling for what we shall all drop one day only to continue on the next phase of existence and the Eternal Journey, we should rather be each other’s keepers and company straight from our hearts. When we also recall that death is a passage and not a destination, a means and not an end, and one of several “clouds” that humans must experience, then we will realize that we all are on a Journey. The same Eternal Journey. A Journey on which we shall all report what we did and didn’t do, as in, tell our stories to the Creator of the Journey. Shouldn’t we rather, then, support one another to make the Journey a worthwhile experience and be happy together?

The real questions that should then propel us in life, in preparation for death, should rather be: how can I be of help? What do I lose if I help out?

This muse I pour for myself first.

Professor Akinola Akintunde ASIYANBOLA, Adieu. I will miss your calm and gentle disposition. You have been awaken from the slumber of life, and the reality is now dawn on you, as it shall one day happen on each and everyone of us who are still asleep. As you continue on the Eternal Journey, I wish you the very best of luck. Good night, Prof.

This tribute was written by Waheed Bamigbade, a senior lecturer at the Department of English, Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife.

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