‘Amin’ – they all chorused as some muscular men lowered the remains of the renowned Islamic scholar to the grave, signaling the end of everything. Indeed, life itself has an unpredictable end.
As they move away from the grave, looking pitifully at the deceased wife and children who had wept uncontrollably for hours, the remains were already buried in the ground but the memories of his lifestyles from other clerics present at the burial walked us home.
The wife and his children were looking back for possible resurrection which is against their faith as they headed home after the burial. They really wished the dead could wake up and mysteriously head up from the grave so that they could rush down the grave, evacuate the sands and unlock it.
As we walked from the backyard to the family house, we passed through a collection of graves. The remains of owners and their first offsprings covered with sands.
From Baba Razak to Baba Ridwan to Ustadz Abdullahi to Sheikh among others buried and forgotten. It actually has the knowledge of an insider if any outsider could identify the grave of a blind person.
The walk is a sad reminder that some people at a particular time had lived in this vicinity and they did not take the family house to their graves. And the new inhabitants have started dying too, a sign of expiration at desired time.
If wishes were horses, beggars would ride. I watched Anikulapo five days ago and saw how Saro- the Aso-ofi seller from Gbongan used ‘the power’ his lover stole from the powerful bird to wake the dead.
The uncontrollably wailings and tears wanted me to become a Saro. I wish I could wake up the dead and put a stop to these wailing.
I was barely five-year-old when I lost my loving mother to the cold hands of death. If I knew there was a Saro, I would have had a flashback or travelled to the past to beg for his favour. She died at a time the family needed her most. My loving father who raised six children still feel the sad loss.
People like me understand the pitiable state of his wives and 17 children. They are not only mourning the sad loss of her husband. They are also reflecting on their new responsibilities. They are now the breadwinners of a family of 17 in this terrible economy.
“Let them mourn. They understand their situations better”, a rather sad man in his sixties said.
The same grim-reaper who ended the life of my loving mother without notice did not allow Sheikh Aboto survive the rest of the year. Death is a cycle. It will not stop without reaching everyone. Every life must end. There is expiration for everything.
No one truly has death in his or her pocket. The powerful ones especially those who boasted that they have enslaved death did not miss its sting. They died unpredictably and were mocked by grim-reapers who stepped on their graves.
Death has no respect. It stings without prior notice. It can enter the house of wealth and make it pauper. It can enter the house of power and make it crumble.
As powerful and old Queen Elizabeth II was, the same grim-reaper that killed a homeless commoner who probably died of hunger ended her life too.
Death has no specialty. It has no preference. It has no class. It will not kill a slave to preserve the life of a master except it is in the destiny of the slave to die for his or her master. Funerals might be different but burial is not.
All bodies either cremated or buried would end up as dust with time. It is no doubt the final lap and fulfillment of destiny.
There is an end to everything but what are you doing or what have you done before it stings? Only a worthy life sustains or escapes the forgetfulness of humans.
You can acquire all the big houses and cars in the world but there is a certainty; death can not be acquired because it is not a possession.
As we walk through life and hustle for survival, we must not only tread carefully but always have it in thought that there is an end to everything. Before you breathe last, it is necessary to find ways to last in the good chapters of life.
If there is truly after-life, may Allah forgive the sins of Sheikh Aboto and receive him as his pious slave.