The great leveler by Oluwanishola Akeju


“Better to go to a house of mourning….” “All men must die”

Last week I attended two services for dearly departed souls. One was a young man in his prime. Another was for a grandfather. A space of 50 years between the two.

Then the visit to the private vaults and cemeteries. You see all sort of tombstones. Some were exquisite in beauty. Some were elaborate. Some were under reservation by folks willing to spare their survivors the cost of buying space for interment.

I saw names I recognized. I saw names I knew when they lived. A friend pointed out his mom’s resting place. We looked at young people. We saw older people. Titles were etched to tombstones. Some had pictures. One had a garden with a seat. Another had massive glass walls. Even in death you could see who left money behind or came from immense wealth.

But all contained the same thing. Decaying bag of bones. Dead people with talents leashed or unleashed. Memories by survivors. Glee by enemies. And learning for us that are still here. A stark reminder of our common end. Where it can be a transition if you are of faith or nothingness.

I saw fresh flower bouquets on some graves. Some one or people still care to place flowers for the departed.

Many never got flowers when they lived. Many were never told the kind words on their tombstones. Many were never celebrated when they were alive. Many never got a shout of appreciation they get when they can no longer hear.

My takeaway? Let them know now. Tell them you love them when they can hear. Celebrate them when they can partake of it. Show the love today to all that are dear to you.

Then breathe. What ever it is: suffering or pleasure, it will end. Slow down!