Thursday, February 9, 2012
What Does it feel like to Die?
Seems like every of my posts now is about complaining about stuff or writing about a calamity. I do not wish to make a habit of it I promise but things happen and we have no control over most occurrences. We are still in the first quarter and a lot of water has passed under the bridge. I have experienced two major losses in quick succession that has made me question the fairness in the balance of the universe.
Recently, I lost my dear cousin(more like a sister) to the cold hands of death. Earlier my dear friend Lara was snatched away from us all within 29 days. Tayo’s death opened up the floodgates. I was broken and miserable for days following her death. I had questions to ask. I needed answers. Here was a pretty and talented young lady full of life with all to live for. She had completed her undergraduate studies and was undergoing the compulsory National Youth Service to serve her fatherland (NYSC is a complain for another day). She had labored all these years only to be taken away from amongst us. 5 people in the car and she had to be the only one who died. Why? Why did things take the turn they chose to take? Why did it have to be my dear sister? Why not some shrewd businessman or some evil politician we have in this country?
A balance has been upset in the universe because somebody unique has been deleted from the equation of the cosmos; A person who had the ability to control the outcome of things, A person who had the ability to love unconditionally, A person who had the ability to make you her friend even against your will. She had such a cheerful and radiant face that you had no choice but to just be drawn to her. Everything about Tayo was perfect. A mere look at her and you would know that this girl had a great future. Don’t ask me how I know, I just know.
I lost my appetite and my confidence. I was even questioning the essence of living on this side of eternity only to be taken away so soon. I asked myself “what’s the point to even living at all if you are going to die so soon?” why bother to live at all if at the end of the day, death comes knocking and you gotta answer even though you are still so young? Why the hell is death not a respecter of age? Why isn’t death choosy? Pick some bad people not the good ones. Don’t pick people who could make a difference to our generation. All these went through my mind I must confess. I went through Depression-Denial-Anger-Bargain-Denial-Depression… I know this is twisted since there is suppose to be only five stages but this is what I think I felt. I will eventually come to acceptance but that would hurt. Throughout the weekend following Tayo’s death, I had practically no time to grief at all because we were busy planning her funeral. You know according to the Yoruba custom, adults don’t plan funeral of a young person. They are not even suppose to know where the person is buried. So, I was busy engrossed (with my cousins) in giving Tayo a befitting send forth. I owe her that much…we owe her that much.
On the day of the funeral, the reality of the whole situation dawned on me. My Tayo is gone for real. I will never see Olatayo again on this side of eternity. I broke down completely. The floodgates opened and it rained and rained. God knows I love Tayo with all my heart. We had quality fun together and we rocked things together so to come to terms with her demise was just too much for me to process.
On the other hand, Tayo’s demise raised a few questions that you may consider odd but I am sure some people might have thought about it at least once. What does it feel like to die? I do not have a death wish, I promise! But honestly I have been thinking about it. Some people say you see your life flash before your eyes, others state that they have a kind of out of body experience where they see their lifeless body. Since I have never died before, I cannot confirm the validity of these claims but they led to some other questions that will forever remain unanswered on this side of eternity. Now I have one more reason why I want to get to heaven… ’cos I will see Tayo again. I have that much comfort. I would love to get to heaven; I cannot begin to state how much I will love to make it to heaven. Even then, I can finally get answers to all these questions that have been raised in my heart. Maybe there will be a sort of conference where we can meet with God and ask questions…after all the song says “we will understand it better by and by”.
Then in the midst of all these, I got thinking. Maybe I could be able to save lives. There has to be something I can do to prevent more people from dying due to injuries sustained from car accident and any form of trauma. I know I am not God who decides the outcome of events but at least can I give a fighting chance. First of all, the emergency response in this country is way below par. Like its way down there on the ladder. If there is a car accident, there is usually nobody to provide adequate emergency response that would give the trauma patient a fighting chance. First response team (Emergency Medical Team otherwise known as EMT) are equipped to simulate the first aid that such a patient will receive at the hospital right there at the scene of the trauma. They are equipped with heart monitor, oxygen and a lot of other cool first aid kits that could minimize the risk of a fatality. What if I could campaign for such a structure to be incorporated to the nature of our country? What do I need to do? Who do I need to talk to? How can I go about it? Who do I need to go after? Please if you know the answer to these questions, contact me and let’s work together.
Secondly, most of y’all know I am a medical student. I was hoping to specialize in cardio-thoracic surgery but what if I can throw in a great deal of commitment and become a Trauma surgeon. I love the show “Grey’s Anatomy” and I love the way Trauma Surgeon Owen Hunt carries out his job and save lives. What if I could contribute my quota and save even more lives? Can I at least try to minimize the death toll from blunt trauma? These thought has been prevailing in my mind and I wonder what God thinks about it. I need to ask him first anyway. I have just been thinking about it, it’s not yet a decision.
All in all, Tayo’s death has brought to the forefront once again the frailty of life. Life is too short to be spent messing around. Tayo’s own assignment here is done and might I add that she did it well. She made sure her presence was felt and left an impact on everybody that met her. No wonder the church was full to the brim and even overflowed at her funeral service. A rare gem has been lost but we can only keep her memory alive and keep her legacy standing firm.
Dear Tayo, you will be missed no doubt but you memory will never die. You will live on in our heart.