And Ajimobi died. You may have heard this before but I just have to say that death is an equalizer. Life is filled with illusions. We strive or we don’t strive. We achieve or we don’t achieve. And we love or we don’t love.
Life is there right along with us qualifying who we are to ourselves.
Life may tell us that we are important. That who we are and what we do matters. That we, by the measure of our personal importance, have a podium above other people.
Life will give us these stages and statuses. We enter into places and every one shakes, bows and regards us because as defined by life; we deserve this extra regard.
Life may also tell us that we are nobodies. Because we are unschooled or have not excelled at anything; or because we have never made any money or any impact on anyone, life will tell us how insignificant we are.
We get used to being ignored.
We get used to being overlooked.
Also, we do not have expectations of regard from anyone.
Life is very convincing in the things it tells us.
I remember a man that would not answer your greeting if you did not call him prophet. Even if you mistakenly called him a pastor; he would bristle and in some cases lash back at you.
I know of a boss that would not answer your greeting unless you bob; do a dip or drop a curtsy.
I know of someone that would demand needless protocol because when people skip it; he takes it as a slight and proceeds to remind everyone of his designation.
“I AM THE DIRECTOR!”
“I AM PROFESSOR!”
“IN FACT, I AM MRS AND NOT MS!”
These are the tricks and illusions that life plays. It is the thing that makes some people seem more valuable than other people. Everyone is trying to distinguish themselves so as to seem more special.
Life is a liar.
Always fluffing the pillows and telling us to feel at home. Pretending that billions like us have not left in a twinkle of an eye.
Not telling us that our leaving will happen without a regard to who we think we are.
Forget about lavish funerals.
These are things that people do to remind themselves of who they are and who the dead person was supposed to be.
A dead body in a golden casket.
A dead body in a wooden casket.
Or a dead body wrapped in a muslin cloth.
A dead body left decomposing under the hot sun.
A dead body being eaten by a thousand tiny fishes under the sea.
Or even dead body steadily cleaned away by maggots.
A dead body buried with a headstone and platinum plaque.
A dead body buried in an unmarked grave.
They all have one thing in common. They do not know or give a heck where they are.
All the things we do, we do for us and not for them.
So, like I said.
Life is a lie. Death is the truth.
It is unequivocally honest. It gives no illusions.
Whether it comes in the form of raving cancer or a fast bullet. Or it just steals the breath of a person during sleep. Death is a straight shooter.
It has no regard for status. Or achievement. Or whether a person is loved or not. It is not impressed or persuaded. It does not wear a deceptive cloak.
I watched the video of Ajimobi’s wife. Where she talked about being a widow and expressing her disappointment in the present Oyo state government.
A lot of people were upset by what they called her high-handed behavior as she berated the state government for not reaching out to her during his sickness.
All I saw was a grieving widow.
I have heard so many tales like the one she told. Of family members and so called close friends who stayed away during a loved one’s travail. Those who waited officially for every news to be communicated to them. Those who secretly gloated and came with questionable condolences.
It did not matter that she is the widow of a former governor and sitting in an ostentatious sitting room on sparkling white chairs with gold coloured trimmings.
At that point, she was a human being expressing hurt and being uncensored in grief.
She reminded me of my mother in her own time of grief. My mother was someone who always said things like she felt and experienced them. She was not into double speak. For those that she felt came with fake condolences; she gave it to them so much so that they stayed away from her.
But whatever she said or did, it was the underlying burden of grief that propelled her.
Just simply a woman that had lost the mainstay in her life for decades.
Just like Mrs Ajimobi.
Therein lies the equalizer. That the pain of death doesn’t spare anyone. The weight of the absence of a person we love is something we are unified in; it is a burden that death forces us to carry.
After we bury our loved ones, life comes back with its lies. It will tell a rich widow she is better than a poor widow. The poor widow will believe it. Doesn’t it look like it? The rich widow will believe it. Isn’t having money always an advantage?
But the thing is both will sleep alone.
Both will never hear the voice of their loved one.
And both will reach out to say something and no one will be there to hear them.
Death did not distinguish. Only life will. Life the liar.
Life will canonize you. It will even tell you it will immortalize you.
Death doesn’t give a shit. It will humanize you and, if possible, dehumanize you before it kicks you to the curb.
Teach us to number our days so that we may be wise.
So the Bible says.
Because keeping death in view is not morbidity. I you allow it, it will bring more clarity than life ever does.