Lessons To Be Learnt From Death By Chioma Obiefuna

It’s always been said that you can never truly understand an emotion unless you have actually felt it yourself. It doesn’t matter how much you cry for your friend who lost a loved one, or how much pain you feel for them, you just can never really get it unless you’ve been in it.


        A grieving woman


I am one of the very few yet to experience the intensive emotions of the loss of someone very close to me but I am one of the many who have stood at the sides of people who experienced such loss. Such standing has made me realize a few things – for one, the futility of it all as it is all vanity, that pain is not infectious, but more importantly, I’ve come to better understand that you have to experience it to truly know and understand it.

That statement held more truth to me recently when a few people I know lost their loved ones. As I cried alongside them, I saw something different between us – the wattage of the light in our eyes. While mine retained some shine in the midst of the tears running out of them, the eyes of the main victims of such loss showed such hopeless emptiness. Though, I was incredibly sad, my pain did not cut as deep so my eyes did not dim as much. It is truly scary to watch the light fade in the eyes of someone in great pain.

Can you imagine the loss of someone close to you – knowing there is just no chance that you’ll ever see them again?Having never been in that position, I honestly have never succeeded in getting my imagination to live that feeling – never seeing a sibling again, a parent or a dear friend. Ironic is the fact that some of these are people you probably only see once a year or less, and yet, you can’t imagine never seeing them again. I guess that’s where hope comes into it – because even when you don’t see them regularly, you know it is not final for you could see them anytime you wished. But death – it feels so final and for a brief moment, it can rob one of hope because it carries the knowledge that you will never see that person again in this life, and in that knowledge comes the incredible heartbreak that dims the light in the eyes.

For the living, there are many lessons to be learnt from death and the finality of it. Along with the pain of loss, it brings mortality to our doorstep and the many reasons why we should live better lives, take more chances and set better examples. Certainly, its finality is a reminder of the fact that our uncountable chances have an expiry date and with death comes the time to surrender to the results of our lives on earth.    

To anyone out there who’s grieving, who has grieved or who feels grief looming around the corner, I wish you the grace to hold on to your faith. Like every other life lesson, I think it’s smart to embrace the pain for you have to walk through it to get through it. There’s hope in life but there’s an even bigger hope in death for it is a necessary rite of passage to the glories beyond. Yes – I may cry in life but I‘d rather cry here than over there.




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