by Maureen Hove Mudita
2020 and 2021 has robbed us of people we love and look up to. Death is an incongruous experience, expected or unexpected. But one thing that boggles my mind as I attend a funeral is, couldn’t they have just done everything they wanted to do at the person like give them roses, celebration, parties, music, chill with them when they were alive before they even died?
One thing I loathe most about funerals is the heartfelt eulogies read, the fresh flowers bought, the monies collected from all over, the off days taken just to send off the deceased, the immediate cancellation of all plans. The diasporan family even make plans to get onto the first plane back home!
Word is transmitted to neighbours and some workmates and the first questions they ask are …“Ndeupi wacho iyeye? aimboita nezvei? hatisi kumurangarira” ( Who exactly passed on? We don’t remember him /her, What is it he /she did for a living?). All of a sudden there is a heightened interest in who they were and what type of living they had…but, that detail doesn’t matter, they still make sure they grace the funeral with their presence, they even join the queue to view the corpse! On social media, the newsfeed is inundated with outpourings from friends and family for days after the death of their loved one.
All I’m saying is; It’s all too rare that we tell the people we love exactly why we love them—what they bring to our lives, why our lives are richer because they’re in it, how their presence fortifies and complements our own lives.
It’s so terrible for the dead to miss their own obituaries. I’ve often wondered if a person’s quality of life could have been bettered if she/he knew how appreciated they were. How about we try to commemorate the living, not merely the deceased. Why wait until they’re gone to celebrate them? How about telling them how much they mean to us, while they are still alive and meandering, imperfectly along, weaving in, like knitted yarn, through their lives and ours.
We do not realize the true value and legacy of a living friend, loved one or family member until they suddenly pass away. Truth is, there are many living legends among us, stop and take time to notice their worth before it’s too late. Celebrate your people today! Do not wait until they die to give a flowery testimonial of how good they were, while they lie in the grave and their ears are filled with dust.
After reading this, check up on the person who comes first to your mind. That one message and phone call from you might turn everything around. If you can afford a bunch of fresh flowers also take them with you when you pay them a visit! Go on! What are you waiting for?