After another hectic day of car troubles (don't get me started) and work, I spent the evening at a funeral service for my dear friend's grandfather. The service was nice, the choir sang beautifully, but I felt out of place, as is often the case at Ghanaian funerals. Since funerals are social occasions like any other, you end up going to many funerals of deceased persons you don't really know. Well, I am here for my friend I thought, that counts for something.
Just then, her mother turned round and I saw her face. The pain and grief of a daughter who has lost her father was so evident on her face it startled me. Suddenly the sorrow of a life coming to an end became so real to me.
Often, when friends or relatives have babies we all gush, I can't believe the x weeks/months ago he/she wasn't alive! It is with disbelief that we marvel over the miracle of life. In those moments, when admiring a beautiful baby, we're amazed and grateful at the mystery of how we come to be human beings, the joy overshadows any wish of delving into what lies behind this mystery.
Tonight, in my friend's mother's face, I saw the other side of the mystery of life. Life can be snatched from us or our loved ones at any moment, often when we least expect it, leaving us in mourning and shock over our loved one who has left us. In those moments the question we ask the most is WHY? As we enter the world we gratefully accept life, without asking any questions, but as we leave we demand answers.
Perhaps it's time to accept that just as we receive new life into the world, we also need to accept that life will be taken away at any time. Let's make our loved ones aware of how much we care for them so that when that moment comes, we'll know that just as they arrived into this world in a welcoming embrace, they'll leave out of the wallows of warmth and affection.