I think a lot about death. I seem to harbor a morbid ( and decidedly un-Nigerian) fascination for it and all it portends. The afterlife and thoughts about it keep the gears in my head shifting while rolling the wheels of my imagination. From a young age I have always had the peculiar idea, that I, (for some strange reason) would die young.

I am in my late thirties now and still the idea refuses to budge from my head. Will my death be by illness? By accident? Old age? Murder? Or will I slip away one night in my sleep. Over and over, scenarios play in my very fertile imagination such that I sometimes wonder if the Grimm Reaper himself – escorted by his henchmen will not come over and say ” Basta, Fati!!! Enough already! Would you please wait till I actually come pick you myself? Sheesh!!!”.

Yesterday (almost a full week after I actually began this thread) I read a blog by a friend who happens to be a like-minded thinker. She too was left contemplating life and death at the funeral of her aunt and came to the resolution that she did not want any flowery eulogies at her death and would appreciate if people would be more honest and told her EXACTLY what they felt about her NOW rather than after she passed.

This sent me on a whole new trajectory … What if there was an after life (or an “after death”) where I could float around as a ghost at my funeral. Would I smile and brush back a ghostly tear (or two), reminisce and wish I were back with the living? Or would I curse, roll my big eyes and vow to haunt some people for eternity? ( or at least till I get pulled by “the light”).

My father S.D. passed away a year and eight months ago. Many times, I still refer to him in the first person as if he is still present. Still handing out sage advice to his kids and still making us laugh. His passing was devastating but I think I (and the rest of my siblings) handled it pretty well. Dad was a good man and loved by many so I am sure he’s in a better place (eating pounded yam with the angels and watching comedy series).

For today, I am not dead, though I know I am dying – same as any other living being.

As I take each breath without feeling any odd twinges, with everyday I drive or am driven in a car without crashing, for every meteorite in the galaxy that has decided not to crash upon my head, I’m grateful. Grateful for the opportunity and hopeful that I will squeeze every bit of joy from this life without regrets.

When I leave, my ghost will throw up the “forever rock” 3- finger salute or the 2-fingered peace sign and say ” cowabunga – it’s been real folks”!

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