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Pure Heart

Choosing the Family Member to Die

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Old people die and young people die. Men die and women die. Black people die and white people die. Good people die and bad people die. The rich die and the poor die. In short, death occurs all the time.

Of course, you may not realize it if it hasn’t happened to a relative or friend of yours, or to a relative or friend of people close to you.

Anyway, have you ever thought about what would happen if, before death occurs in a family, the family had to meet and decide on the person to die? Imagine death is supposed to occur in a family on June 15, 2012, and the members of that family are discussing and deciding on the family member that should die on June 15, 2012.

Imagine seeing mothers and  grandmothers and great grandmothers, fathers and grandfathers and great grandfathers, uncles and aunts, brothers and sisters, sons and daughters, nephews and nieces, cousins, and so forth sitting and deciding whom to select.

Have you ever thought about such a scenario and about how the person chosen would feel, say or do? We all know that it’s not easy to die, and, generally speaking, nobody really wants to die just like that.

A long-time friend of mine and regular reader of my articles called me a few days ago and told me that he attended a funeral at which the preacher, having looked at the dead body in the casket, remarked, “Here lies a resourceful family member. What if the family had been given the opportunity to choose the person to die? Would the family have chosen this man, or another person?”

Right after his narration, something happened. It seemed I found myself in a different world. I’m not sure whether I was asleep or awake. But a scene appeared before me. All the members of a family converged under something that looked like a gigantic palaver hut to choose the family member to die the following month.

A man got up and said, “I think Grandmother Cynthia should be the one. She’s already 65 years old.”

“Nobody bring that rubbish around me, you stupid fool. Don’t you know the Bible says every person has three scores and ten years on earth? Why you stupid fool want to carry me to my early grave?” reacted the old lady. She was left alone.

Then a child, a nephew of the member choosing Grandmother Cynthia, came up with his idea, “Let Uncle John die next month. He already has his BSc and master’s degrees and has been to America and Canada many times. He has already enjoyed life.”

“Don’t bring your friskiness to me. I’ve three little children to take care of. Besides, I’m the only child of my mother, and she’s old. If I die, will you and your father take care of her and my kids?” angrily remarked Uncle John.

It was becoming an everybody-for-himself defense game. But who wants to die just like that?

Another man got up and said, “I rise to select my wife Annie. Although we have two children, I’ll do my best to take care of them.”

Quickly, his wife jumped from her seat and barked at her husband, “Nonsense! Look at his stupid self! Oh, you want me to die so you can bring your girlfriend Muna in the house. Over my dead body. Da you will die, not me.”

“My suggestion is that Elijah should be the one to die,” remarked an elderly woman, without explaining why.

Instantly, Elijah fought back,  “Why do you want me to die just like that? What did I do to you? I know you hate me.  If I’m the one you see to choose, then this is the end of my membership in this family. From today on, I’m no longer part of you people. Consider me a non-member. Now, you can choose a different person.”

Then I stretched my neck and my eyes to see who would speak next. It was when I experienced what our people would call “the worst bad luck” in life. A frisky-looking pekin jumped from the crowd and said, “Let Paul Yeenie Harry die.”

“Man, wait, man! I beg you with your trouble,” I retorted. “I na part of your family. Besides, I still have many articles to write for my many readers. Take it far from me.”

Quickly, I came to myself, thanking God that I had the strength to defend myself in the state. That pekin was not only frisky; he was stupid. Even if my family member chooses me, da war. I na ready to die.

Seriously, my people, aren’t these points to ponder?

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