Death & All His Friends

I don’t know how to start this post dramatically. I don’t know how to explain the pain I’ve been holding in my heart for the last … I don’t even know how many hours.

But what I want to talk about… is death…. and how it has affected me. And I’ll say this up-front. This really is about how this all makes me feel. That may make me selfish (I’ve already been called that tonight), but … anyways.

Over the last few years, I’ve noticed a trend. When people that I know, or matter to me in one way or the other, so that their deaths would pain me… when they die, I think about them in some form or fashion, just before I find out that they’re dead.

And this may not mean anything to you. You may think that I’m just saying this for saying sake… but believe me when I say that I do not like it.

Yesterday afternoon, I was sitting and working with my friend @Dsight_Kay, when I made him turn off the Adele album he was playing, because I wanted to listen to Amy Winehouse. And I remember I was singing and smiling, and enjoying the soulfulness of her voice as we went through different songs; You Know I’m No Good, Back To Black, Wake Up Alone, Me & Mr. Jones, Fuck Me Pumps… and I was singing along and thinking how it’d be cool to listen to her live… and how she’d do so amazing if she could get that American visa so she could finally work with QuestLove of the Roots like they’d been planning for a while… or how she’d do so well on a track with Adele… and then I tweeted “On some Amy Winehouse steez 😀

And one hour later I get this mention: “@dtwistednerd: Amy Winehouse! Dead. Eez a lie @CapoeiraPanda”

And I find out like that, that one of my favorite ever musicians, is dead. I’m not gonna say I was devastated. I didn’t know her. We weren’t friends or family members and I didn’t have some cousin who had a friend who had a sister in law that knew her. But her music had touched my life, so it hurt that she was gone. And the fact that I was thinking about her before I found out… made it more painful.

This afternoon, I found out that my 25 year old, ever smiling cousin. Who graduated from Bowen last year with a First Class degree in some science based course that I can’t remember anymore… my cousin that was cool peoples… that was so hard working… died this morning. He had kidney problems and had been on dialysis for a minute. They took him off it last week. He had been discharged, and was supposed to be getting better. And he died this morning.

What pains me is that I was thinking about him… and saying to myself that I would call him. So I could abuse him and tell him to “shake off this useless sickness jare. You’re a Fatona.”

I’ll never get to call and hear him on the other end again. I’m never gonna be able to tell him that I’m graduating First Class (by God’s grace) just like he did. I’m never gonna get to tell him how his gist of how hard he used to word inspired me to go hard in school. I’m never gonna get to really get to know him, cos we weren’t really close. I’m never gonna get to speak to him again.

What hurts me most? He was in the hospital for months. I never spoke to him once. I always said to myself “I have to call this dude today. Immediately I buy credit I’ll call him.” And something would alays come up. I’d always forget or something or the other. This dude went through so much pain, and eventually died. And I never spoke to him once.

If not for anything else but this, I feel horrible.

I’m tired of hearing about deaths. For the last 6 – 7 years, someone who has mattered to me in some way or the other has died. And I’m sick of it. Chris, IK, Sanmi, Kabiyesi, Mama Ibeji, Nancy, Tomi… *sigh* I’m tired of trying to remember all the names.

Now that I remember Tomi…

I was thinking about my guy Tomi. And that I would call him to see how he was, and if he was down, I, he and our friend Obanya could go get some drinks when I got back into Lagos or something. And then I called Obanya like two days after to make plans, and Obanya tells me “Tomi Sonaike shot himself.”

That was 2007.

Recently, we’ve had a few cases of people committing suicide. I cannot say that I understand what these people go through. But I will say that I judge these people because no matter what happens, I believe that suicide isn’t only a coward’s way out, it’s also an unkind and heartless way to do it, because it puts aside the feelings of the rest of the people being left behind. No matter what the issue is. Tomi’s mother walked in and was picking up pieces of his brains from the floor. The woman was under heavy sedation for weeks after.

But that’s not what I’m on about.

Truth be told, I’m not even sure what I’m on about. All I know is that I’m tired of Death taking people away from me. I don’t know what to do about it… but I’m tired. I’m hurting for the loss of my cousin. And since there’s no one to talk to right now… I have to let my pen drip like the tears that have come down my eyes.

R.I.P. Babawale Fatona; the brother I never got to know. The one I never got to speak with. You live in my memory; and in there, the light of your smile can never go dim.

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About The Capoeira Panda

Panda makes his home in the world of words and metaphors. In the hopes to be more than just a confused blogger, he currently works as the editor for an ecommerce company that was good enough to hire him, and lives with his flat mates & two imaginary dogs who get along just fine. He enjoys reading good books, writing, relaxing with his friends, & poking fun at his mother over the phone. When he's not doing any of these, he sometimes sits back and wonders why anyone expects to learn anything useful about him by reading this bio. View all posts by The Capoeira Panda

9 responses to “Death & All His Friends

  • okem_daniels

    God needed him more..sori bro

  • Nenny

    I knew Tomi. We were good friends. I saw him 2 days before he shot himself. It still hurts up till now. Yemi you will be fine. Those we have lost are in a better place.

  • Nugwa

    Can’t say much, but i’ll say this… from experience… death hurts less when we view it not as an end but as a phase shift… they continue on elsewhere… condolences bro…

  • griffinthinks

    My condolences… Death is never an easy customer, but he comes to collect whether we like it or not. Loosing someone isn’t an easy thing to go through (i know i sound cliche), death robs us of moments we could have shared with our loved ones or people we admire, or aspire to be like.. Death sometimes hinders us from making peace with our enemies but like i said earlier, death surely comes to collect in what ever form.
    You’ve lost a cousin and i understand you lost a friend but you have their memories. There might never be words strong enough to console or strengthen you as you grieve (that process is down to you) but experience has thought me that as one light dies, another one lights up. Celebrate the memories of your cousin, find out what made him tick, let his life inspire you, don’t dwell on the loss. Dwell on what he left behind, become closer to his family, be a son to his mother and father, a brother to the siblings he left behind. That way, you might have brought a new light into the lives of those he left behind.

    You have that chance.

    Once again, My condolences bro.

  • highlandblue

    Panda….. My fingers move heavily over the keyboard as I type this comment. Actually, I am grateful for times like this because they remind us of the things that actually matter: Friends and family. Its also a good thing you and we can learn this while we are young. So we don’t rush through life and end up regretting all the people we rushed by on the way. Dead to us, though seemingly alive. Take heart.

  • @bule_jr

    i knew tomi as well, was in my church. ive gone for 6 burials this year, when in the previous 22years of my life i had only gonefor 3. its tough, its life but we have to fight on. panda it is well. cheer up son.

  • tinymadamie

    2 think I ws talkin abt dis wit frnds 2day, havn sm1 die nd nt gettin dt chance 2 do dat one thng u had in mind… Definitely painful… Nd d what-ifs dat come with it 2… But truth is, regrets won’t chng thngs, its best we accept and move on and remember d good times. Nd sori abt ur cousin… (Hugs)

  • Jaycee (E.A)

    I feel your pain, it oozes out of your post. May all of us learn that there’s more to life. And may God’s strength be bigger than our strength, enough to hold us in times like this.

  • kitkat

    Aww sorry! it’s a sad sad world but we have to move on with it.

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