Eulogy for the Living!

She was a vibrant and vociferous bundle of life, quick to both anger and laughter. Each was done with an extra gusto, as if in competition with an invisible rival. She worked as the 'front office manager' at our local bank, and I can still picture clearly the day I walked into the bank and tried unsuccessfully to sneak past her corner. I was in a bit of a hurry and there's nothing like a quick 'hi' with her, it was a futile attempt. She was as sharp eyed as an eagle, and picked me out before I could make a beeline halfway to the door. "Kaniiiiiii" she screeched, causing me unending embarrassment and fetching her a disapproving look from her H.O.D., not that she cared, After I was apprehended, she kept me sitting at her desk for as much time as she could get away with, giving me an unsolicited earful of "latest gist" as she termed her version of gossip sprinkled with encouragement and interrogation. At the end of my ordeal, she succeeded in extracting information from me (under duress of course), but a healthy dose of laughter too. I always left her table amply entertained, there was always major drama with her.

One morning as I came in to do my transactions, I noticed her table was empty. On enquiry I learnt she was unwell. Making a mental note to go and see her in the hospital, I went about my daily business. Typical of me back then, I forgot to go see her and the next morning on my way to work, I got a phone call that vivacious young lady had passed on. She was 27years old.

I lost a friend that day, died so to speak at the peak of life. Good job, just got a good house, single and very willing to mingle. Life was just beginning. 'Gone too soon', that was the caption of the obituary materials and I could not agree more. Everyone was devastated, desperately trying to find answers or make sense of the loss. Some people out rightly accused God of being wicked "how can He take away such a bright light". The apologetics defended God ardently, accusing the devil of the criminal act (murderous thief), while a third batch suffered under the philosophical burden of understanding how God could stand aside an watch the devil kill their sister and friend.

Surprisingly, I was not in the heat of this debate. Maybe I was still in shock, (it was the first time I lost someone close who was not family) or was it the revelation I just got, a startling realization that shone in my eyes like the blazing sun. It was not a discuss about who was at fault or responsible for the ordeal, it was the realization that we have an amazing gift that stands mostly ignored and it is called 'LIFE'

I ask myself what we consider to be a good life, what do we live for? And I come up with two irritating questions. We all struggle, ardently grappling for a better life, a future satisfaction we all believe is out there beckoning us to come and enjoy, full of joy, not stress or struggle. . I search the lives of those gone by, and I wonder at how little a number ever got to a life of complete satisfaction. I agree with the concept of delayed gratification. I advocate the principle of working hard today for a better tomorrow. What I don't agree with though is the foolishness of sacrificing a precious today for an uncertain tomorrow. All we have is today; all that is guaranteed is today. Remember 'today is the tomorrow you planed for yesterday'.

We will all die, if we have the privilege of death, without ever achieving tomorrow, for the day we die will be a today, and there will be a tomorrow we had planned for that we will not see.' With long life…' What does it mean then to live a full life? As I pondered on the death of my friend, it dawned on me that the length of one's days does not determine how long he lives. Or more philosophically, did a person who died at a hundred years old, necessarily live for a hundred years?(confused yet?). To live for a hundred years means you lived every single day for a hundred years. Now the question is how many days of our lives do we live and how many do we just exist? Because I believe that someone can be alive for a hundred years, but live only a few years.

The success of a hundred years lies in the success of each single day, the failure of a hundred years lies in the failure of each single day. Living is done by those who realize that life is lived a day at a time. So they attack each day with a ferocious gusto that leaves nothing on the plate. Those who make the best of the day, who laugh all they can, cry all they can, work all they can, play all they can, not for yesterday that is dead and buried, nor for tomorrow that is yet unborn, but for the length of time that the sun rises, until it rises again, the cycle of life. Life is too short to postpone till tomorrow what I can do today. Life is too sweet to dilute it with the bitter waters of bitterness and hatred, life is too precious for me to allow one second of today pass without squeezing out of it every ounce of potential it has. 

My assignment, our assignment is to discover how to live to the degree that we leave all on the field, so that any day the whistle is blown on us, life will find us empty. As for my friend, I took heart, for though she may have died young, she lived life, and she lived it at full crush.

Join me on daily boosters as we learn to live life all the way and with everything we've got.

"Image courtesy of Simon Howden /".

Kanayo Aniegboka

Kani is a writer, entrepreneur, blogger, public speaker and an all-round knowledge junkie who likes to view life from different angles.


  1. Kani, this struck a cord with me. I received news today also, of the death a friend who I'd worked for some years. I spoke to him a little less than a week ago, expecting to speak with him again today. Only to learn that he died yesterday. It hit me then, that I have only this moment in time. The future is not mine till I get there. I will no longer allow this moment that I have to pass without squeezing out from it every ounce of potential it has.

  2. I'm so sorry to hear about your loss, only God can really comfort us in our times of hurt. As much as we will mourn the dead, because the loss is painful, we owe ourselves the responsibility to live to the full, this is the greatest gratitude we can show for the life we have. It is irresponsible, don't you think, to waste something as precious as life, i'm sure those whose lives have been cut short will wonder at our blatant disregard of this great gift. Thank you for sharing with us.