SUNSET AT DAWN!!!
Eulogy For a Fallen Hero
By Stanley Uchegbu
Death is sad enough when anticipated, but even worse when unexpected and the hardest part of an unexpected death is not having the opportunity to say goodbye.
Still reeling from the tragic death of our beloved brother and classmate Damian Ezeokobe (Banny), am shocked to the marrow, flabbergasted, scared and angered at the unfairness and senselessness that took him away from us.
I seek to make sense of this, to understand the reason why this happened. What plan could this have been a part of, what possible meaning or lesson can be gleaned from this?
Well meaning people will tell us that it is all part of God’s plan, or that this was just his time to go, that he is in a better place. But I cry out that while God certainly knows his plan, I do not. Damian may indeed be in a better place now, but we still want him to be with us here.
Unfortunately, there are no easy answers, and as difficult and painful as it is, we must accept that he is no more. As a family, as friends, and old boys, I express my sadness, I acknowledge our loss, acknowledge the great importance of Damina’s life, and the loss to us all that his passing brings.
No, there are no easy answers, but there are other questions, very important questions that can be answered by looking at his life. And though we must face bravely the fact of his death, I owe it to him and to ourselves to look at the bigger picture of his life.
I have so many fond memories of him that will help me in my grief.
Banny was a big guy. He knew something about everything and a lot about a lot of things. You couldn’t help but respect him. He was a self made man who’d risen to a very impressive level in life in all ways in the mere 29 years he had with us.
But the thing I most remember about Banny, personally, is his sense of humor. How he’d get you with a non sequitor, some nonsensical statement spoken with absolute seriousness, and then while your brain was reeling trying to figure out what in the world he just meant… you’d see that little grin on his face… and hear him chuckle, and you knew he had you. And whenever I think about Damian, it will be with that little grin and chuckle.
Damian also did have a spiritual side. In one of our discussions, he told me he did believe in God and life after death. Of course now, obviously, whatever doubts or questions he had have been answered. He knows that which the rest of us struggle with.
Damian was blessed with wealth. And this blessing still lives on in his family. And I think he knew it. And he made the most of those day those gifts he had. He had an insight to the future, as he proved in many ways by correctly analyzing events and knowing human nature, there’s no way that he could know that his years would be so limited. There was no analysis that would inform him of that.
My Last Encounter With Him!!!
I enjoyed Damian’s company so much, the brief discussion we had and a sweet fragrance emitting from him when he cast his appearance during our 10th anniversary held in 2018. He came behind the scheduled time, but he reeled out his cogent reasons why it was so. The reasons he gave was for real beyond his control, while welcoming it, he immediately tendered his unreserved apology which all of us in attendance embraced. He reaffirmed that he will be active and supportive both financially, morally and otherwise in whatever thing we are doing. He told me that personally. That was the last discussion we had. I had no premonition that it will be the last day I will see him.
I know that death is never easy to accept, but I know that when it is so unexpected it adds to the grief. I know for sure that I would have liked the opportunity to let him know how highly regarded he was in our set. I will always be sorry that I didn’t do that as much as I should have.
Candid Advice To Our Youths!!!
Please I would want to use this ample opportunity to counsel our youths wherever they are to shun things capable of undermining their future. We must do away with things that can lure us to destruction. Lets abstain from the syndrome of ‘getting-rich-quick’, rather we should pursue virtues that can make us become worthy leaders and good ambassadors of our family, state and nation at large.
Take your education, skills and talent seriously, education is the only legacy that can take one to one’s desired place in life. We can still get to where we want to be if we have the fear of God and pursue our ambition legitimately. Be prayerful. God’s time they say its the best.
To our Muslims brethren, I implore you to continue to imbibe the lessons of the Eid-el-Kabir by holding on to faith in God.
Finally, the Bible says ”Blessed are they that mourn, for they shall be comforted. “I pray that God will bless us, put an end to the untimely death of our youths and give us the strength to get through this very difficult time. Amen🙏
My thoughts and prayers will be with his family and all of us. May the peaceful soul of Damian Ezeokobe and other faithful departed find rest in the bosom of our father Abraham. Amen
In Faith & Sympathy.