Friday, November 30, 2007

Of Death and Hope

Out, out, brief candle!
Life's but a walking shadow, a poor player
That struts and frets his hour upon the stage
And then is heard no more. It is a tale
Told by an idiot, full of sound and fury,
Signifying nothing.
William Shakespeare, Macbeth

Nothing in the world really prepares one for the sudden loss of a close friend. It was heart breaking news for us in the office last week when we learnt about the sudden passing of our friend and colleague, Edem Edward Cudjoe. It was a rude shock when the news broke in the office on Wednesday, 8th August. He was just twenty six years old.

Edem was with us in the office on Monday and we all mostly had a great time. He was studying at one of the IT schools in town and was working with us as an intern in our graphics department. He was one very hard working lad who always had the eagerness to learn new things.

Edem’s passing has brought home the sad reality of the fickleness of human life. He had not reported to the office on Tuesday citing stomach trouble. We, well I personally, felt it was just one of those days when a worker reported ill because he needed some extra rest. It was even said that he had been up and doing on Wednesday morning before suddenly giving up the ghost as he prepared to come to the office. It is sad how such an agile young man would just pass away with all the great potentials imbued in him.

I still can’t make sense of it. Words are not enough to describe how I feel at this moment. I remember the last time I saw him on Monday when he was about leaving for the day, he had asked for my pages to lay but I had told him that I was yet to finish. He had enthusiastically replied that he would be expecting them the next day so as to plan the pages. I didn’t know it was going to be the last time we would ever talk to one another. Because he never returned!

Rumuors would filter into the office on Wednesday morning claiming Edem had died. But it was hard to confirm because we called his number and nobody would pick it. I even sent him a text message asking him to drag his behind to the office as we had work to do. It was all jokingly couched thinking that he was playing pranks. But who would play pranks about dying?

We should have known then that there was something amiss. For when someone finally answered his ringing mobile phone, it was confirmed that he had actually passed on. It was said that he had not suffered any pains on the morning of Wednesday. His family said he was as fit as a fiddle and had not complained of the previous day’s pains. It was greater shock to them because they saw him hail and hearty that morning.

The young Edem Cudjoe I knew loved life. He was so much in love with hip hop music that one could instantly feel the vibe around him. He always wore t-shirts and baggie trousers, the epitome of any hip hop aficionado. He was so full of life that anyone who came around him picked up on it.

Well, life is a journey which we make alone. After one is born, we instantly begin our journey over life’s uneven terrain. Sometimes we fall, and then we rise. As long as there is breath in our nostrils we can move on and try again. But all ceases when there is no more breath. By then we face our creator for that final music.

Life is such a beauty even with all its troubles. How many people have tried the dying option just because things are tough? The majority of us always hope for better things at the end of the dark tunnel. It’s because of the way we have been made. Our anatomy is such that hope is the greatest characteristic of the human race. To give up hope is to be a living dead. For we who are still alive have hope of a greater future. But we need to make up our minds to live a life worthy of our stay on earth.

My heart felt condolences go to the Cudjoe family. We share in their great loss. Young men are not meant to die. They are the hope of our nation. But as Edem leaves us to become a part of the Ancestry, I hope he has on his cloth end a coin to pay Kutsiami the benevolent ferryman as he makes his way home.

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