As young as I am, I have lost count of the number of functions I have attended (funerals and weddings combined). It is not because I fancy social functions, but because of the innumerable and immeasurable lessons I learn whenever I attend one.

So, it was the funeral of a friend’s dad this time around, and I must say that it wasn’t an ordinary funeral (a typical Ghanaian will understand). He was an astute businessman before his retirement and death and so the funeral was graced by ‘big men and women’ from all walks of life.

For a stranger like myself and others present, just for the cars parked around alone, we did not need a rocket scientist to tell us that it was the burial service of a great man. His biography and tributes from the family, coupled with a seemingly expensive casket, were the icing on the cake. I felt proud for my friend’s dad until I observed this strange phenomenon.

My inquisitiveness had drawn me closer to a relative who couldn’t control himself of the supposed loss as he kept yelling out the name of the man with other strange proclamations. It was quite surprising not because he was a male, but because it was just unusual. How I got to calm him down, only God knows but that was met with something that made me shed tears( I don’t easily shed tears).

He said “boss, for all that my uncle did for this family, could you believe that before his death he became sick and none of these hypocritical family members came to help? Claiming they’re cash strapped and so the wife had to spend till her last penny yet, the husband couldn’t survive it”. What struck me more was when he whispered in a trembling voice into my ears that the family had to sell the last property of the man just to put up such an extravagant burial service.

Many thoughts started running through my mind as I couldn’t fathom why some human beings could be so heartless and emotionless against their fellow humans. Why should we always wait till someone dies before we show we love him/her? Of what relevance is it going to be while he/she lies helpless in the casket?

Are we saying that those people do not deserve the love we show them when they die while they’re still alive? I write with great passion because this is a phenomenon that has kept me thinking for quite a while now. I always burst into tears when I hear such inhumane acts.

As my father once said while preaching, ” show me love while I’m still alive, and not when I’m dead, for in death I can’t see and feel your love ” and it made sense. Many are those who are going to be buried tomorrow, and so the question comes, are there not some who are victims of such untoward practices?

Hmmm, I’m admonishing us all today to show love to the living and not the dead. Let’s make them feel the love we so profess with our mouths for while they’re dead, it becomes irrelevant! May the Lord help us to have a change of attitude. I zip my mouth!


Paa Kwesi Mensah

Paa Kwesi Mensah is a product of the University of Cape Coast where he read Psychology.

His love for humanity and an intrinsic desire to impact positively on his generation were what led him into writing.
He's popularly known as "Moshoosho de Counsellor".


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