Let me start by confessing that I’m lost for words as I write this post. I want so much to ask you how up there looks like, I’m curious if what people say about paradise is really true, I’m left to wonder If by any chance you are already in heaven and if you have met God. I wish heaven had visiting days or maybe phones so that I would call you and get all the answers to my unending questions. Have you met the other soldiers that left before you? I wonder if you guys are friends over there. I know you will make a lot of friends over there, you never had a hard time associating with people, and you were very sociable. Your great personality was your forte but I loved your humility the most, it was everything and more. We miss you so much.
Up until now it’s yet to sink in that you are no longer with us. I guess I’m still in denial. I’ve prayed so many times, for all these to be one bad nightmare that is just about to end, I’ve hoped that somehow I’d wake up one morning and call your phone then you would answer. I’m tempted to question death, to charge him in the court of law with the offence of murder, of stealing you away from us, I want so much to look him in the face and ask him some tough questions, I’m desperate for closure: but how could I possibly get it when death is coward enough to hide away from me. He is scared to face me and answer my questions. Then I turn to my only source of comfort. God.
How can I possibly question Him when I’m supposed to be a humble servant and accept His will upon our lives? How can I possibly challenge him to a question and answer session when It’s written that ……To him we shall return? I’m tempted so much to ask him, Why you? Then I refrain myself and ask Him for forgiveness for questioning His will. All I’m left with is prayer and hope that he gives us strength to cope without you, to go through the pain and heal. To ask Him to help us accept his will upon your life.
News of your demise came as an utter shock to us. It was a big blow to our family. You were our friend, our brother and one of Ben’s few confidants. I remember the days you would come visit us and you two would play video games. You especially loved playing Eurotruck. I know he misses you a lot. How could he not when you two were just like brothers? Your friendship was strong, you shared a lot of interests. You were a source of joy in our home, a positive energy to be around….I can’t remember a day when I saw you angry. You would always smile, even when you were going through tough times.
I never expected you to leave so soon. You were a young intelligent, healthy, hardworking, humble man. You were at the bloom of your youth. Your paths were opening up, your businesses were doing well and your young marriage was blossoming. I know you were happy, she made you happy and you did too. How could you go at such a time? You should have stayed longer, maybe until Christmas or New Year; maybe you should never have left at all. Now I’m left to wonder what life would have been with you still in our lives. Our kids would definitely be friends, I’m sure you would still check on us, make sure we are doing well, I know we would definitely share a drink or two and hang out. I’m sure you would play more video games with Ben and the motorbikes ride; Ooooh I’m sure we would enjoy more of them. All we are left with are What Ifs?
The mood at the morgue was somber to say the least. Grief, pain and sadness covered our faces with no reservation. Death had paid us a visit and grief decided to camp in our abodes. Nothing would ever be the same after today. I doubted if there was any place on earth that was experiencing so much sadness other than here. The sharp screams that pierced the vicinity when the names of the deceased were being called for their families and friends to go view the body before proceeding for burial, confirmed that reality was harsh: for all of us. I prayed to God that somehow your name would not be called and maybe, just maybe we would be told that it was a case of mistaken identity. I could not imagine where we would all get the strength to see you but not talk to you.
When your name was finally called, it was still surreal. We mastered the courage and strength to do it. To see you for one last time, to confirm our fears that you were truly no longer with us. I watched others before me break apart when they saw you. The tears that cascaded down our faces was uncontrollable. Somehow my mind could not really comprehend why we had to go through all this sadness and grief. The image of you lying there still and not smiling will torment most of us for a long time. We called out your name but you didn’t respond. We wanted so much for you to wake up and tell us that you were pulling a prank on us. We didn’t just want to have memories of you, we wanted to have you here with us.
That day, we cried, we mourned together. We shared memories of you, we consoled each other with Bible verses, with words of hope that one day we shall reunite. We had confirmed that we live on borrowed time and that we could not do anything to change our reality. Silence echoed from time to time, we were all deep in our thoughts…wondering, speculating, questioning, denying and looking for someone to blame. God had called, and you had answered. When the casket was lowered, it was as if death was mocking us, affirming to us that we were helpless, more helpless than a new born. Even our tears and prayers could not bring you back. What could we do except try to accept the reality. One thing was for sure, we loved you immensely, a love so great we would have given anything to change everything. That love will burn forever in our hearts igniting the memories of you in us. We couldn’t possibly forget about you, not in this life. For now, we say fare thee well brother: till we meet again.
Rest in perfect peace John Ranji Njoki.
1 Thessalonians 4:13-18
Brothers, we do not want you to be ignorant of those who fall asleep, or to grieve like the rest of the men, who have no hope.
We believe that Jesus died and rose again and so we believe that God will bring with Jesus those who have fallen asleep in Him.
According to the Lord’s own word, we tell you that we who are still alive, who are left till the coming of the Lord,will certainly not precede those who have fallen asleep.
For the Lord Himself will come down from heaven with a loud command, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet call of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first.
After that, we who are still alive and are left will be caught up in together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And so we will be with the Lord forever.
Therefore encourage each other with these words.