Thursday, January 17, 2013

Futility

Move him into the sun—
Gently its touch awoke him once,
At home, whispering of fields unsown.
Always it awoke him, even in France,
Until this morning and this snow.
If anything might rouse him now
The kind old sun will know. Futility. Wilfred Owen


"In "Futility", Wilfred Owen describes the grievances of losing a companion as well as the worthlessness of war. He provides a sorrowful and desperate tone throughout the poem, which takes place within the battlefields of France during World War I. The speaker is unidentified but is believed to be one of the soldiers mourning over the lifeless body of their associate" http://allpoetry.com/poem/8456361-Futility-by-Wilfred_Owen

What is it about the death of a loved one that makes us cry, angry, sad and hurt? Is it the fact that they are gone, or the circumstances surrounding their death? Is it the thought that we may never see them again? "May" in the sense that we know not if they ended up in Heaven, purgatory or hell, a reflection of the uncertainty of where we ourselves will end up. Was it the unresolved issues between us? The feeling that the bread winner/only living relative/closest relative is gone? Is it the thought that it could have been any one of us that makes us weep? What exactly is it that saddens us and in most cases drive us to curse the heavens and turn from God? Is it simply the fact that after all the praying, fasting and meditations, they still died? Or is it the ache and emptiness lying deep in our hearts, the heaviness weighing on our chest and the feeling that we are about to go into deep depression?

Who will console you? Your siblings who are sharing the same grief with you? Your partner who wants to be there for you but doesn't know how? Your friends who will say "I understand" what you're going through even though they've never lost a loved one. Or the countless messages on facebook, twitter, gmail etc with acquaintances asking you how that loved one died, telling you to call them, asking if you're okay and do you need someone to talk to? How many of them understand what you're going through? How many have walked this same path, have been in these same shoes? Better still, how many have lost a loved one that they actually 'loved'?

Life sucks. Broken promises. Vows of growing up together and raising kids to your old age, snuffed out just like that. One fucking idiot decides he needs money, probably for some crack,weed or impress some girl, and shoots a doctor in the head in traffic. Another fool rapes a young girl and feels that its not enough pain for her, he stabs her to death, not giving a fuck. Not caring that there are people who would miss her. People who rely on her. A nurse, desperate to meet up with her lover negligently turns off the oxygen of a cancer patient, on life support because his body was too frail for the Chemo treatments, and leaves him to die. A drunk trailer driver who's speeding as it rains heavily on the expressway tries to avoid a ditch at the last minute and loses control of his freaking truck. The container falls over and lands on a bus being driven by a pregnant woman expecting her first child after 8 years of marriage. She's still alive, but no one to rescue her. Who's gonna pull off a 40foot container? With what? In this Nigeria? They watch and hear her screams of help and pain for hours, helpless to do anything, even as both cars catch fire and she's burnt to death. Yes, these are true stories and it could have been anyone.

What do you say to their families? How do you begin to understand the depravity of your fellow man? Isn't being there for them all that matters? Just your presence? No questions as to how they died? But how do you do that? With all your education and PHD's, how do you console a friend who has lost a loved one. It takes patience, cos there are times you wanna say stuff like "Well, fuck off. You aint the first to lose a loved one and you won't be the last". Other times our human nature kicks in and you're curious as to how they died. What does it matter in the end though, I ask? What would that piece of information do for you? Losing your loved one does not necessarily mean you know what the next person is going through. We all grieve and handle pain differently. It simply means you have an idea and understand the situation they're in.

Its all futility isn't it? I mean, we're born and told that the world is ours. Go out and conquer they say. The sky is your limit they keep repeating. So armed with that knowledge, we go into the world and try to do our best. We make money, we get married, we have kids and one stupid thing happens and just like that death. All that hard work, all that suffering, all those followers on twitter... gone just like that. Whilst the rest of us are left behind to pick up the pieces. Some worse than the others when things like the secret life of the dead person start to manifest. I listen to Didos 'See the Sun Again'. She sings "You can wear anything as long as it's not black. Please don't mourn forever. They're not coming back. And you probably don't want to hear tomorrow's another day. Well I promise you you'll see the sun again. And you're asking me why pain's the only way to happiness. And I promise you you'll see the sun again. Do you remember telling me you found the sweetest thing of all. You said one day of this was worth dying for. So be thankful you knew her at all. But it's no more"
 
Peace and love to everyone who is hurting. May your departed find peace with God. xxx

4 comments:

Anonymous said...

That's the Realm of life best understood by you

Ari said...

Maddy Hayes of life. Yet another fantastic piece from u! I woke up this morning and saw a picture of the late Dr. Irawo on a friends dp, it got me thinking about all sorts and I must say you've said it all. It's almost as if me and u discussed this. Life is so short and sadly, it seems as if the good ones always go first. This made me remember when I lost my father. For some reason, the one thing I didn't want to hear was "sorry". If you've ever lost a loved one, I'm sure you'll understand what I'm saying. They say time heals all wounds but when it comes to death, I'm not so sure if it's true cos I lost my Dad over 3years ago and I still haven't gotten over it. Everytime I walk into my Parents house, it's almost as if he's hiding and he's going to come out of the room in a second but we all know he ain't. I miss him dearly and my heart goes out to everyone who has ever lost a loved one, only God can truly comfort us.

Dante said...

Often, when I go to commiserate with a friend who has lost a loved one...I find it hard to say stuff. At moments like that, I realize that words are not powerful as we think they are. Such succint phrases as " he is in a better place", "she lived a good life" do nothing to ail the hurt of the person. So most times I hold their hands and keep quiet..hoping my silence can speak for me in the most powerfully way ever. Hoping words, never heard before, words tailor made for that particular situation, will leap out of my eyes and soothe their aching hearts.
I feel like nobody will ever know the bonds between the departed and mourner. So sometimes, "sorry" will seem so insufficient.

I am yet to lose anyone in my immediate family. And my granpa just died in December 2012 at 110 yrs so I cant claim to know how it feels to lose someone so early like they have been ripped from us.
So I have decided to show love to everyone, everyday like its our last...hoping that when they do go ...the memories of time spent together will somehow help with the healing..cos increasingly and daily, I am being reminded how life is so short and can burn out like a candle.
Thanks for this M, it spoke to me.

'Lara said...

Losing someone is hard to bear, sometimes one gets angry with God when the person is young...young or old we are never prepared for the death of a loved one.