A portrait of Temple Chima Ubochi and his children taken immediately after the interment of his mother
Our death is not an end if we can live on in our children and the younger generation. For they are us, our bodies are only wilted leaves on the tree of life (Albert Einstein)
As a child, my mother suffered for me more than she suffered for any of my siblings. Mama will carry me on her back while farming, cooking, eating or when going to any where. Just as Mark Twain (1835 -1910) wrote, "My mother had a great deal of trouble with me, but I think she enjoyed it", and that must have been the reason she used to say that I am both a son and a daughter to her. (Temple Chima Ubochi)
Continued from Part 3
ama, I have never been so scared of losing something in my life, then again nothing in my life has ever meant as much to me as you do!
I haven't cried for others the way I'm crying for you; and I haven't loved anyone the way I love you. Mama, you were my inspiration, motivation, and running drive that woke me up everyday. You made me feel happy, and as I have lost you, I feel so unhappy, and in the words of Eliza Cook, (1818 -1889), who was an English author, Chartist poet and writer, "I miss thee, my Mother! Thy image is still the deepest impressed on my heart".
Today, I salute you Mama for a life of remarkable achievements; and most importantly, as our beloved mother, grandmother and an adored wife. Bidding you farewell is for me the most touching and august moment in my life; my head is bowed, and my heart is skipping beats. I feel so wretched and lonely inside me right now. But, no matter what's going on inside of me right now, I want you to know that I will always appreciate and love you as long as I live. My love for you will never die. Even as God Has called you to His glorious side today, you will ever live in my memory. Mama, I love and will continue loving you till the end of time. Mama, thanks for all you did for me and my siblings. Mama, just in the words of Sarah Malin, who is a US Design Researcher, "Your arms were always open when I needed a hug. Your heart understood when I needed a friend. Your gentle eyes were stern when I needed a lesson. Your strength and love have guided me and given me wings to fly". Mama:
I wish I could tell you, how much you mean to me....
But there are no words to say
how much I admire you...
how much I appreciate you...
how much I thank you
for everything you've done".
To add in the words of Ritu Ghatourey, an Indian, "too many times I hesitate to say what's in my heart, because I have so much to say and I don't know where to start. And even on a day like this, the best that I can do, is tell you words can't measure the love I feel for you!"
Just as Harriet Beecher Stowe (1811 -1896), who was an American abolitionist and author, wrote in "little Foxes": "The bitterest tears shed over graves are for words left unsaid and deeds left undone"; it pains me that I didn't have the time to be at your bedside, before you gave up the ghost; I didn't have the opportunity to tell you all I wanted you to take along with you; and I didn't have the chance to show you all the love I have for you, but, just as Ms. Pretty Licious added, "When I miss you, I don't have to go far...I just have to look inside my heart because that's where I'll find you."
Just as Philippians 1:21 says "to live is Christ, and to die is gain"; as a Christian, I believe that your death, no matter how painful it's, is a gain, because, just as Tim Chaffey pointed out, death is actually a type of graduation in which we leave this sin-cursed existence and enter into a glorious eternity with our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Just as 1 Thessalonians 4:13 notes, I do not mourn like those who have no hope, because I know I will see you and all my deceased relations again.
Mama, with you around me, the sun shined brighter, my days seemed so precious, my life so complete, and the feeling of my dreams was placed into the palms of my hands, because, you touched my soul with your love. When I looked at you, I saw the true meaning and beauty of love. With you I found peace, with you I found joy in my darkest hours, with you I smiled always and that was because you were the best thing that ever happened to me. I love you with everything that I am. Mama, I don't regret the amount of love I have given to you. I don't even remember how much it was. All I know is that I have loved you to the fullest with no limits, no doubt and no fear. Mama, I'm not perfect. I annoyed you sometimes, but nobody will love you as much as I do. There is not a single day that I haven't thought about You. There is not a single night that I haven't dreamt about you, and there is not a single moment in my life that I will ever stop Loving You.
As nobody teaches the sun to rise, a fish to swim, a bird to fly, a plant to grow, a child to cry... and nobody will teach me to always remember you... I will always do. I love you!
Mama, you are now secured in the vault of heaven where no sickness will ever touch you again: Mama, we may have failed you in one way or the other, but, heaven will never fail you. You never had rest on earth, but, heaven will grant you the rest that eluded you on earth. You were always struggling on earth to provide for your loved ones and friends; heaven will provide for you from now. You were always serving others; now, heaven will serve you. You were always worried about your children and your loved ones; heaven will take care of us, for you, now that you are gone. As you re-unite with our other dead family members over there, extend our heartfelt regards and tell them how dearly we missed them. Let them know that no one has taken their place in our hearts since they left us, and how we have managed to carry on keeping their memories alive. Tell them that our solace lies with the fact that we know we'll see them again as William Penn (1644 - 1718), who was an English real estate entrepreneur and philosopher, rightly noted that "they that love beyond the world cannot be separated by it. Death cannot kill what never dies".
One final request: Mama, as a saint marching on, you and our other dead family members should intercede on behalf of us, the living family members, so that God will grant us peace and wisdom in our family and in our respective lives. Most of all, that God will grant each and every one of the family members long and fruitful life - a life devoid of untimely and gruesome death.
Mama; If I'm an artist, you were my picture! If I'm a poet, you were my inspiration! If I'm a river, you were my ocean! If I'm a Doctor, you were my permanent patient! If I'm an author, you would be my story!
Mama, I hear your voice saying: "I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, and I have kept the faith. Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day: and not to me only, but unto all them also that love His appearing (2Timothy 4:7-8).
As a last respect, I implore the congregation to join me in bidding Mama Farewell to a well deserved rest in mansions of glory and endless delight in heaven so bright, with this song (led by the organist):
Ahurum Gi N'anya, Jisos Ibu Nkem (A.O. 101)
Ahurum Gi n'anya, Jisos, ibu nkem,
Ka m'rapu ih'uto nmehie, no n'akuku I,
Ezi Onye ngbapum nke m'huru n'anya
"Ugbua ka m'nahu Gi n'anya karisia".
Ihu n'anya Gi nebe m'no meturu obim,
Ikwur' ugwo ngbapum n'ugwu Kalvari,
Okp' eze nke'ogwu k'ikpuru n'ihim,
"Ugbua ka m'nahu Gi n'anya karisia".
N'onwu m' obu na ndu ka m' hu Gi n'anya,
Ubochim nile n'uwa Ka m'ganeto Gi;
Ma Ubochi onwu agamasi kwa,
"Ugbua ka m'nahu Gi n'anya karisia".
Nulo nk'ebube na onu di nelu,
Ka m'gano nasopuru Gi mgbe nile,
Mgbe m'nekpu okpu eze agamasikwa,
"Ugbua ka m'nahu Gi n'anya karisia".
To paraphrase Mother Teresa (1910 - 1997), who was a Roman Catholic Religious Sister and missionary: "Life is an opportunity, Mama, you benefited from it; Life is beauty; Mama, you admired it. Life is a dream; Mama, you realized it. Life is a challenge; Mama, you met it. Life is a duty; Mama, you completed it. Life is a game; Mama, you played it. Life is a promise; Mama, you fulfilled it. Life is sorrow; Mama, you overcame it. Life is a song; Mama, you sang it. Life is a struggle; Mama, you accepted it. Life is a tragedy; Mama, you confronted it. Life is an adventure; Mama, you dared it. Life is luck; Mama, you made it. Life is too precious; Mama, you did not destroy it. Life is life; Mama, you fought for it".
Finally: In all and all, Mama, you were one of the most amazing people I have ever met and will probably ever meet.
You spent your life caring for others;
You never put yourself before others.
You would often go out of your way to reach those who were in need.
You were also often a counsellor when the times called for it.
I love you with all my heart and will truly miss you.
Mama, your death left a heartache no one can heal, but, your love leaves a memory no one can steal.
Thank you Mother once again for your gentleness, your untiring love and your faithfulness in God.
REST IN PEACE, TILL WE MEET TO PART NO MORE!
For the entire Family
The funeral of a beloved person is one of the hardest times a family can possibly pass through. The pain is so big that it does not allow us to thank the known and unknown people who were next to us saying nice words and feeling our own sadness. On 31st January, 2013, many of you here today were also there during the burial of our father, Hon. Chief Francis Enyinna Nwokoma. I did not get a chance then to thank you for your presence. Today again, you are also here for us as we bury our mother, Ezinne Lolo Charity Ubochi. This offers me a rare opportunity, no matter the pains in my heart, to express my double gratitude to all who were here for us during our fathers burial in 2013 and those here today for our mother's burial. Your presence meant so much. Thank you so much for attending our mother's funeral today. Your presence means so much to us and will help us enormously during this most difficult time. Truly, the company of friends is incredibly comforting. During these difficult times, I appreciate your kindness, love and support and for being involved in the funeral of our departed loved ones.
To those who sent us sympathy notes during our father's funeral such as the Government of Aba South LGA, H.R.H. (BARR.) I.I. Nnakwu of Etiti Ohazu Autonomous Community, Hon. Okezie Clement Erondu, Senator Enyinna Abaribe, Hon. Barr. Uzo Azubike, Hon. Simon Emeh, Hon. Nwogu Iheasimuo, Dr. Godwin C. Duru, Customary Court of Aba Na Ohazu, Igwebuike Ward 7 of PDP, Umudike Kindred Meeting, All Ngwa cultural Organization, Good leaders Association of Nigeria, Catechists and Church teachers Association of Anglican Church of Aba Diocese, Ohanze Isiahia Archdeaconry Staff of Anglican Diocese of Aba, St. Michael's Anglican Church Parish, St. Matthew's station of St. Peter's Anglican Church, St Andrew's Anglican Church Umuokpo, Chief Maraizu Ogumka and many others we can't mention here due to lack of space: We really appreciated your kind and thoughtful words. Your kind words helped sustain us in the difficult time. They also showed that Hon. Chief Nwokoma touched so many lives when he was alive.
For those who wrote a sympathy note for us now for our mother, Ezinne Lolo Charity Ubochi: Thank you for your sympathy and support during our time of loss. Your kind words are of great comfort to us and will also be a source of strength for my family as we grieve our dear mother's death. Thank you for your thoughtfulness and kind gesture of sympathy. Thank you for sharing your memories of my mother. I miss her dearly, but your wonderful memories of her, and your kind words, will help lift our spirits by reminding us that she really did live a long and happy life.
To Mrs. Mercy Nwanbueze Nwamadi nee Chinyere Ogii: You have been a rock for my family during this time of loss. I know that Mama treasured you, and that the two of you shared much love and respect. Your presence and willingness to help with anything needed has been a great comfort to us. Please know that we are deeply grateful for your kind devotion.
To the Greater Ubochi Family: Your kindness and sympathy at these times are more appreciated than any words can ever express. We have been through so much together over the years. Your respective contributions in any way helped us a lot. I really don't think we could have gotten this far if it wasn't for your support.
To Umudike Family: I don't know what I would have done without you during these difficult times. Thank you so much for all the help and support you gave us in both funerals. Words cannot express our gratitude. Special Thanks here for Ogumka Eze Ogumka, Osondu Ogbonna Nwokoma, Eberechi Ogbonna Nwokoma, Solomon Kanu and all the Umudike women.
To the Clergy: Thanks for your guidance in laying our father, Hon. Chief Nwokoma, to rest on Thursday Jan 31st 2013. Your words and manner were comforting to all of us. Most of all, we were deeply touched by the funeral message the Bishop of Aba Diocese, Rt. Rev. Christian Chiodoadighi Ugwuzor, and the Archdeacon of St. Peter's Anglican Church Umuagbaghi Aba, Ven. Nzechinyere Ebi, delivered for Hon. Chief Nwokoma. Thank you for honouring him and capturing his spirit with such heartfelt words. You helped us through the most difficult day in all our lives with your thoughtful words commemorating his life.
For all the clergy here today: We thank Ven. Ebi for his understanding in giving us enough time to sort ourselves out. Thank you so much for your support during this difficult time.
We thank the clergy here today for being part of this service and for the comforting counsel we will hear. Please accept the heartfelt thanks from all our family for helping us say good-bye to our mother. There aren't enough words I can use to thank you all for everything you had done and will be doing for us on this very special day. My dear mother would be so proud of you all. No doubt, the funeral service you will perform will give comfort and inspiration to everyone present.
To Hon. Chief Nwokoma's Burial Planning committee led by Hon. Chief Sunny Onyembi, supported by Chief Maraizu Ogumka, Prince Okechukwu Ohiara, Hon. Chief Blessing Ogbonna and others : May I say once again how beautifully you organized his farewell. I couldn't have hoped for anything more. You touched many hearts that day including mine. Please know that you made a difference.
Thanks to those who sent letter of sympathy or support from abroad such as Chuck Odili, the publisher@nigeriaworld; Ifeanyi Oguejiofor (U.S.), Richard Chima of New Jersey, USA; Lawrence Agha (France); Ibeawuchi Vincent Aja (Curacao, The Caribbean); members of Nigeria Igbo Congress, Bonn, Germany; members of Oha Ngwa Germany; Nonye Obasi, Dr. Ben. Onoh; Joseph Kelly Emeka and many others I can't mention here because of space. I appreciate!
THE THANX IS ALL YOURS!!!
(THIS WAS AN EULOGY WRITTEN, A SMALL PART OF WHICH WAS READ OUT, BY TEMPLE CHIMA UBOCHI DURING THE BURIAL CEREMONY OF HIS MOTHER, LATE EZINNE LOLO CHARITY OCHEZE UBOCHI, ON THURSDAY 10TH JULY 2014 IN ABA NIGERIA)
Continued from Part 3