FEATURE ARTICLE

Friday, July 24, 2020

FORWADED BY: DR MOSHOOD ADEMOLA FAYEMIWO

FELIX OKECHUKWU ONUKWUGHA; AN ICON OF LOVE AND COMPASSION

Late Felix Onukwugha

he demise of my brother Felix on that fateful day known as ash Wednesday was shocking and devastating. On that day, a part of me died. Bro Felly, you came into the world, you saw and you conquered the world with love, selflessness and transparency. Your death is a reminder to us about the brevity of human existence. On that ash Wednesday that you died, the lyrics of Jim Reeves song, which asserts that "this world is not my home" came to life in my heart and the litany of lives you touched during your earthly sojourn. For you and the rest of humanity, this world is not our home and will never be our home. We are just passing through. Our treasures are laid up somewhere beyond the blue. Bro Felly, the angels beckoned you from heaven's open door, and you ceased to feel at home in this world. You felt threatened by the wickedness of the world and its inhabitants. Your death is a big point of reference to the reality of death and dying.

The reason for the brief life of a living saint like you has continued to be a mystery to the thinking thoughts. In all of these, the perennial question remains, who are we to question God in all He does. Our solace lies in the honorable and prestigious life that you led on this earth. Bro Felly, you died a holy death. We may not understand but God knows why. Your transition falls within the permissive will of God. Now we see in part. Now we see but a poor reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part, then I shall know fully even as I am fully known. (1 Corinthians 13:12). It is our hope that we shall meet someday in heaven. Your selfless and humane life is worthy of celebration. The evil or good life we lead here on earth go with us both here and hereafter. In line with the thoughts of Henry W. Longfellow, lives of great men like my brother Felix, never cease to remind us that we can make our lives sublime. We can make our lives noble that while we depart, we leave behind us footprints on the sand of time. Footprints, that perhaps another, sailing o'er life's solemn main, a forlorn and shipwrecked brother, Seeing, shall take heart again. The lives of all the people you touched are existential, permanent testimonials and visa that has taken you to heaven. Your family, friends, colleagues and admirers are consoled in your memorable short life.

In your brief life, you took care of people that needed help at different times in their life journey. You were magnanimous and joyful in your service to humanity. All those that encountered you could testify to your virtues of joy, peace, selflessness and love. In the line of thought of Jim Reeves, I can proudly say that I have a loving brother, just over in glory land. Your celebratory life and your brief but highly productive life is a source of joy to me and all lovers of good. Your life is worthy of emulation for all lovers of truth and integrity. You made an honest effort to positively touch the lives of people that had different values, faith, culture and beliefs. Your legacy of love and selflessness is both a motivation and an inspiration to humanity that the world is a passing reality, and as such, we must live it sooner or later. No wonder a German philosopher, Martin Heidegger described man as a being unto death.

While it is appropriate to mourn the passing of an angelic soul like you, it is imperative to celebrate the great and honorable life you led. You were the greatest, the most honorable as well as the most accomplished child of late Sir Sylvester and Lady Edith Onukwugha. Bro Felly, you left a flawless and exuberant legacy behind. Your legacy will continue to be an ethical standard which we use in cruising through the oblivion and gloomy shadow of this world. I am very privileged and humbled by the knowledge that I shared the common-ness of life with you. All the assistance you rendered to many people at different times in their life journey are pronounced. They will never be forgotten by grateful hearts and those acts of love will remain indelible. I and my siblings are products of your selflessness. You gave us the wings to fly by bringing all of us to the United States of America. I am eternally grateful to you, bro Okechukwu.

Bro Felly, you arrived this odd world with a determination to touch lives positively. You came to this odd world, and your fleeting vivacious life still shines in the hearts of many people. You knew the vanity of human existence and exploited it. You succeeded in turning its nullity into a purpose driven life to all that came your way. The goodness of life is not determined by its length, but how much positive impact one succeeded in making in the lives of others. Your life is a reflection of how life ought to be. For in the words of Abraham Lincoln, "In the end, it's not the years in your life that count. It's the life in your years." Though you are no longer with us physically, you shall remain forever in our hearts. O Lord, you know that your son Felix has no father but you. If heaven is not his home, then there is no other home for him. For in your abode Lord, he will live eternally.

My brother Felix is not dead but alive. He has transitioned from the land of the dying to the land of the living. O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory? The sting of death is sin and the strength of sin is the law. But thanks be to God which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. (1 Corinthians 15:55-57). Bro Felly is in the other room waiting for me, nay, us. You are always near though I don't see you. You are with me even though you seem to be far away. You are continually in my thoughts, in my heart and in my life. Good night legend and lover of souls. Good night bro Oke Chukwu. Remain in the bosom of the Lord till we meet to part no more in heaven.

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