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Wednesday, October 11, 2017

The Deeds of the Dead, the Priest and the Gravedigger

Written by: Muoka Chibuzor


The Dead is gone; the living must learn from it, for what a man sows, he surely reaps. In a twinkle, in a flash, the breath of life is gone. Gone so far away, a lifeless body is left helplessly on the earth. The Iroko has fallen and everyone is on the run… The axe that felled the tree is a respecter of no man, and worms have arisen for a feast.

Cries and agony pierce the air, fears and tension push the living to the ground. But what will the dead do? His nerves are permanently numb and his eyes are closed. He neither sees nor hears the cries of the people, he has been sealed off from the gates of the living. He is alone in a world so cold and he cannot say what time it is in the timeless realm of the dead.

The suffering and tolling of life have ended. Several questions unbox themselves, demanding an immediate answer; “How well did he live his life?” Did he lift people from grass to grace? Or from grace to grass? Was he an oppressor and suppressor of the innocent? How well did he associate with God? Was he the champ of evil? How many people did he better their lives?

The deeds of a man speak when he can’t speak, while he stands like a motionless tree, his deeds judge him even in the land of the dead. His deeds determine whether his soul will rest in peace, for neither the prayers of the priest, the commitment of the gravediggers, the beauty of the casket, nor the cries of the people will rest his soul in peace. None of the living can attest to what becomes of the dead, but the deeds of the dead only can attest for the dead.

There is no peace,” says the Lord, “for the wicked.” – Isaiah 48:22

The priests and gravediggers visit his home on the appointed day. The priest prays “Dear Lord may his soul rest in peace.”  The gravediggers insist “his grave must be dug at least six feet deep.” The living still carrying on with their respective occupations, but the dead has no occupation as he becomes an occupant of a crafted casket that will wither with time. After the burial rites, life goes on, and the living adjusts to fill-up the vacuums left empty by the dead.

Still, people do not learn. They still fight and conspire against one another, they struggle and kill for vanities, do all sorts of atrocious acts and pretend to be holy. They do not think about their life, nor do they consider what the deeds of the dead means? Maybe they should visit the priest and the gravedigger, for gross enlightenment on the deeds of the dead, before ganging up to partake in evil. If they are truthful, they will tell them that they are the accountants of their life.

Reflecting back on the words of the late Mr Dele Giwa a renowned Nigerian Journalist who was killed by a mail bomb in his Lagos home on 19 October 1986. He said and I quote: “No evil deed can go unpunished. Any evil done by man to man will be redressed, if not now, then certainly later. If not by man, then certainly by God, for the victory of evil over good can only be temporary.


No one can run away from their deeds, even the priest and the gravediggers will not escape. The only remedy is to live a life full of good deeds.



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