They hold and feed me like a neonate.

They carry me about as though I’ve got no legs.

I can neither see nor cavort with my great-great-great-grandchildren.

My age-mates long gone keep calling me home.

I would happily join them but do not know how.

Yet, my bones quake within me, my strength is gone.

Why, life, do you persist? Why, oh death, do you flee?

Come to me! Snatch me away! Take me to rest.

© Florence Ezekafor

12year ago, I went with my cousin to visit the oldest woman in our community.

She was 120 years old at the time.

Except for her sedentary life, a bit of memory loss and failing eyesight, she had good physical health, hearing and speech. She hardly got sick.

When we entered her house she was crying bitterly . It was a kind of lamentation in a bitter sing-song manner.

She said death had been so unfair to her and had refused to reach out for her. She sang her words and we listened with teary eyes.

Yes, we felt her pain when no amount of consolation from us could calm her. We told her that old age was a gift from God and that we wished to live as long as her. She said we shouldn’t dream for that. She said her state was a horrible one, that she saw her dead friends around.

It’s the irony of life.

While some spend millions to save their lives, some beg for death to come take them away as in the case of the old woman.

She died at over 125 years. It was a celebration of life and when I heard she had died, I was happy for her.

At last death granted her request and I guess she wore a smiley 🙂face in death.