Laments Of The Very Old

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.


24 thoughts on “Laments Of The Very Old

    1. Thank you, Betul. It’s likely that once we become lethargic due to very old age and at the mercy of others to do everything for us, it’s difficult to take especially when someone had enjoyed a very active life.

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  1. Great read,
    1- Glad you had to chance to experience such interaction. I would love to meet a person in that stage of their life; oh the wisdom and advices must have been overflowing.
    2- This scenario reinforced my theory about life and death. They’re are one in the same. Two aspects of a cyclical phenomenon.

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  2. Smiles. The irony of life. A man strongly desires what another despise. I can only imagine the woman’s state. While we all pray for length of days and good health to go with it, we don’t desire to overstay our welcome. But then, every moment of our lives is worth celebrating.

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    1. 😀”We dont desire to overstay our welcome” – definitely. Over 100 is problematic both health wise and physically. No wonder the Bible says that if you live to 70, you should thank God. This reminds me of the testimony of an old man who prayed for long life at 95. That was 10 years ago. People were laughing at him. Everyone said, has he not lived enough, he should be thanking God he lived to see 95years and not ask for more. God granted his request and he is still alive, but that’s just by the way.

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