…And Life Goes On.


On April 7, 2011, exactly a week today, I lost a dear friend of mine.

After years of packing up my biggest addiction of all time – writing, he had been one of the few that had strongly encouraged me to continue with it. We had been classmates from Secondary school and had reconnected some years later as adults. He was in his mid-thirties and had just recently bagged his Ph.D. Apart from him being a good man, he was a father to a cute two year old …and a husband to a precious woman. What made his death painful was that his demise had come suddenly, and as it is with unexpected fatalities where you don’t get to say goodbye, it was extremely tragic, not only to his family but also to all friends who knew him while he was alive.

His passing away made me do something that I hadn’t done in a long time. A few days after his death, I took a good look at the mirror, and stared hard, pausing to reflect on the brevity of life. As I stood there questioning God, mad and frustrated about the unfairness of my friend’s passing, it came to me that none of us are meant, nor built to live in this world forever. Tomorrow is not promised to anyone. What we have is this moment, and it is so important to make use of every opportunity given to us simply because we are not sure that there will ever be another one like it. In the words of that ancient sage who once said, “Vanity is vanity, all is vanity,” I comprehended right then that there was nothing corny about the wisdom of living life in such a way that we pursued our dreams and our hopes…not just so that people will say “Oh, look at how successful that person is,”. Rather, in such a way that we can call ourselves Happy…happy in whatever we do. Don’t waste time hurting yourself, or whining about things that aren’t going well in your life. If possible, avoid fights and quarrels. Especially Quarrels. If you have an issue with anyone, tell the person frankly and move on. Do not harbor malice in your heart. Your body is not built for storing anger’s venom and Life is just too short to apply yourself to bitterness. You have heard the words, “Make Love, not war”. Can I please tell you that the statement is not a cliché, but a sane advice to living this one life we have? Don’t’ cheat yourself with self-doubts and feelings of inadequacies and emotional insecurities. So you’ve been abused, hurt and completely battered. Deal with it, thrash it somewhere and move on. Do not let the past continue haunting your today. You’ve been cheated, and you just want to get back at whoever hurt you. Snap out of it. You are alive, man! And you are young. Feel the wind tousle your hair. And if you are balding or bald, feel it on your scalp! Feel the sun warm up your blood and the coolness of the evening on your skin. Enjoy the sounds of the cooing birds flapping their wings in spring, and take time to smell the flowers. And if you don’t have flowers, smell the realness of the earth. Pleasure yourself with having a good conversation with family, friends and even strangers, just so that you can make more friends and bring a smile to your face and theirs too. Why? Because you are not really assured of a Tomorrow but a Today. So make the best of what you’ve got and be grateful for it.

For my dear Dr. Tosin Ogunkunle, who lived a good life while on earth, pursuing his dreams with the astuteness of a man who understood that all he had was now, I bid you goodnight. Sleep well in God’s love. Until we meet again…Adieu!

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25 thoughts on “…And Life Goes On.

  1. I am here with you and with Tosin Ogunkunle’s family. Just present, taking it all in.

    • Ooooh Tolu, with a few words, you always know just the right words to say, enough to bring calm and peace. Thank you. Thank you soooo much.

  2. Dear Lara,

    Your words brought tears to my eyes. Indeed the brevity of life is sufficient to wake us all up to doing the right things rather than dwell on the ills and wrongs. I sympathize with you and feel your pain. I’m so glad you shared this.


  3. Olufunmi O.C.

    I can’t but take a deep breath to inhale the artistry of the picture your article paints in my imagination. Should I say it brings back memories or inflict pains on the tissues of self-actualization, or inflame the fire on the altar of good-living. You’ve set me on a path of evaluating my life to ensure that I set a priority for my activities by making the most of the opportunity life offers to me to reach out to my world in my own little way, positively and productively to impact on others and make the world a paradise before the paradise promised tto mankind.
    I’m blessed by your article.
    Olufunmi O.C.

    • Thank you Funmi for your comments. I’m so glad that you were inspired by this write up ;glad that something good is being worked out in the life of another because of the loss, no actualization – of a good man. Blessings to you…

  4. How sad :(. You are in my prayers. May his soul rest in perfect peace and may God give his loved ones strength and peace during this tough time. Thanks for sharing. It woke me up!

    • Thanks for this Wunmi. Thanks for the prayers for him and his loved ones. Loving your photos on your blog. Keep up the good work!

  5. May his soul rest in peace. I also pray that you and all those who mourn are comforted. HUGS…

  6. Eseosa Osazuwa

    You are a blessed writer. May his gentle soul rest in peace. I pray that the almighty God will comfort his family. Be strong.

  7. My dear friend, as always you write with such great wisdom and insight. Your words really touched me. As much as i try to live my life to the fullest, it is always good to be reminded. Thank you.

    I pray your friend is resting peacefully with the Almighty.
    Take care.

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  9. Hi Lara,

    I am so sorry about your loss. I pray that God will give you all the strength and wisdom to get through this painful time.

    Your charge and encouragement spoke to me too and reminds me to simply rejoice, be happy and bet the best I can be for me and for those around me… whilst it is yet today.

    God bless you for encouraging us, even in the time of your grief. God give you all peace in your hearts.

    Much Love

    • Like you, this incident has reminded me of the need to become all the best God wants me to be. Thank you for your encouraging words and your heartfelt prayers.

  10. mina

    Dr Tosin was to me “unlce Tosin”. Our paths crossed when he married my mother’s baby sister,d last of 9 children that was always my beloved baby aunty/senior sister…and wheh he came into our lives,it was evident what a promising future this man held,and all my aunties and uncles who were being overprotective of my baby aunt immediately allayed their doubt by virtue of the intelligence,confidence,respect and fear of God that was held in the person of this man…this was about 7yrs ago…the last time I saw my uncle Tosin was when he came down to Nigeria with his family for my sister’s wedding…in december of 2010…gosh it seems like only yesterday! He was truly a great man,inspiring in his ways…and what brings the most tears to my eyes is that I imagine him getting to the pearly gates and wondering who would be there for his wife and his baby daughter,who would walk her down the aisle and tell her all the things she needs to know about life,as only a father can…for indeed that was how responsible,caring and competent he was…he was so giving that as long as Uncle Tosin was there,no hand was ever dry…

    The only comfort I have in this utterly devastating unexplainable loss is that He is in the bossom of the Almighty God,and though the vastness of the void he left in his stead will ever be impossible to fill,like the writer said,LIFE HAS TO STILL GO ON….

    Adieu my darling Uncle,this is my little tribute to you,I hope you smile radiantly on us everyday from above,for indeed,you are a star!

    • Mina, Tosin’s loss is a great one. There are no words to adequately describe the pain of this loss. I stand here, still angry that it had to be him. Confused on how your aunt and thier daughter, Tosin’s mom and siblings will have to go through life without him. But inspite of all the negative emotions that one tends to have in this dire situations, there is no further recourse than to trust in the unfailing love of a Good God, for where else do we place our hope? There is no other place of comfort except in the belief that God knows best, as he truly does.

      My prayer is that this God who knows more than we could ever understand will comfort you. That he will wrap his arms of love around you and the whole family…everyone that is grieving from this.

      And for you Dear Tosin, as we prepare to lay you to rest, like Mina Says…you are indeed a STAR! A true Star. And I believe that you are in a better place..for that is where stars belong…high above in the sky shinning down on us all.

  11. I’m so sorry for your loss. At least you and his family can take comfort that he is resting in the bosom of the Lord and you will meet again someday.

  12. Praying for comfort for his family. You have a nice blog. will be visiting again.

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  14. Janice

    Tosin was my boss. He gave me an opprotunity to learn with little or no experience. I have been thinking about him a lot these days. Thougght about his wife Dami, his daughter Zoe. What could they be going through on a daily basis. Few weeks before he died, he was reminding me i need to ‘pay’ him for naming my son after him. Little did i know.

    Thank you Lara for this. It reminds me of the brevity of life. It could have been any of us. Let’s ensure we live our lives to the fullest, just the way God wants us to. Adieu my dear friend, boss, big brother. You will forever be in our memories.

    • Thanks for this Lively tribute Janice. For me, Tosin’s life taught me to aim to enjoy life… To aim to make use of this very short time we have here on earth. Here’s wishing you a happy 2013 filled with your happy dreams coming true.

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