At times the only thing we need in this life to make the world a better place for all is mutual respect for one another irrespective of your social class and that is all. If this happens, we might achieve the imaginary utopia that we have been yearning for but unfortunately the story is very different since we have different class of people occupying the society’s ladder of ascendancy. In race, the whites think they are better human beings than the blacks. In wealth, the rich feel they are better than the poor. In governance, the powerful feel they are better than the less privileged and vulnerable. Others feel by virtue of being famous, they are better than those whose names have never been mentioned in circles of life. City people feel they are better and civilized than peasants living in the countryside.
At workplaces too bosses feel they are better than subordinates. The list of human discrimination in social life is endless but there is death that makes all equal. All classes of people die, rot and smell badly. Probably you need to see a rotten human body being fed on by maggots, termites, flies and other insects before you understand the state of man and his “nothingness”. I have seen and carried a lot of them to the mortuary or the cemetery. I have since then come to appreciate all humans irrespective of their social class. I am not different from any. We are nothing and death is the equal measure for our pride and arrogance. Death solves the puzzle of human inequality and discrimination. Assuming we are to live in this world with the same conditions without death? A world where the strong can do all forms of injustices against the weak in perpetuity. Can you imagine that?
Death is the biggest mystery in the life of man. Many have tried to solve the death mystery but failed. The only solution to unravel the mystery of death is to have mutual respect for one another irrespective of who you are. Many people do not know the state of man as far as death is concerned. They have never seen or come close to any dead body before. They live a pompous court lifestyles where everything around them is temporal but have confidence in them because they have them in abundance. They place value on them over the lives of their human beings. The position, power fame, money and what have you are temporal and in no time, cannot save man from death when the time comes. Money, power and fame make people to live an imaginary catapulted life from earth to a planet of perfection and perceived permanence to an extent that humans beings forget that their breath will be taken away from them someday and their state will change. Mortals will definitely taste death because it is an epitome of equity in this unfair world where some humans feel their better than others just because they famous, rich and powerful. Death equate us all in that capacity.
I started my career as an accident and criminal investigator. My work as accident investigator made me learn hard lessons about death and made me realize “the nothingness” about my pride and arrogance. As an accident investigator, I have carried the dead bodies of the rich and the poor. I have carried a lot of dead bodies to the mortuary irrespective of their status in society. Some of them I have to go round looking for their families members to inform them about the death of their relatives. Some of them too we do not get their relatives till we bury them through mass burial. Burying human beings in mass burial is one of the worst thing that can happen to the state man when he or she dies. It is really horrible. I have also seen able bloodied men and women whose status changed as a result of accidents and injuries they suffered. Their beauties and handsomeness that made them proud and arrogant have all disappeared in a flush. They have deformed for life. No chances of recovery.
As both accident and criminal investigator, I always trekked Korle Bu Teaching Hospital and other major hospitals for post-mortems. It is very interesting to do post-mortem at Korle Bu. At Korle Bu, you will see a lot of dead bodies dissected like cow, sheep or goat just like what happens at the abattoirs. Human beings who cut across the various ages are being dissected like animals but there is no sign of movement or a feel of pain. That is when you will realize that dead body is indeed a dead body. No matter how they are cut open, they would neither move nor shout as a sign of pain. It is very interesting but very sad when you are finding the cause of death for unnatural deaths. After opening the death body, all the organs will be brought out, cut into pieces and weighed on a scale just like pounds of meats sold at the market. The heart, the intestines, the liver and everything is brought out from the human body and it is a pity despite all our pride and arrogance. If the pathologist does not find the cause of death in the organs, he would open the human skull and bring all the brain tissues out. If he does not find the cause of death and suspect poisoning, he will then cut parts of the liver and give it to the investigator to send it to Standards Authority for toxicology. I remember my first day of carrying human liver in my hands from Korle Bu to Standards Authority at somewhere Okponglo. I felt very cold in my spines.
I once had a nasty experience one day when I went to one of the hospitals for post-mortem. At the mortuary, it was Friday and a lot of dead bodies have been removed from the refrigerator and laid down the bare floor to thaw. Human beings who once walked the earth and who were probably full of pride and arrogance were. Lying motionless on bare floor irrespective of wherever they were lying after spending months and in some cases years without responding to external stimulus. Just as I was waiting observing what was going on, the mortuary attendant came to call me to come and identify my dead body for post-mortem to be done. When I entered the “cold room” I saw two chaired bodies which initially I thought were goats or sheep. These bodies were burned beyond recognition and almost reduced to ashes. As the mortuary attendant was trying to bring my dead body, he mistakenly stepped on one of chaired bodies and stomach got burst. Oh! No! No!! No!!! And no! What is human being? The scene was very horrible as some the tissues coupled with watery blood splashed all over the place. The whole atmosphere of the mortuary suddenly changed as the stench emanating from chaired body suddenly filled the air. The intestine and everything gushed out and the sight kept on flashing back in my memory for months. I was very cold for days anytime I remember what happened in that particular mortuary.
You will appreciate your fellow human beings if you really understand the state of death. Humans discriminate but death equate.
Today is for reflection.
To be continued…