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I can't stand

I CANNOT STAND AT YOUR GRAVE AND WEEP

I cannot stand at your grave and weep
You are not there
You are not dead
For life is eternal
And love is immortal

But the status of man changes in place and time
You who were once here, now live in timelessness
But I cannot talk of you in the past for death cannot part us
What the heart once loved and cherished
It cannot completely lose you, I know you live!

I cannot see you today
A limit has been placed on my sight
But I shall see you again, at the resurrection of the just
To celebrate the end of all earthly pains
No more sad parting. No more grief
We will bid farewell to sorrows

I can almost remember the pains, as known to every mother
And then the joy of looking into your infant face
You were a perfect gift
I loved you at that instance
I loved you more than life

You grew up to bring even more joy
You moved my soul to dance
You made the sky more beautiful to gaze upon
You held out the promise of a great life
You knew that greatness is not measured by what you get but by what you give
You gave everything and brought so much beauty to men unknown
You were the very best this fleeting life can give
You ran through it with enthusiasm, as uncommon as your defining traits

Everybody remembers today your characteristic smile, worn like a regular signature, piercing through the deepest grief
It was the mark of your presence, an insight into your purest soul
You held out a positive front as we sojourned and shared adventures, victories, losses, and the mere passage of time
You believed to the very end that the greatest force is love.
You knew this world was not a conclusion.
Another part stands beyond, invisible as music but positive as sound

You talked of your dreams
You stood tall among your peers
You coveted no man's silver and touched no man's gold
You believed in a world free of hunger and violence. You worked for it.
You saw it from a distance
You saw the Promised Land

But your creator had for you, a better place
Too soon in my sight, but perfect in His
'Every blade in the field
Every leaf in the forest
Lays down its life in its season
As beautifully as it was taken up' (HDT)

My son, my heart is bruised.
But I cannot stand at your grave and weep
I draw my strength from the grace of a loving Father and the fond memories of a lovely son
I count it a privilege to share your brief but beautiful life.
To your last breathe, you found meaning in every hour
Too good to die but it had been destined for all palms to be idle at the very end
Like all mortals, I accept the will of my creator and now yield my soul with grace to reason

But death is not the end of love.
It is the end of a season
And when one season ends, another sprouts in beauty
You have exchanged the perishable with the immortal and ashes with glory
I cannot stand at your grave and weep
You are not there. You are in your father's bosom and in the love of the hearts you shared
Life does not promise endless joy and does not offer endless sorrow
It is only when it is dark enough that you see the stars

You would not want another to grief in your place
You taught me that for every thorn, there is a rose; for every storm, a rainbow;
For every cross, a crown and for every parting, sweet memories
Your memories would last me a lifetime.
But you wouldn't want it to be memories of grief and sorrow
You would want it to be memories of love and thanksgiving

On your journey home, my son, I send you forth with love and prayer and hope…till we meet again
I will not stand at your grave and weep
You are not there
You live in my heart

Dr. Stella Okoli, OON
MUM

A heart of gold

It is difficult to fully describe a man as phenomenal as Chike Edward Obiora Nnabuenyi Okoli (Ozuomba!!!).

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