No one ever wanted to hear or read anything about death and dying because death brings so much sorrow to individuals, groups and families. I admit it is not an interesting topic to write about, but since we all shall die at one time or the other it will be worth the while to read something of interest about it.

Before you read further let me remind you that there are people who know they are going to die, and they die rather later. There is also a greater number of people who think they are far from dying and do not think about death at all, but they die sooner than you can think of. The bottom line is that death can strike anybody at any time and this we all know. Here are 10 facts about death:

  1. Euthanasia

Euthanasia is the act of intentionally ending the life of a person in order to end chronic pain or suffering. This is done at a hospital by a Physician usually at the request of the sufferer and there are regulations about how this is done. It is not permitted in some countries. In fact if there were no conditions or restrictions many people would opt for this instead of suicide.

  1. Suicide

Suicide is the act of taking one’s life. Most suicides are done by hanging oneself. The surprising thing about suicide is that it is always not expected from the people who commit them. Most of the time suicide deaths come as a surprise because many do not show any outward symptoms of worry, even if it shows, no one will not contemplate suicide for a worried friend or neighbor.

There is a reason behind every suicide. Sometimes suicides leave a note explaining the rationale for their action, but no one has ever been justified for committing suicide. It is just a foolish way to die.

Some reasons behind this dastardly act may be linked to depression, mental disorders, drug abuse, personality disorders, jealousy and other negative or stupid thoughts.

  1. Brain Death

This type of death can only be identified by Medical Doctors. According to one Professor at a School of Medicine in New Mexico whom I spoke to during a recent research, brain death comes in many different forms which include traumatic brain injury, which is a form of stroke caused by a ruptured blood vessel which makes the brain deprived of oxygen and causes it to die. The heart may not have stopped beating entirely but once your brain is dead you already gone. There’s no need to revive you just because your heart is still beating.

  1. Societies and Beliefs about Death

In certain societies around the world the belief is that every death has an unnatural cause and must be investigated. Death can be caused by magic or demons. Even in old age something might have happened to the old man to cause his exit from the world. Subsequently certain rites connected to spiritism are performed to find the cause of the death to satisfy the living.

Tribes where such beliefs are popular are those that live in forests and mountainous regions across the world.

  1. Funeral Parties

In some countries in West Africa whilst a dead body lays in state an elaborate funeral party will be going on. Live band will be playing music whilst food and drinks are served freely to all who have attended the funeral to sympathize with the bereaved family. Most often souvenirs with pictures of the dead printed or embedded in them are shared freely.

The richer the family the more elaborate the party is. One may easily forget that one is at a funeral.

Unfortunately less endowed families try to imitate this crazy phenomenon and often end up with huge debt after the funeral.

  1. 6. Fear of Dead Persons

When a person dies he/she is believed to have metamorphosed into a ghost and is feared. Ghosts are real and people are scared of them. When someone walks at a place where humans cannot, or are not supposed to walk that person is believed to be a ghost. If someone finds you walking at the cemetery in the night what will go through his mind?

When Jesus’ disciples found him walking on the sea towards their boat they said it was a ghost and got scared stiff until Jesus told them ‘’Take courage. It is I, don’t be afraid.’’

Even in some elite societies in Africa certain rites have to be performed for a surviving spouse to sever relations with the dead for good and keep off the spirit of the dead person from coming near.

If no rites are not performed and any misfortune befalls the surviving spouse, whether it concerns the death or not, the misfortune is usually related to the non-performance of the rites.

I have observed that these practices prevail more among black tribes on the African continent.

  1. Where Dead People Go

When someone dies we dig the ground and bury the corpse and call it a grave and unless it is exhumed for some reason that’s where it will forever remain, waiting for the judgment day. In due course it will rot into sand except the skeleton which doesn’t rot easily. In some religions they prefer the corpse to be cremated.

There are two schools of thought about where dead people end up. The first is what has been written in the Bible.

The Bible says that the dead are in the grave, awaiting resurrection.

Ecclesiastes 9:10 states, ‘’Whatever your hand finds to do, do with all your might, for in the grave where you are going there is neither working nor planning nor knowledge nor wisdom.’’

John 5: 28, 29 states, ‘’Do not marvel at this: for the hour is coming in which all who are in the graves will hear His voice and come forth—those who have done good, to the resurrection of life, and those who have done evil, to the resurrection of condemnation.’’

The Bible’s answer is clear enough but remains silent on the fate or whereabouts of the spirit after it departs from the body, giving room for speculations about what happens to it after its departure.

There is a second school of thought based on the belief that when a person dies and gets buried in the grave his spirit continues living elsewhere in a similar body.

There have been stories where dead people have appeared to persons who have not heard of the death of the dead person. In one of such instances a young man once came to visit my father at Accra and asked of Sister Boora who was staying with him. My father then asked the man where he met Boora. He answered by saying he met her at her home town within that same week and she gave him directions to the house, which was why he was there. Then my father, with a heavy heart told the man that Boora had died and had been buried the previous three weeks. The man couldn’t move and kept standing for some minutes before he walked unsteadily away.

In another of such instances a woman in a neighboring country sent a parcel to her children in Ghana through a friend who was coming home. When the parcel was delivered the emissary was told that the woman who sent the parcel had been dead for 2 years. She was surprised to hear this but got more of the surprise when she returned to her base to find that the ‘’dead’’ woman had moved out of her residence and was nowhere to be found.

Nobody knows under what circumstances the above happens but they are very rare.

It is also believed that people who die suddenly, like in road crashes have spirits that do not go to sleep but wander around. Sometimes some rites are performed by traditionalists for such spirits to have peaceful rest.

Tessa Lynne, a Therapist and author of The Invisible Choir, a book he wrote to throw more light on how the spirit lives on in a spiritual world, says your spirit will not die with you, and not only will it continue to exist as it did before your birth, but you will become part of its existence in a spiritual world for opportunities, growth and purpose within the illumination of a Light which is an emanation of the Creator.

  1. Death is Feared

There is something about death which always beats my understanding. All true Christians expect to go to heaven when they die or rather resurrect. In that case death should be welcomed by all because it will open heaven’s gate for them. But the opposite is what prevails. Everybody fears death and people will run for their dear lives when death is approaching. It’s natural, isn’t it?

Well, I somehow agree they have to run for their dear lives because going to heaven is not automatic or beyond certainty. Nobody has faith big enough to meet death when it is approaching. People always have unfinished business on earth and will not willingly allow death any interruptions. Fine, that is understood but when it decides to come, no one has any options.

  1. Death Knows No Age

Death follows no human rules like first come first served or last in last out. It can land at anybody’s feet at anytime. That is why you must not think that when you are 18 you have a long time ahead of you to live.

There are 22 Things to Learn at 18 to get some wisdom to live your life.

Older persons who may want to die and go to rest may still be living on whilst a young and upcoming star can suddenly and painfully leave the world. Oh! What a shock!

  1. The Resurrection of the Dead

The resurrection of dead people is the hope of Christians, without it the Gospels would have been preached in vain and all their hopes would have been dashed.

‘’There shall be a resurrection of both the righteous and the unrighteous.’’ Acts 24:15.

John 5: 28, 29 quoted above tell you the kind of resurrection that awaits you, according to the life you lived.

Because Jesus rose from the dead His followers shall also resurrect with new bodies to a new life when He returns for the second time. I hope you’ll be one of them.  Stay blessed!

Published by

Ebenezer Awuah

Ebenezer Awuah is a Diploma holder in Business Management and Administration from the Institute of Commercial Management [ICM] of UK. A former banker, now working as Administrator for Progressive Transport Owners Association [PROTOA-Ghana]. Formerly writing for P&P and Top Story, social newspapers in Ghana.

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