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Late Dr Mrs Mary Eru Iji: A Tribute By Godwin Oko

I was preparing my lunch and in his usual calmness, but looking stressed, Mike walked into my kitchen. In a cool voice announced that Prof wanted to see me. Why? I retorted. He wants you to look at what to put as memorial structure for his Diamond wife! I thought for a while. I was just short of telling Mike. And you choosed me? I gave him my conceptual design for Prof’s perusal.

I struggled with the concept of this assignment through the remaining part of my cooking when Mike left. Mike came back exactly by 3pm as scheduled. I couldn’t turn Mike down. He is a brother, a childhood friend. Mike had the cold hands of death snatched the second of his siblings in just days of burying his elder brother. Now his elder sister. Can all these happen to one man or family in such a jiffy?

I went with Mike to see Prof. Never have I had such a herculean task laden with deep emotions at each turn with time constraints and working to take a group of minds to come in single lane.

Professor Ede Iji ,calm, calculated, i intelligent with amazing charisma, struggling with emotions, tries to paint a picture of how much he loved his adorable wife, through the edifice on my mind , as he gave his brief. Describing the colours he wants, in ascending order, Prof Iji choosed Silver, Gold and Diamond, as reflection of his wife’s vivid pictures to be painted on the structure.

The structure, the functionality, paintings are all his ideas put together in expressing his very love for his darling wife Late Dr. Mrs Mary Eru Iji. May her soul rest in peace.

To my erudite Professor Iji, I will learn to love like you do, your dear late wife! May God give you the needed grace to Carry on.

The Ijakpas, the Ijis are a wonderful set of families largely bonded in love and unity. This hurts, sorrows pains, grief, are too enormous to bare. But there are lessons for us all. Every man has this inevitable end to face.

It was during the funeral procession through the walkway to that building, that I had erected, that the scriptural words of vanities came alive. The realisation of the vapour that man is, came all too frequently. Seeing the greaping emotions on my Rev. Father Ijakpa sent waves of tears to my cheeks. We are made strong in Christ, but here today, strongness became relative.

The helicopter, SUVs, Cars, Bykes, Motor bykes, the high, low, poor and rich of the societies were in attendance to commiserate with the Ijakpas and the Ijis families. Many came pained, hurt, grieved but many could yet be detractors. But beyond these gathering, sorrows and pains, many lessons lie ahead – to love, to care and to cherish one another as our dear sister who lies in this solitary today did, and as Christ demonstrated , become part of us.

To the Ijis, the Ijakpas, and many families affected by this sudden demise of our beloved sister, Dr. Mrs Mary Eru Iji, may God grant all the fortitude to bare this irreplaceable loss.

Rest in the bossom of the Lord, our Diamond mother!

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