When the richest man in my hometown died, people looked forward to a lot of things. One of such was the luxurious manner in which his funeral was going to be organized. This was a man who had imported a gold-plated coffin for his mother’s corpse to rest in. Here was a man whose mother’s funeral was a week-long celebration with various delicacies served to thousands of mourners each day.
As expected, the funeral of our richest man was a week and half long ― ten days of pomp and pageantry. All guest houses in the town and its environs were fully booked. Wealth was at its best display. His fleet of cars made its way to the funeral grounds while he laid in state in all his glory like a king. If the laws of nature could permit, his apartments dotted around the country would have been displayed there as well.
When mourning was over, he was chauffeured to the cemetery. Interestingly, he was going to be housed in there but not on his usual king size bed. It was a six-feet grave… just like everyone else’s. His many luxurious cars could not even escort him to this grave. They had to wait outside of the cemetery. Of all his expensive designer clothes, he departed into this grave with only a tuxedo. Indeed, all there is to life ends at the grave.
Our sorrows end at the grave. At the grave, all our happiness comes to an end. Our failures and successes are nothing beyond the grave. All the assets life will bless us with can only be used in this life. Beyond the grave, they have no meaning.
When we chase after the things of life, we need to be guided by the fact that everything in this life will end at the grave. Our many possessions can’t be with us in our grave. The titles we step on other people’s toes to get will be of no use beyond the grave. At the grave, everything comes to an end.
Life is a journey. Many unfortunately forget that the destination of this journey is the grave. While some rob others of their little, others cheat some to amass wealth they don’t even need. Life has become a food chain because many are preying on others to accrue what only ends at the grave.
Every journey has a destination. Life should be lived with our destination ― the grave ― in mind. When we know our destination is only six-feet down the earth, we humble ourselves. When we are convinced that the finishing line of life’s race is the grave, we treat others with a lot more care and respect.
In life, we classify people according how much material possessions they have. We create social classes according to how fat people’s bank accounts are. The grave reminds us gently that when it has all been said and done, these earthly possessions have no use. In death, there are no classes.
The essence of our wealth is to help others and not to brag with such. We need just enough for this journey called life. The rest is to help those who lack.
We live life better when we appreciate the grave. We get to appreciate what people have and what others lack. Everything we will ever have is for earthly use only. Everything we will ever lack is as well temporary. It is all over when we get to the grave.
Death is a leveler. It reduces the destiny of the poor and rich to six feet. There are neither blacks nor whites at the grave. There are neither literates or illiterates at the grave. Death treats us all as humanity because everything ends there.
The grave teaches us how much we need only little in this life. The lot that we break our backs to gather will be enjoyed by others because our graves can’t accommodate anything earthly.
Material things are called worldly because they can’t be used beyond this life. Never let it be the reason you will take another’s life. Work hard to earn the material things of this life but your hard work should not make life hard for others because everything is useless beyond the grave.
No matter how big your mansion is, your grave will go down six feet like everyone else’s. Your many titles in life will only be written on the epitaph of your grave. Beyond there, everything ends.
When jealousy fills your heart, remember how useless worldly things are. Before you covet what another has, remember it all ends at the grave. Before people’s possessions make you feel useless in life, remember those possessions end at the grave. Envy no one.
When we slander others just to take their place, we need to be reminded that it all ends at the grave. In all our plotting to pull others down so we get the glory, we ought to remember that there is no glory beyond the grave. The expiry date for all material things is when it is our turn to enter our graves.
Nothing is worth dying for. Nothing is worth killing for. What you will kill for is but for a moment. It can only be of use for a short while. What you will die for only ends at the grave.
Keep sowing seeds of hard work. Dream big. Be grateful for all that life will bless you with. You don’t need to have everything to appreciate the gift of your existence. Don’t scheme to rob people for what has no use beyond this life. Everything you will ever be and ever have ends at the grave. Sacrifice no one for it.
By Kobina Ansah
The writer is a Ghanaian playwright and Chief Scribe of Scribe Communications (www.scribecommltd.com), an Accra-based writing firm. Connect with him on all social media platforms.