But we do not want you to be uninformed brothers about those who are asleep, that you may not grieve as others do who have no hope. Therefore, mourn not, cry not, grieve not; but rather give thanks to God for the life lived,” these were the soothing words of Pastor Biodun Alimi, the officiating minister during the funeral programme for Adesola Olubola Ogunmefun and Funmilayo Odusina, the two students of the University of Lagos who drowned at the Elegushi beach earlier this week.
Despite the advice from the man of God, family members and friends of the two young women could not hold back their tears, as they wept bitterly while paying their last respect.
Their remains were retrieved from the Lagos General Hospital, Marina, Lagos and moved to the Private Vaults Garden, a section of the Ikoyi Cemetry in Lagos. It was a solemn environment as deafening silence enveloped the entire area. And the people, all wearing mournful faces, started arriving in groups of two and more as the mourners found their way to the already set grave.
As the lone voice of the officiating minister boomed out, it reverberated far and struck an emotional button in the families of the deceased, as they broke down in tears.
At exactly 12pm, the remains of the two were simultaneously committed to mother earth with their graves not far apart from each other. Their friends, all wearing yellow T-shirts that had the pictures of Adesola and Funmi boldly plastered on it, wore long faces as they tried to cope with their loss.
The deceased were nevertheless showered with numerous encomiums and tribute as their lives and times were recounted. According to Sunmibola Ogunmefun: Shola, my consolation is 1 Thessalonica, verse 13 and 18. Very simplistic, you have never been the kind to take things too seriously and your smile is always from ear…(I use ‘is’ because I know you are still smiling). Keeping malice with you was futile; you would always find way to break the ice and even now you won’t let me be angry at you. I guess you would have to scrub the gas cooker myself now, you promised you were going to do it this week.’
‘You are in the right place, not a single house chore; all you have got to do is sing your heart out, chill in your mansion, enjoy the feel of gold under you feet and keep smiling Shokuro (my talkative sister); I know you don’t understand why we are sad, I can imagine you staring at us as though we were are silly,’ she said.
Shortly before their remains were interred, families, colleagues and friends of Adesola Olubola Ogunmefun and Funmilayo Odusina mustered strengths to pay tributes to the two. In her brief tribute, Adesola’s younger sister,nsaid: ‘Adesolami, I really don’t know what to say. Can I ever survive without you? I miss you; miss the fact that no one will be beating my breast. RIP baby.
Aikulola Olu, a friend, said: “I kept hoping I would wake up on Tuesday morning and find out was just like a very bad dream. You would be back to hounding me on my personal life as usual. Unfortunately, this seems to be the reality. I choose to believe God has a reason. I most definitely won’t forget you and I will try to loosen up and live life to the fullest like you advised me constantly.”
Another friend, Lanre Akinwale, said he found it incomprehensible to admit the reality of their death, saying, “each time I have to contend with the reality of your death, what comes to my mind is your smile. When we met at a ceremony in Ikeja on Saturday, 4th of June, you were full of joy, happiness and enthusiasm. We dined and danced together. While you were leaving the venue in the company of a senior colleague, you waved your hand; I thought you meant to say bye, but I never thought you were actually bidding me farewell.”
Also paying their tribute, members of staff of the Ministry of Education, Ogun State, where she worked as the Personal Assistant to the Commissioner of Education, Science and Technology, described Adesola as a wonderful intellect of matchless courage.
In a statement, they said: “Adesola Ogunmefun strived hard to make sure that all our Model Schools are on point; she didn’t relent in her effort until she lost her life. She was extremely dedicated to her duty and was loyal to her Principal. We will miss your perpetual smile, the winkle in your dark brown eyes that would be the envy of any man.”
It will be recalled that the Post-Graduate Students of the University of Lagos, Funmi, 24 and Adesola 27 died last Sunday while celebrating the birthday of a friend a Elugushi Beach, Lagos.
While consoling the bereaved families, the officiating minister, who spoke on the transiency of, said the bereaved must be grateful for the fact that the dead knew God before their demise, saying that a life without Jesus was a waste. He said death was an inevitable phenomenon for all and sundry and urged people to make positive impacts on others and leave indelible mark as they go about their daily lives. According to him, though their time on earth was short, they made their marks in the lives family members, friends and colleagues.