Olorunfemi Oluwakemi Banwo

In Remembrance of Kemi

My friend’s funeral was on Saturday. It was 9am, the morning was not so bright… not so anything really. I cant remember how the day was. It just seemed like any other day but that we were going to my friend’s funeral. The invite said “home going” which had helped me push it from depressing to acceptable. However on the day of, as I wore my black dress, black stockings and shoes it didn’t seem so quite acceptable anymore. As if every piece of black was a nail on the truth that she was dead. Kemi was actually dead. She was never coming “home” again. At least not in our sense of the word home. I hadn’t cried since the first couple of days, when I’d been told. My coping mechanism had been to put it completely out of my mind and move on with whatever I had to do for that moment, that day, that week. Then July 18th came and I was forced to remember. I chose the biggest black bag I had, not because I had a lot to carry, but because its drag in my grip felt like an anchor. An anchor that I could balance my stride to and focus my mind on.

The service was, not to sound morbid, wonderful. A friend of mine echoed my thoughts recently. That it was the best funeral she had ever been to. Kemi had always been a force to reckon with and the testimonies of family, friends, and acquaintances all enforced that. The church was so full of people that eventually you had to stand because there were no more seats. Every aspect of the ceremony testified to Kemi’s love of Christ, from the dance, spoken word, musical numbers, and more. It was so wonderful because of the impact everyone could feel that Kemi had had on people’s lives. There was a point that I could not hold my composure, when they played two videos of Kemi talking about God and how you should “give him a try.” It was truly more than I could handle. However it was beautiful in that even in death, she was still preaching of His glory. In her days at the hospital, in the cancer ward, she even went to the rooms of other patients to encourage them. She had so much love coming from her family and her friends that she knew that not everyone on her floor had that same support. There were people who were alone in their fight. She had the giving heart to encourage them even in the midst of the biggest battle for her life. When she said in one video, that you are alive and should be happy in that truth and in that blessing, I felt so inspired. I knew my mourning was not for Kemi but for myself in losing her. She was in the bosom of our Father and in a much better place. No way would she want to come back here to the trials and tribulations. However in her absence she has given us a message: To live!

To live in Christ. To live for Him. To fully and truly LIVE. In the days since, I have been reflecting on my life.

Have I truly lived?

I don’t think so. However its not too late. For any of us.

In memory of her fight her family has set-up a memorial fund for cancer research : link.

You can also read Kemi’s testimony about how she overcame breast cancer. Published in 2012: link.


Article Name
In Remembrance of Kemi
NotSoSkinnyDreams is a personal blog by a young Christian Nigerian-American woman working toward moving back to Africa. It details her views on various topics, her spiritual growth, adventures, and life experiences.

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