Farewell song to a departed friend

I have no flowers to give
But a tribute to pay.
No tears of joy to shed
Only a farewell song to sing, to sing
to a fallen hero and friend.

The unexpected often happens
When we least expect it to happen,
When we are least prepared for it.
But the expected often may not happen at all
Especially when it is an expectation of joy and triumph and success.

Okwaabi, we are here.
grief-stricken men and women, young and old,children, brothers and sisters and all
Bound together by common grief and pain,
desperately sad, devastated but not without hope.

The powers that be have chosen to assemble us here
in a cold and distant corner of the earth.
We would have chosen a meeting in a sunny, warm and crowded compound
under the shade of the palm trees, of coconut and mango trees.

There are no birds to sing now
But we are here.
And our voices will unite to sing the song of a million birds.

We have come to the end of the road, to the end of this earthly road.
We have travelled together with you a long, long way
and would like to continue a yet longer way
beyond the ends of this earth.

But alas! But alas!
The laws of nature have set a limit to what mortals can do
And bar us from stepping beyond this gate.

This open gate is closed to mortals
But open only to immortals, to the chosen few.

Many indeed are called but few are chosen.
Emmanuel, you are one of the chosen few.
It is the gate to the Pantheon of the heroes of the Ghana Union
to the Mausoleum of the immortals.

Beyond this gate you will be welcomed to wonderful rythms
of kpalogo and kolomashie.

As we bid goodbye and prepare to part company
We take you back home in our hearts and minds.
Together we say with one single voice
In a warm voice that tears through this cold winter sky:

Emmanuel, we thank you so much!
Emmanuel, tack so mycket!
Okwaabi, oyi wo adõõ!!!

Anthony Turkson

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