The grace of God is always sufficient in our times of sorrow. Otherwise, it would have been difficult, if not impossible, to have enough composure for a tribute to my dear sister, Stella. Apart from regular phone contacts and running into ourselves in the village as you always endeavored to be present at all occasions that required family attention; exactly three weeks before your death, we congregated and rejoiced together at the residence of your senior brother, Engr. Emma Okoronkwo in Abuja, to celebrate your eldest son, Jude (Bobo) who was commissioned as Second Lieutenant in the Nigerian Army. It was a joyful meet and you were full of live and talked, joked with my wife and everyone present. You even made a choice of the pictures you took while decorating Jude with his new rank which I promised to publish in the Xmas edition of Aro News Newspaper. You can therefore, imagine how confused my state was when my aunt’s daughter, Chinyere Igwe, broke the news of your demise. Chinyere clearly saw my state of confusion from the questions I asked her. Subsequent discussion with Engr. Emma and his wife, Ada, confirmed the obvious.
Although we are aware that death is a certainty, its occurrence evokes emotions that are hard to suppress. This is particularly the case when the person in question means a whole lot to you. Again, it is more emotionally damaging when the loss involved someone with a good spirit and an outstanding relationship with people generally. Death has snatched a virtuous, unassuming, diligent, God fearing and purposeful woman. We are sad and the entire family is mourning at her exit but we are certain that God allows events to occur in the fullness of their times. A quick mental flash brought the memory of your mum, Mrs. Mary Denis Okoronkwo (Mama 33 School Road, Aba) my great aunt, who meant a whole lot to the Omeziri-Nnia, Akuma-Oziza family. That you were molded in her exact nature and replicated her golden heart is an understatement. Again, you did everything possible to cover the void which her death created and kept the family links lubricated with your signature smile and calm composure.
Indeed, the reflection heightened the weight of the loss, so it dawned on me that a rare germ is gone to eternity. I can testify that you were a pretty lady with a good heart, with easy going virtues. Forthright, forward looking and bold. You will therefore, be greatly missed by many people. You were always caring and willing to see people around you excel in various endeavors and remained proud of their achievements. The Akuma-Oziza kindred, Okoronkwo-Oriri and Arochukwu will miss you dearly, including the so many lives – relations, friends, in-laws, acquaintances, etc. whom your ever beaming smiles showed that love and humility are uncommon virtues. May Almighty God grant the repose of your gentle soul. Amen.