It was a bitter-sweet experience for the family, friends and associates of Mrs Beatrice Ogugua Okonmah (Nee Okwedinbu) when she was honoured with a most befitting burial in the ancient town of Ibusa, Delta State.
The amiable matriarch’s passing elicited bitterness because she impacted so many people during her life time and her death has left a gap in their lives while they expressed joy while reminiscing on her worthy life as a committed Christian which invariably meant that she will be spending eternity in heaven.
Madam Okonmah who died at the ripe old age of 81 years began her final journey to the great beyond with a wake keep mass at St. Augustine’s Catholic Church in Ibusa.
The pastoral team that day included Rev. Father Stanley Aseigbu-Parish Priest, Rev. Father Paulinus Ukabiala and Rev. Father Azubuike Ikemenka.
It was with the popular hymn, “The Solid Rock” which begins with the verses “ My hope is built on nothing else than Jesus blood and righteousness” that the service began. It was a very apt hymn for the occasion because it encapsulated the life and times of the late Mrs Okonmah whose faith was anchored on Christ and worked in the vineyard of the Lord till he last breath.
The solemn ceremony also witnessed prayers and readings from such Bible passages as Daniel 12: 1-3. Psalm 42: 2 and Romans 5: 5-11 and was rounded off with the recessional hymn “I’m Going Home At last.
The day after, the funeral service for the deceased took place at the same Church in Ibusa, Delta State and this was where the clout and connection of the family came to fore.
Indeed, the whole town literally stood still as guests poured in from all over the globe, her last daughter, Dr. Wendy Uzolo Uwaje who flew in from her base in the United States was supported by many of her friends from way back and they formed a strong support system throughout the occasion.
The church ceremony kicked off as soon as her remains were brought to the front of the church, by the pallbearers. At the entrance, the Officiating Priest offered some prayers before her casket was ferried into the church.