BETWEEN A CADAVER AND A CADAVA-RER
“I’ll pray for you. Make sure you pray before you go oo. The blood of Jesus will soak you from head to toe. Always know He watches over his children. Nothing there will harm you. Ten thousand shall fall at…” were the words my mother spilt over the phone after I told her we were going to have our ANA practical in the Cadaver room. I could feel her calling my grandma and hosting a prayer session on my behalf. “My father my Lord, Abba Father, I commit Isioma into your holy hands” will be the start of her prayer. This is funny🤣🤣🤣 God! African parents are the best.
The day I longed for came. I was going to see a corpse live and direct. I was super excited. I think what had a major influence on my euphoria is the number of horror movies I’ve seen. Haunted houses, zombie apocalypse, vampire sucking town. The vampire ones especially. Did you know vampires find blood type O the sweetest and Type B bitter?
We converged on the doorway, lab coat worn, face mask, gloves worn and dissecting kits held. As usual, I’m at the front of the line(🎶oh when the saints are matching in, oh Lord I want to be in the number🎶 )(you know this song yeah? Just incase something goes wrong, I’ll quickly pass the heavenly gate before e go spoil).
We eventually entered, there, laid a brown male on a gurney. His head rested on his left shoulder, eyes without rays, chest medially opened, toe nails squalid and the pungent smell of formalin filled the room . I saw it, our cadaver. At that instant, I couldn’t help but wonder if the purpose of life was to live to die. He could be somebody’s son, husband, uncle, nephew. Did he die alone? Did he have any family? Why did no one come to claim his body? A tear escaped and fell to the floor of my heart. Maybe this is a “gone and forgotten” case like that man in COCO cartoon.
Images (viewer’s discretion is applicable)
Then I remembered Papa Ope, my neighbour. He was a good man, very jovial, kind and transparent. What if like Papa Ope, this cadaver dude was a beautiful soul and people wept after they learned he kicked the bucket or did people celebrate his demise and offer him to be used like this?
(Below is a dialogue I wrote years ago after I found out about Papa Ope’s death. May his soul rests in peace.)
What if? What if? What if?
Snapped back to reality by the instructor’s voice, we discussed the axilla — apex and base. He showed us the pectoralis major and minor and we were permitted to take turns in separating them with our forceps.
“Yes, I’m doing it,” I said to myself when it was my turn until I inadvertently glanced at its eyes. It was heartbreaking! No light! No soul! Just dead and gone, pure darkness! It’s the cycle of life huh?
I got home, heated rice from the previous day and made egg sauce. I swear to God, I’ve never passed up a meal but after what I saw, the moral lesson I’m holding on to is “You never know something until you KNOW something”.