No one is immune from death and the pains that it brings to those who lost their love one. On May 10, 2010, the Towns of Gatima, Lowoma, Kondesu & Sasazu lost a great son, father, uncle, & grand father to the cold hands of death. On that evening, news of elder Salia Kpissay’s death spread around the world like undulating tornado in the dry desert in the Far East. As I pen this tribute in tears, I’m left with painful memories of occurrences and events leading to elder Salia Kpissay’s death. I’m also left with bunch of unanswered questions that only God can provide answers to.
When one finds him/herself in such a painful and tearful dilemma, all one is often left with are memories of painful occurrences. Some (like me) narrates or voice out their feelings while others keep those memories as precious semiprecious stone worth millions of Dollars care. Papa Salia “as he was affectionally called” viewed life in a totally prism form than lots of other people do. He most time saw and treated things in a very special way that probably no one will do after he’s finally laid to rest.
Today, I pen this tribute in a special way in memory of an elder who opened his doors to students who were faced with the daunting task of struggling to meet the expense of their survival and education in a very far away town of Gatima in what used to be called Lower Lofa County (now Gbarpolu County).
Many days we roamed the hallway of elder Kpissay’s home in search of daily bread. In those difficult times, he usually reminded us that he did not define family as those he biologically fathered. He often told us “as long as you are willing to add value to yourself (by going to school), you are one of mine”.
When I received the phone call about elder Salia Kpissay’s unexpected and untimely death at about 11:20 pm eastern standard time (3:20 am Liberian time) on that quiet night, the night became darkened and unending, revealing all the struggles he personally helped encouraged us to successfully pass through. He thought us to begin each day with a new enlightened way so that we would find in solitude the answer to his many traditional proverbs.
I managed to but could not hide my emotion from my two young kids who were with me when I received the phone call. I sat in complete disbelieve that I will never forget or escape.
Elder Salia Kpissay, you are physically gone today but those of us you leave behind will never be the same, we will walk around and through Gatima with out your physical guidance. Now you are on your own, we are here alone.
In the great beyond, you will march with your eyes so bright; your thoughts will become untangle. Today, your wise words, your generosity, & your courage have led lots of us across the world with pride and strength to cope with any form of difficulties. You left behind a dent that will never be filled in your absence.
May the Lord Almighty lead you through eternity & light perpetual shine on you.
By: Sam K Zinnah, APA, OND, B. Sc, candidate for M.B.A.