From Noah Ebije, Kaduna
The deaths of former Sun Newspaper Assistant Editor, Kenny Ashaka, 68, and his wife, Dorothy, 61, have been described as a rare phenomenon by an associate priest of St Joseph’s Catholic Cathedral, Reverend Father Michael Ugwu.
Kenny and his wife died within a few days apart in mid-January, Dorothy’s occurring first, without any sign of bad health.
Mr Ashaka had been battling with bad health ranging from hypertension to diabetes and eventually died on January 20 a few days after his wife’s.
In a homily preceding their internment, Reverend Father Ugwu urged the congregation to emulate the late husband and wife who lived lives of gifts of devotion to God’s work.
Father Ugwu said: ‘They were joined in holy matrimony as husband and wife. And today two caskets of husband and wife are lying before us same day. This is a rare phenomenon.
‘We should not forget to pray for them even though they have gone to rest. All they need from us is prayer. I challenge those who said it is not good to pray for the dead.
‘If it is not good to pray for the dead, why then are you saying RIP to the dead. RIP (Rest In Peace) is a prayer on its own for the dead.
‘We must always confess our sins and prepare for death every time because our life is not really our own. We should always cling to the cross of Christ so that we can die peacefully.
‘I call on their children to emulate their father and mother. It is a lovely and prayerful family. May God pardon them their sins and grant them eternal rest.’
Earlier, the Assistant Parish Priest of St Matthew Catholic Church, Ungwan, where the wake-keep was held, Reverend Father Isaac Yakubu Mutaba, admonished the congregation to reflect on their lives that one day death will knock at their doors.
Father Mutaba said: ‘We are gathered here to bid husband and wife goodbye because God’s way is not our way, our own way is full of sorrows.
‘It is a Christian tradition that we should weep with those who are weeping, but we should not grieve as if there is no hope of life after death.
‘As people of hope, we do not grieve so that Kenny and Dorothy will be in the kingdom of God.
‘Their deaths almost on the same day tells us of their connection, how they were always together. The wife was a prayer warrior. So I am advising their children to emulate their mother because she was their intercessor.
‘If they don’t have a Bible, they should go and buy one now. Start prayers if you have not been praying.
‘Kenny and Dorothy were very closed. Their lives have changed, but not ended. For them, there is no sorrow, no more sickness and no more pains.
‘The joy of Christian life is to make heaven after death. We should therefore always be ready for death.’
Meanwhile, Ashaka and his wife were finally buried at Kakau area of Kaduna city at about 1:30 pm on Saturday.
They were survived by three children and grandchildren.
While Ashaka hailed from Isoko South Local Government Area of Delta State, the wife was from Olokoro Umuahia in Abia State.