Last week I had to say goodbye to someone I had known for quite some time. News of Cornelius George’s death sent shockwaves around the island and many (including myself) had one question they wish could be answered: “Why?”
Cornelius was full of life and his presence was felt the minute he entered a room; he was unbelievably confident, had a smile that could stretch for miles and his style was impeccable. (Let me tell you… that boy could dress!)
I met Cornelius in the early 2000’s. I can’t remember how or where but I recall that goofy guy crushing on me back then. (Secret’s out now Emile!)
The last time I saw him, he was in a car, exiting a parking lot and when he spotted me, he gave me the widest grin. I also bumped into him just as I was leaving a carnival band launch earlier this year. Who knew….?
When my colleague informed me of his death, I called him a liar. I prayed so hard for this vibrant young man; I hoped he would pull through. As my colleague informed me that he had truly passed away for the third time, I knew deep down it was true. I felt a wave of emotions sweep over me simultaneously: I was sad and upset, but most of all, sad.
A death had never hit me like that before and the funny thing is Cornelius and I were not even close! We knew each other for years and spoke whenever we saw each other and that was it. But that was the thing… Cornelius had a huge personality; one as bright and huge as his grin and even if you met him for a minute, you’d remember him for a long time.
I dreaded going to his funeral… Cornelius did not deserve this, I thought. I had never been in that place with God before but the news was shocking and did not sit well with me. I felt like the world was robbed. I know God has His reasons for everything, still, it was sad as ever.
The day finally came and as I entered the church I saw an open casket. I tried to picture it before but I could not. There he was now, plain as day; the unfortunate reality. He looked as handsome as ever and as I looked at him lying peacefully I still could not believe that Cornelius, ‘The Dapper Gentleman’ was gone. It was heartbreaking, but his death truly taught me that one must pursue the life he/she dreams of as we never know when it can be taken from us. (Of course I am reminded constantly by other deaths but this one was real… too real.)
I wish he could hear the beautiful tributes that were shared, but from what I had seen, Cornelius was well-loved when he was alive. His friend said the most beautiful thing that day… “I will not say goodbye; check you later dawgy.”
Rest in Peace Dapper King. I shared this simply because I want others to take a page from his book: live a full life; one that cannot be erased even when you’re gone.
Have a good weekend guys.