Right in the 19th century expansive palace of King Toffa, in Porto Novo, Bénin Republic lies a room which nobody enters till date.
The many chambers of the palace
We had just arrived Bénin, our first stop was at Porto Novo, Le Musée du Palais Honmé.
The tour guide was quite detailed and we had an interpreter from GOTA tours who translated into English.
King Toffa who built this palace had about 120 wives and was quite instrumental in allowing the both Christianity and Islam co-exist with the traditional Voudou religion.
Now, one of the rooms the Tour guide showed us was the ‘dark room’ marked with signs saying ‘do not enter’. We asked why it was called the ‘dark room’ and he told us that Kings would usually go in there to commit suicide. This was quite alarming.
He explained that different poisons and objects for suicide were kept there and a King who probably lost a war and didn’t want to be captured would go in there, drink the poison and then step out of the room and die.
Statue in the courtyard
The King needed to die outside as nobody was permitted to enter that room even if it was to bring out a corpse. Interesting, isn’t it?
The feeling of despair that makes one commit suicide. Choosing to end it all instead of spending one more day in confronting the situation.
Bringing it forward to the 21st Century, one question to ask is, is suicide really worth it?
Considering that there’s a life after this world. Whether we believe in this life or not doesn’t mean we would not experience it because there’s more to a man than the body we see or the mind we think with. There’s a spirit inside the body that would continue to exist in the spirit realm after the body dies.
So if suicide just kills the body, what becomes of the spirit? The real you?
Suicide starts from a thought, that lie that says ‘just escape, end it all and it would be over’.
The truth is ‘would it?’
Don’t wait to die to find out. Get help.
The fact is, no matter how dark or bad things look, they can still change for the better. Keep your hope alive.
And if you don’t know what else to do, close your eyes and say ‘Jesus, help me’. It might sound ridiculous at first but keep saying it and help will come in ways you can’t even imagine.
And like the sign outside the dark room says, do not enter the Suicide room please.
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