Written by Jamila Bakari and Timothy Makokha
Read 1859 Times
This world would be a better place if people show their generosity not only to the dead but also for the living. Sometimes one wonders about what is so precious about giving support to a person after his death but not when alive.
It is the same mannerism that makes people to praise the dead even though the person doesn’t deserve the praises.
Someone once said that all dead people turn to be good. The living will do anything to the dead in the name of appeasing them. “May God rest you in eternal peace” we will say even if the person was the best trouble maker that ever lived.
Is it because of fear of the dead? Relatives and colleagues will hand in lots of thousands of money and payments in kind including food stuffs at funerals in addition to support to the bereaved family.
Sons and daughters who had neglected their parents to the mercies of well wishers and good neighbours will turn up at funerals when their ailing old parents have succumbed to poverty and negligence to prepare the most ‘colourful’ funerals ever.
Food that their parents had wished to taste when alive will be served to mourners, everyone at their pleasures .Some go to the extent of hiring known excellent cookers and funeral MC’s to make the funeral successful.
We can’t dispute the fact the bereaved need to be assisted but let us face some realities here.
Should we watch someone suffer, live in the extremist poverty ,struggle to even afford a meal once in a day, walk naked ,stay in loneliness and when they die we come up supporting the funeral with a lot of promises and crocodile tears regretting how we will miss the deceased yet we have never shared our time with them?
Our people have died poor as leaders and politicians watch only to resurface during burials giving long speeches that are campaign oriented with promises of helping the family. Promises that they forget immediately out of the compound.
It happens a time when an old person dies while in a dilapidated house as children and other relatives volunteer to buy coffin erect a house to secure them from shame.
Does this mean they do it in order to appear supportive in the eyes of the dead, their friends or mourners? Or is it out of a willing heart to give the deceased a descent burial?
Descent burial when someone has led a miserable life yet there were those who could have made it descent, to me is mere pretence.
That is when the family of the late would slaughter animals in the name of appeasing the dead, and pretend to love only to the dead.
I term this as gluttony, ignorance and selfishness. After all the dead will not eat the slaughtered animals neither will they feel the ‘love in pretence’ they have already died bitter knowing they could not be helped.
In some luhyia sub tribes you can find a group of mourners contributing food to be used during burial yet in real life when the person was still alive the person could not get any assistance like food or even the deceased could have even died of hunger.
Some people would even offer to erect a house for a dead person, or if the house is not in good state it is renovated to look better in the eyes of mourners. Some would even go to the extent of cementing the grave with lovely decorations yet the diseased might have died poor and desperate.
I have learnt from history that people say you are good only when you die. This happens mostly at funerals where persons give positive comments about the dead.
During funerals is when area politicians and other local leaders will meet to give their empty promises, a few coins for the burials as they at the same time take advantage of the event to see their political manifestos to the people present.
That is the time people would want to contribute like they will never give again in life. Of course they will wait for another funeral again to contribute.
Some politicians would even volunteer to build monuments and museums in memory of the late and other multimillion projects after a person dies.
Why leave your friends, relatives and neighbors die poor only to resurface at their burial? It is of no benefit for people to celebrate a person’s life when the person had nothing to celebrate in their lifetime.
Everyone has only one life to live it has no photocopy, that’s why it is called a lifetime. If there is any help we should give to a person lets do it to them when they are still alive, so when they die we be remembered we made their living bearable.
I once attended a neighbour’s funeral, the poor widower had been suffering from diabetes ever since I knew him, with no one to take care of him he succumbed to death when alone in the house and a neighbor who had brought him breakfast found him dead no one knew the time he had died.
When his only child, a son who is a doctor in the city came he announced publicly that he will do everything to make his father’s funeral a success. The funeral was really a ‘success’ as the son said. The coffin was imported from abroad and the funeral lasted for a month. To celebrate a life well lived of a father to a doctor.
It is high time we learn to be responsible of our subjects, subjects here refers to any person in our life whether relative, friend neighbor or any other person known very well to us or not.
Help them lead a reasonable life possible. To advise them, share with them both material and non material items, to help them rise again when they fall, to give them our hearts and get to know there’s also.
Children help your parents, parents’ guide your children, leaders raise subjects who will never regret where you have made them to be. Neighbours always try to find out the need of each other and help each other.
The funeral of a person should be an event to celebrate what we did to them while alive and not a time to try doing what we could have done when they lived.
It should not be a place of making promises to help the family of the deceased but a place to name one by one the assistance you have offered to bring the family where it is at the moment.
For politicians it should be a place to name the projects and progress together with the deceased you have been able to accomplish and not a place to make empty promises.
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