Traditional Behaviour When We Lose A Beloved One

By Odimegwu Onwumere
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Odimegwu Onwumere
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When your beloved one transits in my part of Igbo tradition, you go about your social life in a very low key even after the person was interred. You show respect to the departed. You could call this mourning. If it were in a native compound, you don't even play loud music or exhibit any behaviour that might send signal to onlookers that you are 'happy'. Although, happiness might not be what you had in mind while playing your loud music, but this will automatically be misconstrued by people around that you are happy in lieu of mourning the deceased. And they may be right.

I could remember in 2015 when my precious dad departed, I nearly lost my sanity. I had thought that everything about me in this world ended with his departure. I was tired of everything about life. This tiredness even started while he was in the hospital till the day he gasped for the air last. I had thought that I wouldn't see today, but time as they say is the healer of every problem. Anyway, my precious dad left us in flesh on March 27 2015 and was planted to the soil on May 15 2015. I truly miss him in flesh even though we still communicate.

Regrettably, this tradition of showing concern to your departed beloved one is biting the dust in the hands of (it is old school) generation. I watched a young man recently, whose father is still in the morgue, but he was busy causing traffic jam with his birthday pictures on the social media. I was agape and dumbfounded. Okay, he has his life to live? But this is the same young man, who was deafening our ears before his birthday, with how he missed his dad so much, as if he truly did, as if he was real to his make-belief mourning. Now you want us to take you serious?

Well, I know that mourning is a thing of the heart, but cutting your social life when you lost a beloved one is a sign of respect, not only to the departed but also, to the world around you, to truly take your situation with some metres of seriousness. You might call this an eye service. However, I tell you that a heart that truly lost a dear father or mother or any beloved one does not celebrate.