Thoughs on births and deaths

By Eborah Christian chinedu

Among several important days in the life of an individual, two days stand out as very significant as they provoke happiness or sadness to those who witness them. Birthdays usually calls for celebrations, among other reasons, because the child's parents, family and friends are expectant apparently of a good life for the new addition to the family. Therefore, excitement from all and sundry can be explained. Births, eventhough , it is rarely occurs in Nigeria, can also provoke sadness and sober reflections. For instance, when a child is born with a disability, celebrations are subdued and honestly the parents lament their illluck. A child born with some disability may be considered an evil child who may have been sent on an evil mission by the devil. Other reasons are considered too. In this situation, birth becomes like death and people are sorrowful. In very scarce situations also, the both of a child can bring fracas between a man and wife. Often, some men accuse their spouse of being immature and stupid for getting pregnant. This author totally believes that a man is completely responsible for the number of kids his wife have for him. Suffice to note that the only women in consideration here are those who sleep with their husbands only. Children shouldn't be like a piece of furniture that one can buy and sell or discard. Children should be planned for. When a child who is unwanted is born, the mood and feeling is significantly different from the reverse situation. For example, stories abound of men who ran from their homes because their spouse put to bed the eight, ninth, tenth or even eleventh child for that matter. There was a case of a man whose wife put to bed quadruplets. The man was an unsuccessful carpenter and his wife, a housewife. They already had five children. This birth brought sadness and rancour. But curiously most couple with plenty children are poor and struggling. Nigerians are great at celebrating, little wonder we are the happiest people on earth. A friend of mine who is a civil servant threw a lavish party and closed our street recently when his wife put to bed their fifth child. As one who hates wasteful spending, i showed my reservation on his methods. Laughable, he came over to secure a loan to pay his house rent oneweek later.

. Deaths and burial have infuriatingly become occasions for the most lavish kind of spending one can imagine in Nigeria. Siblings go into a contest consciously and un consciously in a bid to show who has the most money to speed at the funeral of their parents. Often it is disappointing to discover that the dead never got the best treatment from their children when they were alive. The extended family members contribute significantly in increasing the burial budget. They turn a supposedly sad situation into a money spinner for themselves. But how did we as a people get to this sad stage where we can no longer have a solemn gathering and bury our dead without outrageous. lavish spending spree, no matter how poor we are? Interestingly, some people go hungry after expensive burial ceremonies. Many borrow heavily to create an impression of affluence. This author wanted to know whether it still was possible for one to determine how he intends to be buried as it seems like lavish burial are now a must. Children do all in their power to give their parents the popular celebrity, society, befitting, elaborate burial etc. I once interviewed an elderly friend who appears to be one out of a million nigerian parents with his views on deaths and burials. He said, when i close my eyes and am, dead, as the news is yet spreading, i would want my lifeless body buried in less than three days. And, oh yes am a Christian. No elaborate and society burial or whatever kind of burial for me. I do not wish to pile unnecessary pressure on my loved ones. I want quick simple burial. I hate for my children and family to make preparations for months and waste money unnecessarily (whether scarce or aplenty) for my burial. They must bury me immediately and move on with their lives. I would want my wife to get over it as quickly as possible and move on with her life. If remarring will make her happy, am for it. Her happiness should be emphasized instead of mourning me endlessly. Same for my children. Honestly, i do not want people from all works off life to gather and pay tributes at my grave, it is not important.

No funeral burial rites and all that garbage. The truth is that when am dead am gone forever, my spirit won't be roaming seeking who to protect or harm, he said. Strange views from a very unusual nigerian with very successful children. Food for thought?

. Eborah Christian chinedu.

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