News / Opinion / Columns
While lockdown may feel like a prison, the reality is there is a silver lining to that dark corona cloud – and at least you can get out sometimes.
Not necessarily happy times, as I discovered when I had to bury my uncle under very difficult circumstances.
It was a week of mixed emotions. You don’t realise the seriousness of going to a funeral until you experience a death in your family.
In arranging the funeral, my cousin contacted everyone who wished to be part of it.
We had to provide our full names and ID numbers for a registry that had to be taken to the police station to comply with the regulations – and there could be only 50 of us.
Now, anybody who knows anything about black funerals will know about cows being slaughtered for a traditional feast for days on end.
No more. We could cater for only the 50, and only on the day.
And that day I experienced a first for me: like the people in rural communities, we had a diphiri, or grave diggers. Everything was set for a dignified burial.
Upon arrival, you were given hand sanitiser and a number with your name to make sure no one slipped in.
But my disappointment came when the 50 of us arrived at Avalon cemetery.
There were numerous traffic officers on hand, checking the attendance register but they only allowed 35 in to pay their last respects.
I asked myself why they were allowing only a few to go through. What about the close family members?
I called little brother – he was also turned back.
I was angry, because this was uncalled for. He also had a right to pay his last respects.
All we wanted was to be at the grave site to bid a final farewell to a member of the family.
It was a dignified private funeral.
As much as the funeral lockdown regulations are painful, they have taught us to save money from unnecessary funeral expenses.
If there’s one thing to take post-lockdown, it will be this: as much as big funerals and their even bigger cost is part of our custom, I wish the scaled-down version could last forever and become part of our everyday life.
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