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Opinions of Wednesday, 22 August 2018

Columnist: Suntaa Abudu Ibrahim

The celebration of death

Death is something that is decreed by the Lord unto us. Everybody is going to die if you like or not.

Death is one of the most painful things that separate people from their loved ones. But the good aspect of this death is that, it doesn’t discriminate between people despite your riches, poverty, status, wisdom, fame, age or situation, It will take you away when that specified time is due.

However, its tragedy is that it comes to you without an invitation. Then a question arise as what should we then do when death takes one of us, should we jubilate? Should we mourn? Should we not eat food? All these are good questions to ask when death takes someone among us.

As for jubilating over the death, one may see it weird and strange but that is not to say we should mourn throughout our lifetime without jubilation because of death. Mourning which seems the normal thing we all do when death took one of us, we cry, we feel sad, we feel bored and even sometimes we fall sick, but the question is, are we going to get this person back?

This is absolutely No, because no matter how many times we mourn or cry but that person is never going to come back. What if we stop eating, should that be of importance If we stop eating because one of us is dead? This is also not an option for us because we will also end up dying. So in short, we will realize none of the above is an option for us when someone among us is dead.

However, I choose to write on this topic, because the high cost of funerals in Africa, and for that matter, Ghana is amazing. The fact that we shouldn’t stop eating nor mourn for the rest of our lives doesn’t mean we shouldn’t feel sad about losing our loved one but mostly the problem of high cost of funerals happens in the southern part of Ghana, where death is now seen as a form of entertainment and a means of making money.

When someone dies, others see it as a platform to go and entertain themselves. Hmm! However, the saddest part of it is that they even see it as a source of money. It is a pity. Yes, I earlier on said, the death of someone should not prevent us from eating or mourn for the rest of our lives, but at least it should not also be our source of entertainment or place of making money. We should rather feel sad, unhappy, for losing somebody who was part of us. In fact, the way we now celebrate the death seems we don’t even value the living.

The other aspect of death that seems to amaze me is that of the cost involved. Nowadays we invite people to our funerals not to come and show respect to the dead but rather to come to show money or to come to see how we are going to waste money or resources.

I always ask myself what the essence of spending too much money on funerals is, cooking different dishes, buying expensive coffins or caskets, hiring sound systems and mourners. If we should do a critical analysis to some of these funerals, we will find out that the person that actually died was in need of the resources that people are wasting on his or her funeral.

Yes, I know others may argue that what is wrong if you have the money and you want to spend it on your loved one's funeral? It may seem faultless, but on the contrary, everything is wrong with it when the person in question here was not living the luxury displayed at his or her funeral.

I do not always talk much on issues involving God because my knowledge is limited, but the little I read and heard from religious scriptures and religious preachers tells me that God does not judge us based on our wealth or status but rather our pure heart.

Why then should we spend so much money in buying a coffin or casket to bury a dead person which might probably have no importance for him or her?

Let’s put it the back of our minds that the precious coffins or caskets we bury into the soil has no developmental benefit to us, lets change our attitudes towards dead peopley.

I am a social activist and I write on issues that are of social importance, to solve certain societal problems and this topic is one of the social problems that need to be addressed……..