Jul 31, 2009
Jul 23, 2009
Jul 9, 2009
Jul 4, 2009
The funeral began in the mortuary behind the hospital. The man who died was only 26 years old. Family and friends entered the room, sang a song and then the casket was loaded onto the back of a pickup truck.
A man stands in the back of the truck holding a large wooded cross, family members pile onto the truck, and additional family and friends fill any other available cars or trucks. In this case there were 3 vehicles, the truck with the casket, the car I was driving and Noemia’s car. Everyone else walked, about 60-70 people.
We then processed to the young man’s home, the casket was carried to the home, more singing and someone prayed. Once again the casket was retuned to the truck, everyone got back into the vehicles and now there were approximately 100-150 people walking, all headed to the cemetery.
It's hard to describe the cemetery, you see random mounds of earth, some covered with small shrubs and flowering branches. We carefully walked around these gravesites until we ended up deep in this forest of trees. It was overgrown with many hanging vines and dead branches everywhere you looked. Eventually we saw where the people had gathered and found a spot to watch the burial. After the Pastor spoke there was more singing.
One person will start a song with a strong clear voice, and before you know it everyone has joined in and the music is always perfectly wonderful!
Today’s music was quiet and reserved, there were no smiles. They sang in Sena, a local dialect, although I had no idea what the words meant, you just knew it was reverent and comforting.
While the women sang, a few men began to dig the grave.
Once the casket was placed in the ground you could hear the sound of hands hitting the earth. The family members all patted the ground over the casket, then walked away. The ceremony was over.