By Adeola Agoro
When a loved one passes away, the grief cannot be described especially if the person dies suddenly without any long-term illness, the person is young, the breadwinner of a family or a someone that cannot be easily replaced.
So many emotions take place as such time – anger at not having spent enough time with the deceased, guilt at not being able to do anything to help prevent death, terrible pains in the chest that wouldn’t easily go away.
To add.m to the grief, questions are bound to come from friends and family members about what really happened at the final hours and how they happened. Then, the next major question would be – when is the burial especially if the person is not a Muslim who would be buried immediately.
How should be deceased person be buried is another major question.
If the man or woman has worked hard all his life and the children have become important people in their workplaces and communities, then, it behoves on them to give their parents a befitting burial.
The mode of burying people in their homes or in old cemeteries where up to three graves gave been built on top of one another over the years has shifted to giving those who are worth it befitting burials in vaults and private cemeteries.
When Governor Kayode Fayemi of Ekiti State inaugurated CitiGate Park and Gardens Cemetery, a 260 capacity privately owned cemetery some weeks back, the people who hailed the initiative as a great achievement and the first of its kind in the state were almost as much as those who turned up their noses in disdain and asked if that was an achievement.
First thing first, the cemetery is not owned by the state neither is it one of the projects delivered by the innovative and hardworking Governor of Ekiti State. He merely provided the land for the undertaking firm to put in place one of the most important facilities to man.
‘For all will die after which is judgement’. ‘For all souls will taste death’. These are some of the sayings we cannot change about death.
Once there is life, there will be death. In fact, some will never taste life because some pregnancies end in termination or involuntary abortion. Some children are born still birth and some do not get out of the birth canal before they are pronounced dead. Death is the only thing that is constant to all men that live. Yet, people run away from talking about death.
And when death eventually happens, what do we do to preserve the memories of those we have grown to love? Bury them in the backyard where we may easily forget them? Bury them in the front of the house where we turn their graves to sitting ‘chairs’ in the evening
or the place where we dry our egusi and pepper years later?
How we want to bury our departed ones depends on us. If somebody wants to give class to the burial of his/her departed ones and would like a private cemetery where s/he is sure that the place would be tended with care, flowers, sanity, well maintained, grave never likely have another loaded on top it or dead body dug our, then s/he has the right to go to a place where such is readily available.
Most of the people writing negatively about this noble initiative will sooner or later need the services of the undertakers.
Before now, people had no choice but to bury their loved ones in public cemeteries where they would have to stand on the ‘heads’ of other dead people to be able to bury their own departed ones; they now have an option.
In Nigeria, especially in Yoruba land where burial is a such a big deal, the people of Ekiti can now bury their own dead people in the most dignified ways.
The funeral home will most likely have transport system to convey the body from the home or hospital to its final resting place. A real resting place devoid of thiefs who will come and steal coffin in the night.
That means there is security. You can go back home after burying your deceased ones knowing they won’t be deprived of the only home they will have for a long time or at worst, they wouldn’t be ‘killed’ the second time by the many wolves we have these days who are always looking for human bodies for rituals.
With private cemeteries, there is now privacy when you go to visit your loved ones. You can carry a chair and pray on their tombstones or talk to them if you like.
Talking about visits, you are sure that you’re not going to one bushy cemetery. You would have paid for not only a cemetery but service to keep the place clean at all times.
By the way, you are thus encouraged to visit the graves of your loved ones more often. We all know how so many graves have been long-forgotten after the burial because the distance is much and the while place is overgrown with grass.
More than anything, people can even pay for their own burial grounds before they die. These days when you’re not sure if your children who are abroad will bother to come down when you die or if they will want to part with their money to give you a befitting place after death, you can just add that to one of the pleasures you can give yourself when life ends.
The whole private cemetery idea is such a beautiful one. Ekiti State has indeed moved from a sleepy town to a sophisticated one.
To those asking about the other achievements of Governor Kayode Fayemi, they cannot say that they haven’t been following all his achievements in the areas of road construction, multiple school buildings, empowerment for youths, investors from all over the place in Ekiti and so on.
So many of these achievemts have been documented. If those naysayers haven’t seen them, they should please request for them.
Adeola.Agoro is a journalist, businesswoman and socio-politicsl.analyst.