Curtailing expensive funerals in the society



A funeral according to Wikipedia is a ceremony connected with the burial, cremation or interment of a corpse with the attendant observance of the rite of passage.
The word, funeral comes from the Latin, funus which has a variety of meaning.

A funeral is a ritual and a long standing practice perpetuated by the culture and traditions of a people.
People all over the world have been engaging in this rites with the departure of loved ones.
In the present day society, however, many individuals and families see the burial period as a time to display wealth and attract attention. This according to such persons, is what they refer to as a befitting funeral for their departed.

Such persons go for expensive items such as the best tent for coverage best and imported coffins , they hire costly band sets, contract expensive decorations, produce expensive sourvenir programmes and many more of such extravagances including hiring caterers to produce meals of different kinds.
It is common to observe such families sell off choices parcels of land and other treasured properties owned by the deceased to fund funerals.
Some others go ad far as sourcing for huge loans just to put up an expensive occasion.
Many of such persons attest that they did these to please or to appease guests and extended family.

After the ceremony, those who took the loans thereafter live with the burdens of debt owed.
It is pertinent to state Jere that the choice of conducting expensive funerals is a personal matter and if an individual or family can afford it without the negative after effects, it is probably acceptable.
However, a number of unsettling factors have been linked to the motive for expensive funerals.
First is the church. Some clergymen have been alleged to habitually demand expensive items from bereaved families. Such items range from livestock to foodstuff, drinks cash and many more.

It is disheartening to come across such long list of items from the church to bereaved family.
This practice is similar to the startling expenses marriage list by some individual families to suitors. Some demands are often accompanied by threats from the church not to bury the deceased member until such demanded items are provided.
This often leads to the prolonged agony of the bereaved who have to source for the funds by hook or by crook.

The next burden of demand is usually from the village councils who will also churn out their lists before taking part in the traditional rites.
Another set of people are the extended family, the family Head, the uncles and others who would be consulted and informed with drinks and other such items.
Truly, the funds used for hiring expensive items such as canopies, chairs, tables, cookware, and serving wares could be channeled into other productive ventures that could add value to the bereaved family.

Channelling the huge amount towards the education, empowerment, skill acquisition and setting up of Small and Medium Scale Enterprises has more lasting impact than the current trend of senseless spending and pretended wealth.
The child that is helped to be self reliant as a result of keeping the funeral simple would never forget such a kind gesture. So will the poor relative or the abjectly poor neighbor or orphan and widow.
Few will remember how thick and overwhelming a funeral was but the assistance rendered to the needy will reverberate for all time.
Rather than shackle oneself in financial slavery by borrowing funds for funerals, it is advisable to be modest.

It is therefore pertinent for the National Assembly to borrow a leaf from the Anambra State House of Assembly which recently passed a bill to stop expensive funerals.
The bill among others provides for families of the deceased to give foods to their kindred, relatives and other sympathisers at their discretion.
Also in the bill, no person shall subject any relation of a deceased person to a mourning period of more than one week from the date of the burial.

The bill makes it an offence to destroy properties, fire gunshots, or block roads during funerals.
Therefore, churches, villages and individuals should cooperate with the family of the deceased to ensure a minimized and cost effective funeral.
No one should think that it calls for celebration when a loved one dies at the age of eighty and above. For sure, death is death and need not be celebrated.
In God’s standpoint, a thousand years is like a day, hence, anyone who attains eighty to one hundred years and beyond has not lived even for a day in God’s calendar.

Death no matter from which angle, is painful and it remains mankind’s last enemy.
Death will only be removed by God Almighty at the due time.
With these at the back of the mind, there is no reason for expensive funerals. Instead, such money should be invested in catering to the needs of the old, the needy, the poor and the financially helpless in the society.

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