Unnecessary burial ceremonies


Sir: Death is a phenomenon which every mortal must experience irrespective of his status in the society. Man comprises two components. He is spirit or soul and physical body. The former is the real man, the only living thing in man, the breadth of life. The latter is the one formed from dust, the covering which the former uses to manifest on earth.

Genesis 2 v 7 says, `And the Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life and man became a living soul.’ The spirit or soul does not die but it can suffer eternal damnation or torment if it fails to live aright with the will of the Creator. The physical body dies and goes back to dust from where it emerged.

Therefore, death is merely the discarding of the physical body or cloak .It does not terminate a person’s life. When it occurs the spirit or soul wears another body and moves on to experience other realms of existence including paradise. It is the soul or spirit that enjoys a life of bliss in paradise or suffers in hell, not the physical body that decomposes and turns to dust.

When the physical body is discarded through the process we call death, it is insensitive to anything. It is incapable of communicating to anyone. It can neither eat nor drink. When it is finally buried it gradually metamorphoses into dust, its original state. The realisation of the going-back-to dust nature of the body makes some cultures cremate their dead while some bury as soon as the body is discarded. In Matt 1O v 28, we are admonished not to fear those who can kill the body without killing the soul but we must fear he who can kill the body and the soul. This goes to confirm the fact that, though the physical body is useful on this earth, it is useless beyond this earth. The burial of this physical body is the whys and the wherefores of this article.

In some areas, when a person discards his physical body, land and other property will be disposed of, to raise money to bury it. In some cases, the property are inherited from his ancestors. Through this singular act, the living are denied the opportunity to better their lives by using such facilities. In other areas too, the children pay through the nose to bury the body of their father or mother. In most cases, the children are merely parasites or living from hand to mouth but since their tradition demands it, they must comply. But how can they raise such huge amount of money they are tasked since they are in the category of the have-nots?. Will this imposition not compel them to indulge in immoral and nefarious acts? Of course, it will. There is yet another group of people who borrow to bury their dead.

The burial is now over. The man is in a living hell. He has not repaid the loan. His children are on his neck for his inability to pay their school fees. His landlord has given him a notice to quit. The money-lender has dragged him to several places including Police station in his bid to get his money back. Every kobo that comes his way goes into the purse of the money-lender. To cap it all, he has not been paid his salary for some months.

Of what use, therefore, is it to dissipate a lot of resources to bury the dead and the living are subjected to misery? It is preposterous to do so. How can our society move forward amid such a tradition that traumatises the people? It is not wrong to eat or drink. But organising revelries to celebrate the body that goes back to dust from where it emerged at the expense of the living is frivolous and uncalled-for .
Udodilim. B Ijeoma, a public affairs analyst, wrote from Sapele, Delta State.

In this article:
Udodilim B. Ijeoma


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