Friday, October 24, 2014

Graves again

I wrote earlier that gr
aves and markers seemed like a minor detail
compared to the death itself, but: Graves matter.
In March, the second Wednesday of the month is National Decoration Day, a public holiday during which people flock to cemeteries to clear brush from the graves of relatives, and scrub and decorate headstones.

Cremations in the capital, and burials of Ebola victims in body bags outside Monrovia without relatives present, means there won't be a place to honor deceased relatives. Decoration days will come with many people not knowing where the remains of their loved ones are, or knowing they were cremated and that their ashes were not recovered.

Many will find it hard to accept that they will never see the graves of those lost to the disease.
.....
Nyenswah said many people are remaining home to die instead of reporting for treatment.

"We understand that there are secret burials taking place in the communities," he said. "Let's stop that and report sick people and get them treated."
.....
A commentary on a website, Sierra Leone News Hunters, suggested that a memorial site be built to honor the dead who do not receive traditional burial rites, and to provide some comfort to their families.

It said: "The erection of a monument bearing the names of all Ebola victims would not take away the sad memories but it would at least pacify the broken heart somewhat."

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