The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #161923   Message #3851559
Posted By: Senoufou
21-Apr-17 - 04:22 AM
Thread Name: BS: condolences, loss of father-in-law
Subject: RE: BS: condolences, loss of father-in-law
So kind of you all, thank you.

My husband rang to tell me the committal has taken place. No coffin,
just a white shroud. (Muslim custom is to inter as quickly as possible, with all the older male members of the mosque and the Imam present to offer prayers) My husband is now getting a stonemason to provide a headstone. Many don't do this, and thereafter have no idea where in the vast burial ground their loved one is located.

About seventy people have arrived so far from all over Cote d'Ivoire. It's a huge family, and it's almost imperative to try and get to a member who has been bereaved. In a day or two, the numbers will reach a hundred or even more. My mother-in-law is surrounded by ladies who feed her, bathe her and generally tend to her day and night. So different to the West isn't it?

The ladies have a strung-up cloth shelter in the enormous family compound under which to sleep, on mats. The men are at the other end, with a cloth erected so the sexes are separated and can't see each other. Food is provided for all at about 8pm every evening. One borrows huge dishes from neighbours for the mountains of rice. About eight people sit on the ground around each dish, and eat with the right hand, (never, ever the left!). Most wear white, the colour of mourning. My husband took his white boubou (long gown) and his little white crocheted hat.

I wish I could have gone with him, but it would have been slightly inappropriate at such a time, (being a toubabou and a Christian) and about a thousand pounds for my fare (three planes)
Also, there are so many health risks, I think it would have been rather dangerous at my age to attempt it without updating all my immunisations and getting Malarone (anti-malarials) without which you could easily die. But my thoughts are with them.

Husband is finding it terribly sad, and stressful, but he's coping. He gets home on May 4th.