To Thread - Forum Home

The Mudcat Café TM
http://mudcat.org/thread.cfm?threadid=161923
33 messages

BS: condolences, loss of father-in-law

19 Apr 17 - 07:27 PM (#3851323)
Subject: for Eliza a/k/a Senoufou and her husband
From: keberoxu

Mudcatter Senoufou, also known as Eliza, has become dear to many of us here.
She just saw her husband off to his native country, where his father has passed away.

Bearing Eliza, her husband, her extended family and friends in prayers and in my heart.


19 Apr 17 - 09:35 PM (#3851343)
Subject: RE: BS: condolences, loss of father-in-law
From: ChanteyLass

Sending love to her whole family.


20 Apr 17 - 02:45 AM (#3851353)
Subject: RE: BS: condolences, loss of father-in-law
From: Ebbie

And sending love from me too.


20 Apr 17 - 03:11 AM (#3851356)
Subject: RE: BS: condolences, loss of father-in-law
From: fat B****rd

Best regards and thoughts from Charlie.


20 Apr 17 - 04:01 AM (#3851368)
Subject: RE: BS: condolences, loss of father-in-law
From: Senoufou

Thank you all so much. He was an interesting man, and spoke good French, so we could talk together. I'll miss him.


20 Apr 17 - 04:20 AM (#3851374)
Subject: RE: BS: condolences, loss of father-in-law
From: Dave the Gnome

Sorry to hear of your loss, Eliza. My thoughts are with you and your husband.

Dave


20 Apr 17 - 05:39 AM (#3851384)
Subject: RE: BS: condolences, loss of father-in-law
From: Monique

Mes sincères condoléances à toute la famille, Eliza.


20 Apr 17 - 12:53 PM (#3851455)
Subject: RE: BS: condolences, loss of father-in-law
From: Jim Carroll

Mine too
Jim Carroll


20 Apr 17 - 07:30 PM (#3851512)
Subject: RE: BS: condolences, loss of father-in-law
From: Sandra in Sydney

& mine


20 Apr 17 - 10:03 PM (#3851527)
Subject: RE: BS: condolences, loss of father-in-law
From: Rapparee

I'm in this as well. Good thoughts to you and yours!


21 Apr 17 - 04:22 AM (#3851559)
Subject: RE: BS: condolences, loss of father-in-law
From: Senoufou

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.


21 Apr 17 - 06:51 PM (#3851745)
Subject: RE: BS: condolences, loss of father-in-law
From: Gallus Moll

My condolence to you and your husband Eliza. In my thoughts at this time.
A


22 Apr 17 - 07:48 PM (#3851917)
Subject: RE: BS: condolences, loss of father-in-law
From: ChanteyLass

Thank you for explaining the customs. I hope your husband is home with you soon.


27 Apr 17 - 02:23 PM (#3852759)
Subject: RE: BS: condolences, loss of father-in-law
From: keberoxu

Senoufou / Eliza,
it must seem like a long wait on your end
until your husband returns.
Hope each of you are
separately holding up all right.
The oldest son....his burden must be heavy.


27 Apr 17 - 02:43 PM (#3852774)
Subject: RE: BS: condolences, loss of father-in-law
From: gnu

My condolences also.


27 Apr 17 - 02:53 PM (#3852778)
Subject: RE: BS: condolences, loss of father-in-law
From: Senoufou

I have had an update from my husband, and the funeral rites of the seventh day after the death have gone well. A griot (a singer who recites the whole family tree) was present, and I was touched that he added me to the song.

It's been fearfully hot there, even more than usual. But last night it rained which brought the temperature down a little. Husband is faithfully taking his anti-malarials!

I'd just like to say how uplifting it's been to have your support on Mudcat. All the kind comments have touched me greatly. I have been feeling quite sad as I was very fond of my father-in-law.
Thank you so much.

Eliza


28 Apr 17 - 02:13 PM (#3852910)
Subject: RE: BS: condolences, loss of father-in-law
From: keberoxu

I've heard of the "griot," it is a part of African-American tradition, brought without doubt on the horrible slave ships of the Middle Passage. African-American musicians, some of them, like to remember that their ancestors entrusted history to singers. What used to be called "jazz," in this century I'm not sure what to call it....today it is part of the bedrock of American music, regardless of how my fellow white Americans trample on it.


28 Apr 17 - 08:02 PM (#3852949)
Subject: RE: BS: condolences, loss of father-in-law
From: Janie

Condolences, Eliza, to you, your husband, and all who knew and loved your father-in-law. Holding all of you in my thoughts and meditations.

Janie


29 Apr 17 - 02:58 PM (#3853041)
Subject: RE: BS: condolences, loss of father-in-law
From: Senoufou

It's touching isn't it that those poor slaves, snatched from their homes, crammed together in the holds of slave ships, dying like flies and riddled with disease, whipped, abused and ill-treated on arrival, managed somehow to retain their African culture, music and dignity. The black Afro-Americans of today seen on TV always make my husband exclaim "But they're so African!" He isn't referring to their appearance but to their mannerisms and way of speaking, singing and dancing. I can see it too.

There are some videos on Youtube of griots in Cote d'Ivoire, not in Abidjan which is more europeanised, but in the villages. They don't just sing, they dance superbly and play instruments such as cora, djembe, balofon and those gourds filled with small stones and encased in a net for shaking. They also wear traditional costumes, sometimes representing an animal, and paint their faces white in patterns. When my husband first saw the dancers, Straw Bear, hobby horses and so on at various Morris dance events, he remarked how similar to griots the people were.

One can take an African out of Africa, but one can't take Africa out of him!


29 Apr 17 - 11:37 PM (#3853064)
Subject: RE: BS: condolences, loss of father-in-law
From: olddude

All my love, so sorry to hear this sad news


01 May 17 - 05:03 PM (#3853304)
Subject: RE: BS: condolences, loss of father-in-law
From: keberoxu

Keeping Eliza / Senoufou in my thoughts while she waits for her husband's return.
Not forgetting the two fur-persons at her house.


01 May 17 - 05:24 PM (#3853310)
Subject: RE: BS: condolences, loss of father-in-law
From: Senoufou

You're all absolutely lovely! It's so consoling to read all your kind comments. So many delightful people on Mudcat.

Husband rang today saying he's worried about all the rats scuttling about the compound at night. Apparently the place is heaving with them.
He's already started packing his cases for the return journey. He leaves Ivory Coast on Wednesday evening, and will be travelling all night (long stop at Charles de Gaul airport in Paris) I'll be picking him up at Norwich Airport on Thursday evening.
One of his many sisters has been cooking him special meals, bless her. She's called Hazara.

Our Siamese cats are definitely missing him. (So am I!)

I keep remembering my father-in-law's lopsided smile. He was such a character, and it's very sad to think I'll never see him again. But it's good to have the memories...


01 May 17 - 05:31 PM (#3853312)
Subject: RE: BS: condolences, loss of father-in-law
From: keberoxu

OOOH YUCK amongst other things.

What do they have, in that part of the world,
to prey on unwanted vermin?


01 May 17 - 05:47 PM (#3853316)
Subject: RE: BS: condolences, loss of father-in-law
From: Senoufou

Normally snakes deal with rats and mice. But in the slum areas, there don't seem to be all that many snakes. (I've seen one or two, but the rats and cockroaches are all over the place)

The problem is the lack of rubbish disposal. Stuff is just chucked on rubbish heaps in a corner and there's no way of getting it collected. It's like the Middle Ages.

Diseases are rife, especially among babies and the elderly. We always need a minimum of nine immunisations before we go. Luckily my husband's injections were all up to date.

The rats seem to like the open sewers (just a hole in the ground basically) and people visiting this 'toilet' have to stamp their feet to chase away the rats before they enter the hut.

I'm not scared of rats, mice or even snakes. But I'm terrified of the huge hairy spiders the size of your hand!


05 May 17 - 02:42 AM (#3853361)
Subject: RE: BS: condolences, loss of father-in-law
From: Senoufou

Well, he's home! Hurrah!

He had a good three flights, all on time and no problems. Of course his poor mum and all the rest of the family were in floods of tears to see him go.

His brother-in-law Mohammed presented him with a lovely white cotton African set of loose trousers and long smock, embroidered in grey. (White is for mourning) He wore it for the journey, but while it's comfortable in 35 degrees, he was frozen stiff at Paris and Amsterdam. By the time he got off the plane at Norwich Airport it was only 10 degrees and the poor soul was shivering.

He'd been travelling all night, so had a quick shower, swallowed his dinner and fell into bed. He's still there, sound-o.
It's so good to have him back.

All the lovely people on here really kept my spirits up with support and condolences. Big hugs to all!


05 May 17 - 10:07 AM (#3853399)
Subject: RE: BS: condolences, loss of father-in-law
From: Keith A of Hertford

Happy homecoming, and best wishes to you both.
keith.


05 May 17 - 10:23 AM (#3853401)
Subject: RE: BS: condolences, loss of father-in-law
From: Sandra in Sydney

I'll second that!


05 May 17 - 06:28 PM (#3853452)
Subject: RE: BS: condolences, loss of father-in-law
From: ChanteyLass

I'm glad he is home and safe. It's a good thing his shots were up to date. What is the time difference from your home to where his family lives?


05 May 17 - 06:56 PM (#3853457)
Subject: RE: BS: condolences, loss of father-in-law
From: Senoufou

ChanteyLass, they're one hour behind us in UK.

One needs so many injections beforehand:-

Cholera, yellow fever, typhoid, meningococcal meningitis, Hep A, diphtheria, tetanus, polio, and rabies. Not to mention the anti-malarials (Malarone) (and they have TB there too!)

I'm tackling a rather large heap of his washing now!
His clothes smell of Africa (a sort of exotic, spicy smell), and it's making me feel nostalgic. Hope I'll go again in the not-too-distant future.


06 May 17 - 04:10 PM (#3853570)
Subject: RE: BS: condolences, loss of father-in-law
From: ChanteyLass

May your wish come true!


07 May 17 - 03:23 AM (#3853615)
Subject: RE: BS: condolences, loss of father-in-law
From: Senoufou

I'm sure I shall. I think Africa has got into my blood. I fell in love with it at first sight. Even as a small child aged about 4, I used to pretend I was an 'African lady' and burbled away in what I imagined was 'African'. My mother was completely baffled, as I'd never seen or heard of any Africans.
Husband nods sagely, "Ah! It was your destiny!"

Re his clothes: the women grate hard soap into a pot, and add a few special spices. They have to wash everything by hand, poor souls, and this 'washing mix' adds fragrance to all the garments. It smells gorgeous. African version of fabric conditioner!


07 May 17 - 12:51 PM (#3853711)
Subject: RE: BS: condolences, loss of father-in-law
From: keberoxu

Were the Siamese cats happy to have the man of the house back in the house?


07 May 17 - 01:29 PM (#3853721)
Subject: RE: BS: condolences, loss of father-in-law
From: Senoufou

Yes keberoxu, they were indeed! He's always been very kind to our cats, and slips them bits of chicken when he thinks I'm not looking. They really love him.