A couple weeks ago, my language teacher’s mother-in-law died. This was my first real experience with death and grieving here in Mawerero. Someone was sent to my house to notify me that Fororens wouldn’t be coming to teach me language because her husband’s mom, Garawane, had died. The death was expected: she was very old and had been passing out a lot recently.
At the home, the family looked weathered, from a night of grieving. Fororens led me to the room in her hut where the body lie, covered by a cloth and surrounded by silent friends and family, and then we went back outside and sat to watch men building her coffin (see the picture at the top of the post).
Oliver was sick and wasn’t happy about sitting in my lap watching people build a coffin, so we went home after about an hour and waited there until we heard people hit a bell to signify that the body was ready to be buried.
Men were the only ones standing close – they brought the coffin down to the hole, laid a new cloth on it, and wrapped ropes underneath to lift and lower it into the ground.
One young lady from our village had married into another village and lives there now with her family. On Friday, we heard that “a baby has stopped nursing in Muniano and some people are going there”. My language helper explained to me that a baby had been sick and now is refusing milk, which means she will soon die. On Saturday, this young lady brought her daughter to the aid post near our house, and she died that night. The only explanation was that she had diarrhea.
Times like these make our hearts heavy – we long for the day when we can share about hope after death through Jesus!
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