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Avoiding family quarrels during burials of loved ones

By Bishop Charles Ighele
15 December 2019   |   1:04 am
In every family, there are two clear lines of authority. One is the nuclear family, and the other is the extended family. In many instances, they may not have the same approach towards life.

In every family, there are two clear lines of authority. One is the nuclear family, and the other is the extended family. In many instances, they may not have the same approach towards life. When a member of a family dies, these two lines of authority (the nuclear family and the extended family) are usually involved in planning the burial. More often than not, there is always competition between the nuclear and extended families. Each side wants to dominate because each side has an idea of how it wants to bury their father, mother, brother, uncle or aunty. This clash of ideas usually leads to nasty burial quarrels.

A burial was suspended some years ago, because the deceased’s siblings refused to conform to the burial plans of the grown-up children. This is not how it should be.The nuclear and extended families need to bury previous grievances to successfully bury their dead family member. Both sides need to come together and unite to give their dead loved one his/her last honour on earth.

The grief of the loss should unite both sides of the family, and they should come together and plan the burial and co-operate among themselves.The leader in each unit should show a good example by making allowance for each other’s views and be patient with mistakes.It may not be easy at first, but choose to be a peacemaker. Lovingly convince your family members to join the side of peace and successfully bury your dead.

Families should know that periods of grief and periods of burials are periods the enemy specially uses to cause problems in families. Families should pray more together at such periods.The role the deceased‘s children ought to play in their parent’s burial has always been controversial. In a situation where the children are still young like in the case of a family, where the father of the home died leaving his three children and a few months later, the mother also died, leaving the three young children as orphans.

Since the children were young, (the eldest was about fourteen years old), the extended family was in charge of the funeral arrangements.However, in a situation where the children of the dead person are grown, they should be given the right to bury their late father or mother.

Aunties, uncles, cousins and other family members should know their limitations. They should allow the children to bury their parents. Family members should honour the deceased by standing firmly behind his/her children before, during and after the burial.

Rivalry should not be seen. It is not a sign of maturity to use the burial of a loved one to fight for who is the greatest. An aunty flared up during a burial quarrel and said, “I knew him before you did. I knew my brother long before you were born and I know how I want to bury him.” It is wrong for aunties, uncles and other family members to adopt this attitude. In reality, a man or woman cannot ordinarily love his/her sibling more than his/her children. If we must compare, the children are the offspring of their parents. Their uncles and aunties cannot therefore be closer to them.

On their part, the children should respect the contributions of other family members and carefully and respectfully put aside those suggestions they do not like. They should honour their uncles and aunties. If it were possible for the dead to see what goes on during their burial, many would weep at the rivalry and quarrels among family members. People should, therefore, deliberately give peace a chance to reign during burial of loved ones. Love you.

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