‘Mourn the dead’

Mourn the dead

As far as possible we refrain from attending funerals. Some of us can hardly stand the sorrowful sight. It is really heart rendering to look on a group of people crying over the lifeless body of their deceased one. Of course, we all well understand what they are going through for the simple reason that we too have gone through these grief-stricken time once or even more in our life. Up until the lifeless body is rested in its final resting place, we see several sorrowful faces eyes welling up with tears. As the days pass the intensity is reduced, memories fade, frequency of visiting the tomb lessened – if cremated, smiles return and normalcy regained. Depending on your belief system you have different ways and days of mourning the dead, Islam gives such opportunity on the 3rd, 7th, 11th and 40th day, for christens it happens on the 7th and 40th day, while the Hindu beliefs call for these practices on the 7th, 9th, 10th and 11th days. The practices vary from religion to religion and these days don’t indicate that the ceremonies or prayers are reserved only for these particular days.

With all the due respect to the dead and not wanting to hurt the sentiments of any, it wouldn’t be a bad idea to give a thought to the way we ‘mourn the dead’. Are we really mourning the dead on these days? Even as I type this up, a Shamiyana is being built to ‘mourn the dead’ right across my home. Tomorrow is the 40th day after the demise of our neighbor. Number of people gathering is slowly swelling up so that they can arrange the home and surroundings and more importantly begin to prepare the food to be served tomorrow. For a new comer to this area, this home in question would give the impression that there is a marriage or feast tomorrow. I wonder if this is the same happening in all such ceremonies. The disposition of the people on such occasions evidently proves that mourning dead need not always mean to be sitting around with a gloomy face. And why should one if we believe in the life after death or life in spiritual world?

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