Last week, two houses down, an “old” woman died. Rumor is she was in her mid-80’s. Yesterday, the “old man” next door died. One person told me he was 100. He never married and had no children, which is very rare here.. I was also told he had no brothers or sisters. My family and the families on either side of me are taking care of the funeral arrangements, as they took care of him.
I was joking with my family today and said we think deaths come in threes and I hoped the other old lady who lives there, pointing to my own house, isn’t the next to go. They laughed. But I am the oldest left in the vicinity now. When I first moved in, one of my brothers told me his family was worried about me living there.
“Why?” I asked. “Because every morning we’re worried you’ll be dead because you’re so old.” Yeah. At 61. I’m still optimistic about making it to 62.
The death of anyone is sad. There is grief, tears and some type of ceremony. In the USA, we tend to keep it sterile. Hospitals and funeral homes. It seems more personal here. At school today, every time I changed rooms, I saw family preparing the grave. Digging the hole, pouring the cement, readying the grave. This evening, they are mowing the grass, making the area around his house as beautiful as possible. The women are busy cooking food and weaving. Church choirs come to sing to honor the dead man.
People comment frequently that the man who died had no wife and no children. I mentioned to my family that that was just like me and asked if they’d take care of me when I was old and needed help. They said they would