In Summary
  • The person they were mourning, an elderly man, had complained, that during his brother’s burial a couple of years ago, chicken was missing from his plate.

  • To appease his disgruntled spirit, one of the committee members suggested that they serve only chicken at his burial.

Recently, I was added to a WhatsApp group made up of a committee planning the burial of a friend’s relative.

From the chats, I gathered that the person they were mourning, an elderly man, had complained, that during his brother’s burial a couple of years ago, chicken was missing from his plate.

To appease his disgruntled spirit, one of the committee members suggested that they serve only chicken at his burial.

This suggestion was debated upon at length, the whole day in fact, though it was eventually decided that besides chicken, they would serve beef, mutton and fish as well.

Just when I thought we had settled food matters, the church that was going to conduct the burial tabled its preferred menu, much to my shock.

I, of course, need not tell you that the lion’s share of the eye-popping budget went towards buying the food. It is only when all matters pertaining to the food were concluded that attention was turned to the cost of the coffin, tents to shelter the mourners from the scorching sun, transport and other “fringe” details.

I must say that I was fascinated by the entire discussion, and thought to myself that if this group were to attend a burial where I come from, they would go back to their homes a disappointed lot. I say this because, being an insider, food that is served mourners is not given that much weight and attention, even though, to be fair to my kinsmen, we’ve began to put some effort in recent years.

I mean, there was a time when we served only Githeri during funerals, a mixture of beans and hard maize. At least now one comes across a piece or two of meat in their plate.

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