Sorry about being so late in putting up a new post on our blog. We didn't have internet access for our last week in Ghana. Plus we have been spending time with our family upon our arrival in the U.S. We wanted to make our final post about our mission on one of the most important aspects of the Ghanaian Society, Funerals. They go to great lengths to take care of the family members who have passed on. You can actually be ostracized from a family for not attending a funeral. When a loved one dies, all family members are expected to contribute to the funeral expenses. We know of a man whose father-in-law died and he couldn't afford to pay his share of the costs, so the family is keeping his wife at their compound until he can pay the price. That's how serious they are about funerals.
The first thing done is posting an obituary announcing the death of the loved one. The larger the poster, the better.
We found this very interesting as you can see.
All caskets are made by local woodshops then sometimes transported in an unusual way.
A parade around town paying their respects.
A group of women carrying water for the kitchen and singing as they go.
The kitchen where they are preparing a meal for everyone after the services.
Sister Lyon helping to prepare the food at a funeral. They were all amazed that a "Pastors" wife would pitch in and help.
Everybody loading up so they can attend the funeral. When you see vehicles filled like this, the people are singing as they ride along.
Of course, funerals have to have their own band playing.
A very fancy coffin ready to transport a body. Notice, they are not using a Hearse. Most of the deceased bodies are transported by ambulance or in a regular vehicle.
Waiting under canopies that are always set up for those attending.
In our travels we see things like this, so we have to stop and ask. This is at an old traditional funeral with dancing and costumes.
This is the Ho Branch choir singing at the start of a funeral.
After the casket is brought in, people take turns singing and dancing around it. First is the direct family members, then relatives and finally friends. As you can see, there is a lot of mourning going on.
After the services, everyone heads to the grave site. We have been told if the deceased is under 80 years of age, then the mourners wear black and red. If over 80, then the proper dress is black and white.
This is a typical grave yard with mourners heading to the burial plot.
They sing as the deceased is being buried. This particular time they were singing "God Be With You Till We Meet Again" and it wasn't even an LDS funeral.
Always found this sign interesting and trying to figure out what's a "mummy wagon".
Why did we do a post about funerals? The missionaries have a way of referring to when you start your mission and when you end. The place you start is where you were born and the place you end is where you die. We were "born" in Ho and we "died" in Ho, hence the post about Funerals. But leaving Ghana is a little like dying small. You leave the people you love and they are very sad to see you go. But those waiting on the other side are very happy to see you arrive. We will miss Ghana but are very grateful for the experience of serving there. As they sang at the funeral, "God Be With You Till We Meet Again" people of GHANA.