Anyone over the age of 50 would understand and agree with me that Bajans have a peculiar interest in death notices. Let me explain what I mean and why I mention the age category. One of the pastimes in the Barbadian culture, morbid though it be, is to check death notices. First things most people would do on reading the daily newspaper is to check to see who recently died. The running joke is to make sure you, the reader, is not on the list 🤣🤣. Every Sunday, about five or more pages of the main newspaper is dedicated to highlighting those who recently died, in memoriam notices of those being remembered and thank you ads for those recently buried. Within the past two weeks and as recent as this week, a family friend and my next door neighbor have died, respectively. Their deaths have made me realized that my own interest in the announcements have been reignited. I am not sure if the younger generation are as interested as the older folk. My opinion would be to say no, judging from their low attendance at funerals unless the late was one who was popular, died tragically or had lived infamously.
Since coming home, I have observed the process has grown from a small announcement in the newspaper which mentions immediate relatives, place and time of burial to include large colorful photos of the deceased, obituaries, and eulogies. It is more impressive and celebratory in manner as families attempt to express their love for the decease and to give them an appropriate ‘send off.’ Along with the newspaper announcement, there is a radio announcement too. ‘The death’ is announced over the airwaves by the announcer in a most solemn voice while somber music is played in the background. The radio announcement is made at six o’clock in the morning and repeated later in the day in a subsequent announcement. With the passing of my neighbor, I realize I have subtly fallen back into the practice of reading these notices too (I forego listening, a wee bit too early for me 😊).
What has this to do with my travel interest or blog you might ask? Well, even though I am on vacation, I am still prepared to attend a funeral by wearing the appropriate mourning color – grey, black, white, navy blue, etc. I always pack a little black dress that suits any occasion. Even though I am not looking forward to this sad time, I do recognize that attending the obsequies is still an important act of respect to the family members in honor of their dearly departed.
Community Peeps, though the idea of a funeral may be a morbid one, when visiting family and friends it is always good to be prepared for such an event, after all, “in the midst of life we are in death,” the Scriptures say. Choosing to include in your suitcase a piece of clothing in a monochromatic color which can be used at a solemn or a happy event is wise. Have you ever been caught off guard, had to attend a funeral and didn’t have the appropriate clothing to wear while you were on the vacation of your dreams? Tell me about it in the comment box below.
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