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Burials were muted affair, even for those without virus

By Chebet Korir
Friday, September 18th, 2020
Ministry of Health officials prepare to bury a Covid-19 victim in Bungoma county in July. Photo/PD/File
In summary

Chebet Korir @chebetkorir

Amos Ngugi, 42, recalls the pain of losing his uncle and grandmother in a span of two days in September. 

His two relatives did not die of Covid-19, but what pains him the most is that the family had to follow all the protocols, including burying them a few days after their  demise, and limiting the number of people in the funeral.

His uncle James Mwangi was pronounced dead on September 2 due to kidney complications. 

A day later, his grandmother Mercy Mwangi who was 96 years old passed on.

The funerals had to be held a few days after their deaths and on the same day.

Amos, who has been grieving ever since, said  it has not been easy, especially during this time of the corona pandemic.

 “First, burial arrangements were quite costly ranging from Sh250,000 to Sh300,000.

Friends and family had to dig deep so as to give them a proper send off,” he said.

“Second, losing two close relatives has been emotionally challenging. Infact, not only do you have to cope with grief, but you also must deal with the fact that a vital piece of the family is gone,” he added. 

Although moving on will be hard, he said he has to adjust and find peace.  “The hardest thing will be going back to the rural area and not finding the usual faces, just a big empty house. For sure there will be a big gap which cannot be filled,” he said

His wife, Esther Wanjiru says that it was a trying time for them. 

“It was not easy seeing my husband in such a state, but I walked him through the whole experience.

Family, she said, has always been the pillar that keeps them grounded and their beacon in the middle of a  storm. 

She added that losing a family member during this time of Covid-19 is one of the worst things that can happen.

“We had to explain to our 12 -ear-old son about the demise of both the grandmother and uncle. He was a bit affected, but  he is coping quite well,” she said.