Guarantee Yourself a
Dignified Send-Off

Diaspora Deaths: My Love Letter
Written by DFCP News
Wednesday 27 July 2016 10:55

IT is not so often that one writes such a letter without a definite plan on when and how to commit suicide. Yet at my advanced age, I feel there comes a time when one needs to face life with such bravery so as to accept the inevitable. I shall not live forever. I am moving slowly and carefully to my resting place. One day those who survive me will gather by my grave side and bury me.

I had friends in the village. I had friends in school. I had friends in my 35 years working life. I have relatives who have been with me in my life journey. Some rose to greatness in different callings. Some were or should I say presumably rich and others poor. Many of them have since died. Some left a great legacy. I am reminded of the great man of all times; Jairos Jiri, the man who saw disabled people as humans full of life and needing empowerment to live a fulfilling life. Some left only a name on their tombstone, if there is one. Some left heft end of life bills to be settled by their surviving relatives and friends. Some left spouses and children who have grown up feeding on funds bequeathed to them. Again, I remind you one day some will gather by my grave side and bury me. 

In this piece, I write to remind you that each one of us, no matter our station in life or the amount of vigour we can summon to wish away this conversation, rich or poor, educated or uneducated, seemingly powerful to the extent of killing others, we will one day die. The only difference is when, how and where. I shall not include why because it is in the constitution for the living that we have to die. 

This can be a difficult conversation for those in the church fraternity. Some church leaders will find it difficult to mix a message of healing together with a mentioning death. This is very understandable. However, they need to pause and think seriously about this. I submit that I am a Christian and used to find it difficult as well. However, is it not true that we preach about dying and the dead being raised when Jesus comes for the second time? Is it not true that when Israel was about to die, he called his son Jacob to carry his bones to be buried with his fore fathers? I quote Genesis 47 vs 30: “but when I lie down with my fathers, you shall carry me out of Egypt and bury me in their burial place." And he said, "I will do as you have said."…This is testimony to the need to prepare for death. We do it through wills. We do it by confiding secrets to our trusted ones as time to die draws near. We can even direct how our funeral should be conducted and funded especially where there are insurance policies in place. 

Death can be funded using different means. Our fathers would kill a beast to feed people gathered at a funeral. With changed life styles we can “kill” our bank account or proceeds from an insurance policy to feed the mourners. Have you ever heard of after burial chats like “Parufu pangana takafa nenzara” (at that person`s funeral we really starved” or “we were fed with cabbages like donkeys”. An underfunded funeral is easy to identify. There are always endless (tumadare) “small chats”.

The Bible tells us that when Jesus died, his poor disciples could not afford, as much as they might have liked, to give Jesus a descent burial. It took Joseph of Arimathea and Necodemus, some rich councillors to donate a grave and spices for Jesus`s body to be buried with the dignity befitting of who he was.  My question to my fellow members of the Christian fraternity is “why are we afraid to teach our people that in as much as we pray for healing, the truth is that at some point we will die and that we need to prepare for it. Yes, Jesus had Joseph and Necodemus to finance his burial but if you don’t prepare who is going to finance your funeral?

As a last resort, the State will come in and provide a pauper`s burial but can that be the last story in our book of life - that man or woman who was buried or literally thrown away (akarasirwa kupi?). If one does not prepare for your end of life expenses, the risk of being proverbially thrown away is very high.

It is important that our community look at this scourge in the face and prepare for it. We are witnessing many death in the diaspora. Wherever death occurs back at home we are always being asked for help. Many people are surviving on credit cards and overdrafts. We need to be decently buried or prepare to bury family members in the diaspora and/or at home. Diaspora death means family travel as well. In the UK in summer air tickets can be as high as £1400 return to Zimbabwe. Its cost as high as US$10,000 to repatriate a body from USA/Canada to Zimbabwe.

I find it very intriguing that one would rather insure a pet or car and conveniently forget the person who bought and drives it? If I had a way I would ban people from posting those GoFundMe requests to my inbox. Please prepare for your death. I have prepared for mine. I am well insured for that inescapable eventuality. You can do the same. It is easy as ABC!. Here is my advice:

Article taken fro