Monday, 30 January 2012


What a day, one where I had an interesting Caymanian cultural experience. Not one I would want again, funerals are not something I attend lightly. Carol's brother had passed away, a sudden death of a relatively young man and a big shock to his family. It was interesting talking with my friends here about how we deal with death and funerals in our different cultures.

In New Zealand families can have their loved ones at home or at a funeral home. In Maori culture, the deceased are often laid in the wharenui (meeting house) for a three day tangihanga. Everyone comes to pay their respects, the body is not left alone. Everyone plays a part from sitting alongside the family to feeding the masses that arrive. It's also a cultural experience and one that my friends were surprised about.

Today there was the sharing of life's stories, tributes, prayers and singing in a lovely, small white church on the sea shore. The singing was amazing, a choir singing praises and gospel songs then at the end a gentleman sang one of his own songs about going home. The poem, The Touch of the Masters Hand requires more reflection. I was going to copy it here but the website shows it so much better. It was a sad day for Carol and her family with their community gathering for support and a celebration of her brother's life. Funerals provide that final goodbye, only time can help with the healing.

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