Let people rest in peace

I didn’t know much about Ivorian DJ Arafat until his fatal accident a few weeks back and I can only imagine the distress his family must be undergoing knowing that some crazy fans opened his casket to confirm that he was “really dead”. 

And as if that wasn’t bad enough, they went ahead and took selfies and videos which they later shared! This is exactly why many celebrity families don’t hold public vigils and funerals while others opt for cremation. 

Saves them a lot of trouble because some of these so-called die-hard fans who cry more than the bereaved can’t be trusted. At one point, the late DJ Arafat was undressed because the fans were reportedly checking for tattoos! 

I couldn’t bring myself to watch the clips. I get the part where we as fans are shocked by the news of the death of our favorite celebrities or icons and a common expression is “I can’t believe so and so died.” 

There’s no doubt that the deaths of Princess Diana, Whitney Houston, Lucky Dube, Papa Wemba, Mowzey Radio, and so many other celebrities over the years hit many of their fans hard but we must always remember that the person we idolize is someone’s mum, dad, son, sibling or significant other and according to these people the time and space to grieve and mourn their loved ones is important. 

You hear stories all the time of vandalized graves with people robbing the dead! It doesn’t get more disrespectful than that. Some people have to recruit security to guard gravesites. 

It has to be all the rumors that celebrities and wealthy people are buried in designer clothes and their best or most expensive jewelry. There may be some truth to that but even then, desecrating someone’s grave is just wrong. I would be distraught if someone tried to rob a relative of mine. 

It’s bad enough that some people grab your property and belongings before you’re even buried. It also reminds me of developers who see nothing wrong with bulldozing cemeteries. 

Why can’t we let people rest in peace? They’ll be quick to tell you that every piece of land we occupy today may have been a burial site at some point because who knows who lived there decades ago but I still think at least that’s inadvertent compared to someone who sets out to level a gravesite. 

Speaking of which, I’m glad my relatives who live close to our ancestral home are respectful of our departed’s final resting place. Like many families, we hold memorials every now and then, usually involving payers and laying of wreaths.

The site is well-tended. No overgrown bushes. Regular repair works are also done because the weather takes its toll over the years and you don’t want those unsightly cracks on the Headstones. 

At family meet-ups, everybody contributes to the Maintenance Fund because we all know that someday, it’s going to be our turn and it’s nice to know that we’ll be taken care of even though we would be dead.