Mortuary men share stories; dispel myths about the dead
General News of Saturday, 5 August 2017
Some mortuary men have come out to give a preview into what it is like to deal with issues of mortality on a daily basis.
A UTV news report which sampled some hospitals and mortuaries in the capital gave an account of how these mortuary men operate.
Speaking to UTV news, one of these mortuary men expresses confidence in his job, saying he has no fear of being attacked by ghosts like most people think.
“When you work with the dead for a long time, you will gradually lose that fear. I have been doing this for many years now. I used to live just behind one of the mortuary I worked in. I could wake up at dawn to go and receive another case. I don’t have that fear of meeting a ghost or anything. I have not met one yet, “he said.
“Some of the security personnel who come here to assist us get scared when it gets very windy and the doors are shutting noisily, and come to call me. Then I assure them that it is nothing. It is not everybody that is that brave to ignore these things because of the preconceived notion they have about the dead. So the slightest provocation scares them,” he added.
He also debunked the belief that most people have about the dead rising sometimes. For him, once a person is dead, and they are not able to move again.
“When someone is dead. The person is indeed dead. We are not supposed to be afraid of the corpses because we work on them all the time. I have never seen the dead rise before. If you have that mentality that the dead is able to do something, that is when you fear,” he explained.
Others described how challenging their job is, saying it does get out of the ordinary sometimes, however it does not deter them from executing their responsibilities.
One other mortuary man said, “What we know is that spirits are real. Sometimes when we come here in the evenings or sometimes at dawn due to an emergency we experience some usual sounds. But we hardly see the dead get up because we make sure to test the pulses very well.
He gave an account of some of the unusual experiences he has had and how it confirms his belief about spirits being real.
“Sometimes when we lock the door to leave for home, we come back only to see that the door has been opened. Other times we smell something like an aroma coming from someone kitchen as though someone is cooking when we know very well that around here, there is no kitchen. Again, some winds blow and you just know that this is not ordinary. This is what makes us know that spirits are real,” he said.
The report also showed some people who appeared to be bereaved, pouring libation before taking their dead. When asked why that gesture, a representative from one of the families said, it is a tradition they believe is needed to seek assistance the gods, to aid them through the whole funeral rite of their loved ones.
“We do that because we coming for our corpse and so we are reminding the gods to prepare the way for us so that we can bury our dead in peace,” he mentioned.