Why This Country Is Slow To Bury Their Dead

In Ghana, it often takes months for the dearly departed to be buried, sometimes years. Anything too quick is considered disrespectful. Here’s why they refuse to rush funeral planning.

Why This Country Is Slow To Bury Their Dead
Via Wikimedia Commons

Dying is delicate. Anti-Blackness has taught our people worldwide to rush everything, including funeral planning and grief, but this country refuses to hurry to bury their loved ones.

In Ghana, it’s common for the deceased to be buried three to six months later and, in other cases, years, depending on many factors.

A ‘chief mourner’ from the transitioning person’s born-into family must be appointed, and things like listing the mourners correctly on the obituary carefully take weeks.

Some villages consider burying someone too quickly a sign of disrespect to the dearly departed. Billboard obituaries go up, and loved ones may travel from various cities and countries to attend a Ghanaian funeral.  

The ceremonies are rich celebrations of life, complete with music, dancing pallbearers, food, and drink.

Funeral planning may take even longer for families who believe that life transcends death. Fantasy coffins are designed in shapes that depict a person’s hobbies or professions, are intricately made, and can’t be rushed.

Around the world, Black funeral culture requires reverence and intense care for our dearly departed. It’s ancestral. It’s who we’ve always been.

So much of our existence in these bodies are harmed by anti-Blackness, but we will never let others tell us how to die.

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