Laid To Rest

Today was my first African farm burial. I thought it would be weird and creepy to take and post photos from today, but now I am disappointed I didn’t take photos. The whole experience was so moving. I wish I could share every bit of it with you.

Feisty old Oupa demanded to be buried in the cheapest casket they could find, so he was. It was a plain wooden box, with rope handles. The site was on Johan’s uncle’s farm, which was inherited by Oupa from his parents. A gorgeous farm where they raise sheep and sunflowers, amongst other things.

The warm African sun set the glorious scene.

Roughly a hundred people came out to watch the burial of this wonderful old man, who I hear was loved and hated by many.

Right before the ceremony started, farm workers from around the area, dressed up in their best, came around the edge of the house. About sixty.

There is still a lot of racist tension in South Africa. Daily, the news is filled with farmers being killed by their workers. The tension lying mostly with the “old” South Africa vs the “new” South Africa.

Seeing as Oupa lived the majority of his life in the “old” South Africa, I was shocked and moved to see a large amount of black people at the burial today. When they broke out in song, my heart swelled and the tears flowed. It was beautiful. One of the men said a prayer for Oupa in Sotho (one of our 11 national languages). I have no idea what he said, but you could tell it was from his heart and he meant every word. Crying right now thinking of that moment.

One of the younger girls stood out from the crowd and started singing a song in English which said, “Don’t worry, I am going home, where I will die no more.” Remembering that, always brings peace to my heart.

Later I found out one of the men had been living and working for Oupa for over seventy years.

I can understand a bit of Afrikaans. I don’t claim to be fluent. Church services are hard for me to follow. Church and old people. They use too big of words. So most of today I didn’t know what was said. What I do know is that I am so lucky to have married such an amazing and sensitive man, and to have married into such a loving and caring family.

Tomorrow we head back to the city and back to reality. Thankfully it is Friday and as always we have a super busy weekend planned. I’ll spend most if the weekend gearing up for a surprise party for one of my most favorite people next weekend, getting my hair cut and hanging out with some of my other favorite people. Ah, two whole days with Johan and Ava, just livin’ life!

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