Tuesday, June 19, 2007


Spento>adj, extinguished, put out; dead; lifeless.
The word spento is totally the opposite of respiri. But, in a sense it is a part of the life. In the past few months too many persons who meant alot to me have died. It is overwhelming.
Yesterday Uncle G was buried. He had been battling death for a very long time. His final moments before burial were typical of town's respect. So the following is not just his but of many who passed before him here in Oliveri.
The dead are waked in their homes. Burial takes place after 24 hours have passed. Visitors are encouraged to pay final respects and the family sit quietly around the body receiving these visitors. Through out the night someone sits up with the body. It is not left alone until burial. On the day of the burial, the street is filled with mourners waiting for the priest to show up at the home. The body is then placed into the funeral car and the family, followed by those gathered walk behind the hearse to the church. Sometimes a beloved person's coffin is carried the route to the church. Often they will pass this persons place of labor and pay a final salute to that part of his life.
After the church service the body is transported to the cemetery, but stops before reaching the Via National highway. It is now against the law for the grieving to walk along highways. It is a final place to console the immediate family. Those going to the cemetery are taken in cars and others return to their homes.
A friend once told me that death isn't a one day thing. She meant that it will spread into many meanings for people left behind. I did not understand this until I experienced close relatives deaths but it is true. I have much more empathy for those left behind. I am experiencing this in a very personal way.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

My sympathies to you, Sharon, during this time. It is amazing -- much to the point of utter surprise -- the depths of love, the depths of emotion.

I like, "Death isn't a one day thing." Let yourself have today to grieve. And tomorrow and tomorrow's tomorrow. . .