I saw my first dead person on Sunday. I had a lovely day planned, a boy had invited me to go horse riding and we were going to take a picnic lunch and go for a walk though a nature reserve (honestly, I can’t really say that nature reserves really tickle my fancy but it’s something I feel obliged to do being in Costa Rica – it’s the bird watching capital of the world afterall…). Unfortunately however, a phone call at 10pm Saturday night notified us of the ‘sudden’ death (a word choice I would argue) of my 94 year old great-grandmother. So Sunday morning we were up and out the door by 6am making our way to a town called Cortez in southern Costa Rica. It’s so INCREADIBLY hot there that you have to bury your dead within 24 hours or they would probably start melting.
After stopping to buy flowers and eat breakfast (the most important thing in Costa Rica is that you’re not, no matter what the circumstance, hungry) we arrived at 9ish to a small, simple but well looked after church with bells ringing, old women preying and a 17 year old girl going absolutly nuts on top of the dead woman. It turned out to be the grand-daughter who had wanted her ‘Mama’ to stay with her forever and ever… One look at great grandma Carmen who resembled more a prune than a person and this became an awfully disturbing thought.
We hung around the church for several hours. I was so tired and hot that I actually slept in one of the church chair things (can’t spell it) and my auntie scared the hell out of me saying that it was forbidden and only the dead were allowed to close their eyes from church. She’s very convincing my auntie. Plus you never know with these catholics. Finally, we walked behind the coffin weilding pick-up truck to the cematary where everyone was waiting around for another hour or so for the guy who has to bury the coffin as he had been out drinking the night before and no one could wake him up… dodgy.
At about 2, everything was finally over and we made the trip back home which turned out to be a great bonding experience. We stopped and ate sea food, I talked with my cousins, we went to the beach and watched the sunset… A very pleasant end to the day.
One thing… has any one ever heard of the superstition that if a bird flies in to your house, it means that someone is going to die?
Replies: 1 Comment
Do you mean a pew?
Condolences to your great-grand mom.
Haven’t heard that superstition before.
Posted by Edo @ 11/26/2003 09:56 AM AST