77-year-old man who prepared his own grave, wrote eulogy 19 years ago is buried

77-year-old man who prepared his own grave, wrote eulogy 19 years ago is buried

By Moses Mwenda

A 77-year-old businessman who prepared his own grave and that of his wife 19 years ago was laid to rest at his Milimani home in Isiolo on Saturday.

This was despite varying opinion from a section of the family quarters that the deceased – Samson Mwongera- ought to be buried at his late father’s farm in Kibiricha, Meru County.

The late businesssman, according to his son Munene Mwongera, prepared his own grave and that of his spouse in 2000 when he retired from his workstation at the Isiolo Law Courts after he was diagnosed with diabetes.

The grave was constructed to the effect that whoever dies first between the two would be buried at the base, and a concrete slab used to cover it in order to create room for the spouse to be buried on top when they finally die.

He then proceeded to pen his own eulogy and that of his wife in 2003, with a tribute that whoever is left behind would read for the other during their funeral service.

The deceased’s younger brother, Gibson Muriithi, said his immediate family members were not happy with his decision since they wanted him to be buried at their father’s farm in Kibirichia.

Mr. Muriithu added that the decision to dig one’s own grave was also not welcome, but that they had to agree and grant him his wishes upon death.

The surviving sibling stated that, according to Meru traditions, whoever digs his own grave was supposed to slaughter a sheep; something his late brother did not do.

Mr. Mwongera’s widow, Eunice Mwongera, said that when the deceased decided to prepare their grave, he called elders from his extended family and notified them of his decision.

She stated that they did not support the idea but still allowed him proceed, upon which he called a mason the following day and the work began.

During their 44th wedding anniversary, she added, Mr. Mwongera summoned all his four sons and four daughters, took them to the grave and instructed them to bury whoever dies first at the base, and the spouse later on top.

Mrs. Mwongera added that the children were also not happy with the plan but had to agree.

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