A Kenyan Funeral
Today— (June 15, 2015) today was completely and utterly heart wrenching. I don't know if I have experienced this kind of pain before.
Sharon. At the age of 12, precious Sharon, has been at the Hope Center for 2 years now. During my time here, I have grown especially close to my sweet friend, Sharon. We have had many unforgettable memories together mostly just doing daily chores. Tuesday and Thursday's are wash days for the young girls here. So Tuesday and Thursday's, I sit outside by the spicket with her and we wash clothes. Actually she washing clothes and yells at me for trying to help. So I keep her company. We talk about school and life really we talk about everything. She teaches me Kiswahili and Luo. We both laugh when I undeniably mispronounce the words. Sometimes I mispronounce them on purpose just to see that beautiful laugh of hers. She usually lets me help her fold clothes which makes me happy. Once after a run, on a raining day my shoes were so muddy, and I left them on the steps so I wouldn't get the dorm dirty. When I came back out of the dorm later they had been washed they looked brand new. I later found out she had washed them for me. Her smile is out of this world. She lights up my world. There is never a dull moment with her...
I don't know if you have ever experienced a Kenyan funeral or even heard what happens during them. They carry the corpse though the village. People follow it screaming, crying, and wailing. This trail of people last all day. The funeral starts when it gets dark and can last up to 2-3 days.
Little did I know watching this go by all day that it was Sharon's uncle that had passed away.
I remember seeing her after she got back from school. I thought she didn't know yet because she was still wearing her joyful smile. It wasn't till she asked me to walk with her out to the funeral did I realize she knew. I originally thought she and her uncle weren't so close because she seemed alright. Later I was told this was her closest uncle and it wasn't till later did I realize he was probably the only person left in her extended family that really loved her.
The closer and closer we got the more and more that smile began to fade. Once we arrived she led me to her uncle, who died of some sort of sickness, and who was in a coffin under big tents that looked like circus tents. Then we went and sat. And she cried and cried.
Alone..... The word that seemed to be floating in the air. The fact that this orphan just became more orphaned is heavy on my heart.
A good 20-30 minutes of sitting trying to find a way to comfort her. So we prayed. A lot out loud and in our heads, for Gods peace and for his comfort.
I don't think I have really understood the word orphan before I don't think it has ever been so depicted to me before. But in that moment I broke.
I broke for Sharon...
I broke for Kenya.....
I broke for orphans all around the world.
Please pray for my sweet Sharon!