Community Support in life and death
My expertise is on traditional Moroccan postpartum medicine. I talk about it all the time, share about it, learn more about it and it is a large part or my business.
There is a lot of culture and traditions in Morocco...all of it is based on community, working together and helping each other. From eating couscous with the family on Fridays, special wedding customs, sacred rituals for the new mother, going with family to the hamam, eating harira to break fast in Ramadan, kneading bread almost daily, visiting the elderly and even grieving for the dead. If you read my newsletter yesterday, I spoke about my sister in laws mother who recently passed away (May God have Mercy on her Soul) on July 5th. The day before she passed I visited her, held her hand and listened to her stories.
What happened next...?
There was certainly no mad rush to get her body out of the home. Instead people can cry if they need to and see the body. The body stayed in the home the entire time until the burial. Immediately word spreads and people start to visit. In Islam, the body should be buried quite quickly as they are not stored in any cold rooms, etc.
The next day a woman washes her body fully (a man washes a mans body) and they use a white shroud to wrap the body in. I love how we come to the world, we leave it; just like a newborn wrapped in a cloth. Nothing more, nothing less...
Community comes to play.
Members of family and others contribute to the cost of preparing lots of food, as charity, to feed the people grieving, visitors and strangers. After the night time (Isha) prayer, a group of men come to recite the entire Qur’an (holy book of Islam) off by heart and say prayers. People grieve, pray, eat when they can and just be. The day after her passing was the day of burial m and the body was carried out of the home on the shoulders of men taking turns to get blessings. Her body was buried in the ground in her white shroud and laid to rest.
At home the community keeps visiting... groups of women come to recite prayers together and cry. Food is being made and continued to be donated.
Today I will be going to Chefchaouen to see my sister in law and witness the continuation of the prayers and community support.
Revive. Reclaim. Restore