Can the dead feel shame?

There are many ways to die. Some are–shall I say–less graceful than others. Like when a bomb blast struck a Catholic Church in Abuja on Christmas Day. 16 dead. Or is it 17? A really nasty way to die. You lose your life but then you lose coordination. You find yourself striking the strangest of poses. Some complain about having two left feet. Imagine having no feet at all and having your left thigh lie next to your right arm, detached, like a discarded toy. What a way to make the acquaintance of the 800 million active users of Facebook! What a spectacle!

It’s, perhaps, startling to be alive one minute and be a lifeless body the next.  But then to become a thing of curiosity, photographed and put up on Facebook walls. And then to be introduced not by your name but by warnings. They say it’s the civilized thing to do…this warning from one sensible living person to another sensitive living person. Awful pictures from Abuja bombingGraphic picturesDisturbing photosViewer’s discretion advised. That’s got to be embarrassing…for the dead, I mean. And it’s got to be tough too, being dead…I mean…in a place like Nigeria. To have people at home and 6000 miles away gawking at your severed limbs, your awkward posture, your dusty hair.  And let them not say that by circulating these horrid pictures they are bearing witness against the violence by which you were slain. Is your inconsolable loss not witness enough? Why must they drag along your remains in underserved disgrace?

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—-For the Xmas Dead

Read the CNN coverage of the “Christmas Carnage” here.

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Photo: Yoko Akiba