Professional Mourning: Sending Off Loved Ones in Style

Mourning is a way to show how important a person was in life

The importance of a person is shown by
how they are mourned after their death
(Image: Geralt/Pixabay/CC0)

Sending off Loved Ones with Professional Mourning

Loved ones pass on and it is really a time of mourning and bereavement. In Western Kenya and Nyanza provinces, mourning for the dead is treated with dire seriousness. The importance of a person is known depending on how they are mourned at the time of their demise. That is the time when professional mourning is sought.


What is Professional Mourning?

It is when people who are not relatives of the diseased mourn them for a fee. Yes, such people are known as professional mourners, and their activity as professional mourning. They mourn the dead person so that they receive payment. It is a type of business or employment.

We mourn as a way to channel grief

We mourn as a way to channel grief
(Image: Noir/Pixabay/CC0)

Why Do We Mourn?

People mourn the departed for various reasons. Outlined here are some of the reasons:

  • They mourn due to the loss of the loved one who had suddenly succumbed to death. They cry, tossing themselves in dust due to the pain of losing one who was of great help to them.
  • Others mourn to alert the neighborhood of the demise of their dear ones. They howl, shout and chant songs in praise of the dead person. Usually, when a person passes on, it is a time of great noise and wailing.
  • Mourning can be a way of showing other people how important the person was in your life and community too. The importance of the person determines how they are mourned for. That means that there is more mourning for a grown up than there is for an infant.
  • Others mourn as a means to show off. They want to show the world that they really mourned for the one who had departed from them.
  • Others mourn as a mockery. Maybe they were not in good terms with the dead or their relatives. They come to mock them that at last death has caught up with them.

Why Professional Mourning?

There are some people who cannot wail as loudly as they want to, and therefore seek the services of professional mourners. Likewise, there are those who are not popular, and they will hire people to make their dead look famous. There are still those who do it as a show-off.

mother mourns child from pixabay-CCO-public domain

Mother mourns child
(Image: Myriams-Fotos/Pixabay-CCO)


How is Professional Mourning Done?

This is done by use of motorcycle riders who hoot and mourn, riding through major towns. They do it when they get the dead from the mortuary. There are also convoys of mourners in various vehicles trying to outdo each other in wailing. At the end of the activity, it is when money exchanges hands. All these are done in the name of professional mourning.


Featured image: Funeral procession (Image: skeeze/Pixabay/CCO)


  1. Kyla Matton Osborne

    I am glad that such customs are not a part of the tradition where I live, for I am an intensely private person. I have an appreciation for the keening that takes place in some cultures, but I think I need to mourn in private. Even with my own family, I tend to be rather reserved about my grief.

    1. Kyla Matton Osborne

      That used to be the case here in North America, for all religious occasions. The priests used to decry families from the pulpit if they didn’t attend church often enough, or give a big enough tithe, or what have you. The people of a community might boycott a business because the priest was displeased with the family who owned it. you had to be careful not to be seen frequenting the business, lest the priest attack you next. It could financially ruin a family and they could be left with no friends or support in the community.

      Today, religion and events like funerals are more about individual choice in our community. There are a lot of funerals in our town, as we have a very large population of elderly people. My middle daughter plays bagpipes at many of the funerals. She gets called at least once or twice a month, but there are many more deaths than that. We have one undertaken that I know of, and he must do a pretty brisk busines.

  2. Gina M. Menorca

    We hire professional mourners too . It has of different fields too. They have the ones that is constantly crying at the wake. They have singers that will sing a very sad song you can imagined that can bring visitors to tears. they have prayer warriors which is constantly praying for the soul of the dead. Very expensive though.

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