We were all pensive and full of rage as Mrs. Nwadinume Ukandu was being buried with none of her two children in attendance.
Her relations had decided to arrange a low keyed funeral service and ceremony for her formalin discolourated corpse that had stayed in the mortuary for over 13 months.
The husband's brother had kept her in the mortuary hoping that her children would come home to bury their mother but had to arrange for her interment and funeral rites when it had become obvious that the children were not coming home soon.
Bomboy, the first son, lived in America and had married a Jamaican and the second son resided in Canada with his British wife.
The sons who moved abroad on scholarships didn't also return home when their father died ten years before.
Not that these children were not doing well abroad, no! They just loath the stress of funeral ceremonies in Igbo land.
They would not partake in an ancient practice.
The fact that most of our boys abroad who married citizens of the countries of their residence behave this way made one drunkard from my place, conclude that our boys contract this "don't come home" madness from suckling breasts of adult foreign women.
In a twist of fate, Bomboy was seconded to Nigeria by his American company. He was based in Port Harcourt as his company was involved in oil exploration.
He had made up his mind to remarry when his black American wife made it clear that she was not relocating to Africa with him. His kids sided with their mum and he felt alone.
Bomboy was emboldened to propose to a Nigerian lady, an Igbo colleague from a neighboring village to his home town.
But his prospective inlaws would not give out their daughter to Bomboy unless he came with his kinsmen.
Bomboy could not easily locate his family house as his uncle who financed the burial and funeral rites of his parents had inherited the deceased property and other assets.
The uncle's children had demolished former structures and erected new ones hence, Bomboy's confusion in locating his father's house. He and his brother were not expected back.
To the relations, "ama Ukandu echiena" meaning that "Mr. Ukandu, Bomboy father's lineage has ended."
The estates of a deceased whose lineage has closed would be inherited by his closest relative in a process known as "ili ekpe" meaning "inheritance, by the closest male relative of the estates of one whose lineage has closed."
At Nnewi, whosoever amongst the closest male relations that finances the funeral ceremonies of a relative inherits the deceased estates.
The first right of refusal belongs to the closest and the eldest male relation of the person whose lineage is deemed closed. If he fails, any other male relations from the extended family who finances the funeral ceremonies shall inherit all the inheritables of the dead.
The "ili ekpe" is not reversible. A mere return of Bomboy and his brother can never qualify them to repossess what they had abandoned. Thy lost all by abandoning their responsibilities.
The leprous way the natives treated Bomboy as he arrived his village of birth was frightening enough to make him rush back to Port Harcourt immediately
At least 15 persons told him "thunder fire you!"
The youths also promised to come to Port Harcourt to kill him because he desecrated the land.
Nobody needed to tell him that his life was at risk. Not with the increased capabilities of his townspeople in kidnapping.
The next morning, Bomboy resigned his appointment with his employers and returned to America.
His return was a bit late as his wife had moved in with her boxer boyfriend after her last hot telephone exchange with Bomboy and the later's threat to marry a Nigerian wife.
Bomboy could not handle the shame. He took a plunge into Missisipi river and was drowned, a month after his junior brother, Obike was killed by his drug addict son.
I could remember that the elders were unanimous (not in praying for the repose of the souls of the dead but) that the children of Mr/Mrs Ukandu be permanently unhappy in their lives for refusing to bury their parents.
What I considered a mild curse was elevated to a calamity by fate.
Even in the faraway USA and Canada, none of the children of Bomboy and Obike attended their father's burial.
What goes around comes around.
If you, for whatever reason, skip attending the burial or funeral ceremonies of your parents, fate shall prevent your own kids from attending yours.
If you are abroad and you conveniently sent money to finance your parents' funeral but willfully absent yourself, you will not lose your inheritance but be assured that your own children shall surely find reasons not pay you the last respect.
Some children of these days are becoming so mean.