Mon | Oct 22, 2018

Aunt V didn't get fitting farewell

Published:Tuesday | October 10, 2017 | 12:33 AMAmos Wint


There has been more controversy than mourning over the death of the once oldest living person, Violet Moss-Brown. It has simply been drama par excellence since the day she was declared the oldest woman alive!

Aunt V lived a humble and unseen life for 117 long years, only to become fettered by her achievement of celebrity for the last six months of her marathon jubilee.

The shenanigans that surround how she was treated in her last days, being 'snatched' and placed in a medical facility for treatment, and eventually dying six days later, are worrying. The question in my mind, as with many, is whether she would have lived much longer had she been left at her Duanvale home?

We have to use Aunt V’s case as a typical example of the contentious and raucous displays that too often emanate from the death of our loved ones. I was even more appalled when I learnt of the outburst that marred the thanksgiving service.

Shameful! Is this how we choose to honour the memory of a Jamaican icon?

The government, on the other hand, has failed to step in. For example, why was Aunt V not accorded an official funeral? Ironically, when news broke of her achievement, all roads led to Duanvale - the GG, PM and leader of the Opposition all went like pilgrims to pay homage to a great Jamaican woman. Yet they have divorced themselves of the pomp and pageantry that ought to have marked her departure as well.

What Aunt V achieved for Jamaica cannot be quantified or qualified, hers was a story untold for several generations. The thought that a black woman in the Third World, who have managed to survive all ills and lived to 117 years without fame or fortune - is phenomenal.

Thankfully, the University of the West Indies has seen it fit to honour her memory by accepting her corpse to conduct possible life-changing research.