CROSS FAMILY RELATIONSHIP AMONGST DECEASED COUPLES IN AGULERI: IMPLICATIONS TO CONTEMPORARY CHRISTIANS IN IGBO LAND
The loss of a loved one, and the grief experience that accompanies it, is unique for every bereaved individual. Spousal death is one of the most traumatic events that can occur in marital experience and most times, engenders different reactions. This study explores cross family relationship amongst deceased couples in Aguleri and implications to Christian families in contemporary Igbo land. Widowhood practices in Igbo land especially among non-Christians involve traditional observations including drinking water of ordeal whereby the widow drinks the water with which the dead body was washed, other practices include keeping the widow crying for the dead husband and taking her to the stream to birth in the dead of night stark naked by a man. These practices violate the rights of the widow and make her vulnerable to diseases and physical abuse. The researchers employed both primary and secondary methods in data presentation. The work also employed Weberian Symbolic Interractionism for theoretical framework. Aguleri people of Anambra East Local Government practice Agiri whereby the widow chooses from among her husband's kindred who will marry her and discharge marital duties including sexual activities. The widow is not excluded from making alternative choice of male sex partner. The researchers x -rayed these practices and conclude by suggesting acceptable legal prohibitions and Christian practices favouring the widow and will not negate acceptable Christian cultures as practiced today in Igbo land.