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  • Many African societies divide humans into three categories:

    Those still alive on Earth.
    The Sasha.
    And the Zamani.

    The recently departed whose time on Earth overlapped with people still here are the Sasha - the living dead. They are not wholly dead, they still live in the memories of the living who can call them to mind by creating their likeness in art or bring them to life in anecdote.

    When the last person to know someone dies then that person leaves the Sasha for the Zamani - the dead.

    The Zamani are not forgotten but revered. They are still remembered in the collective consciousness of the people, although all those who knew them personally have also passed.

    We lack these Kiswahili terms and concepts in modern Western culture but they are no less real regardless of one's hemisphere of residence. The eternities of our brothers and sisters who have passed exists in all the lives they touched. Their words and their laughter echo in our memories. Their lives and the way they touched our lives does not fade. They will not be forgotten.

    Om Shanti Shanti Shanti
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