These Are The Families Left To Reclaim Garissa’s Dead…
Outside the mortuary, things are organized, even calm. Inside, though, there’s confusion.
“The bodies are not in good order; they are not arranged well,” Frederick Echesa Waburaka, the father of Kennedy, said on Monday afternoon. “Somebody lies on top of this one, somebody on top of another one. It’s giving [us] some fear. People view very quickly and just start off.”
This mortuary wasn’t built for so many dead. There isn’t enough refrigeration for them, and there’s no place to put them except on the floor. Even by Monday, there are still 18 bodies that hadn’t been embalmed. Every day, by the late afternoon, the smell of corpses spreads across the parking lot, thickening with the hour. Anyone who has recently been inside wears a surgical mask, or a dust mask, around the throat like a necklace.
When a family finds a body, a woman’s shriek breaks the sky. She’s carried by Red Cross volunteers to a grief tent, each arm draped over a volunteer’s shoulder, and her feet sometimes carried by another pair of volunteers. Her own body twists and cramps with heartbreak; she screams, breathless, as if she is drowning.