Friday, June 21, 2013

And then we die

As some of you may probably guess, this post is a result of a recent funereal event I attended. My father's brother passed away last Tuesday so I went home to attend his cremation ceremony. In Chinese families, the standard procedure when someone passed away is to put the deceased in a funeral home (or his/her own home), in this case, for 3 days. Families and friends gather around to pay respects, send prayers, and saying goodbyes. I met a lot of people, relatives or friends, many faces, many names. Some of us come to pay respects, some to channel their grieving process, some to meet old relatives and friends, catching up after all these years. The one that couldn't make it, sent bouquets showing their condolences.

The first two days were hard. People came and went, families stayed behind. But the real tragedy was the last day. The day the family realized, we had to put an end to this grief parade. The day that he has finally gone (for good, maybe? we don't know). Many years of life, of relationship, crammed up in that last 3 days. How many people came? How many people cried? How many people stayed until the last moment? How many people willing to give up 3 days of their life to stop and say goodbye?

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