Monday, August 31, 2009

Grandma's Funeral

15-18 August 2009

As the night drew near, the prayers had to commence the following day. I stayed up through the night to watch over Grandma's body. It was a feeling all too familiar.

The next morning, the same priests, that came down for Father's funeral, came to do prayers conduct for Grandma. I got to know that these priests were well-known throughout the Hakka community. More than a decade ago, they had also conducted prayer rituals for my ancestors. The rituals were recorded on VHS tape and Grandma used to enjoy watching it over and over again, until the player malfunctioned.

Wreaths and funeral blankets came pouring in. The first wreath to arrive was from People's Association to Uncle. I thought the gesture was sincere.

I was reminded of my promise to Grandma on buying her a big house and driving her around in a big car, when her future mansion came.

On one of the mornings, Aunt cooked chicken porridge for us. The smell and taste of the porridge so reminds me of that cooked by Grandma. I miss this porridge which I used to eat every day.

According to Hakka tradition, a dragon was carved out of sand. Coins were embedded within the sand and Grandma's descendants would pick them out after the rituals that night.

Every night, the seats were filled with friends and relatives of Grandma. A distant relative, who has a "third eye", actually saw Grandma standing beside our maid.

At the last night, cousins, brother and myself slept around Grandma and then in the morning, all of us sent Grandma off in her last journey...

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