No No at funerals

Rated : Highly sensitive.

Aha! I am going to write about no no at funerals. Keep my fingers, thumbs and toes crossed. God bless and protect me. I am merely stating my own experiences and please God, tell all the others to stay away so that they don’t get provoked. If they like being provoke, please tell them to go to Xiaxue and add on to her 261, and counting, comments.

Once I went to my husband’s eldest sister’s husband’s funeral. He died after suffering from Parkinson disease. He was converted on his last few days and had been following Christ when he was well. He is a great guy, the head of the family after my parents-in-laws passed away. Therefore, I have great respect for sis & bro -in-law.

But at the funeral wake, I was appalled by what the church leader said. Here is a great man, famous all over Air Itam town for his roasted pork. And the pastor said….Yesterday, my friend’s dog died. He was very sad and gave the dog a proper funeral yadda yadda yadda. Then more yadda yadda yadda, when a person died, the body is like a piece of ‘char thau’ (log of dead wood) yadda yadda yadda.

Needless to say, I wasn’t a Christian then and have absolutely no desire to be one, ever! OMG (I can curse OMG last time, ok?) how can you bring up a dog and a log to compare to this great man!!!! Goodness, the whole family are still reeling with disorientation because the old gentleman converted to Christianity just a few days ago!

Then, fast forward to my own son’s funeral. I shall not quote who said this.

“Your son is young. They (undertaker) will not nail the coffin. Very fast only, he (Vincent) will be reborn.”

Godammit! (again, I wasn’t a Christian yet, remember?) Are you trying to tell me that my son, whom is going to be burnt in the incinerator soon is going to open the coffin top and walk out, just like that! Go find a new mommy and end of story? Fuck off, if you do not know what to say, just shaddap! Have you ever been dead? Have your son ever been dead? Are you some sort of magicwoman whom had travelled between heaven and hell, nirvana and earth?

Another sentence that I am highly allergic to, a favourite in church, is:
“Don’t cry. He is in a better place now.”

Oh yeah, like hell, I can believe your words. You think my tears got tap head to turn on and off ah? How do you know he is in a better place? Because your ‘book’ said so?

(Of course, I only trust two persons words, i.e. Vincent’s nurse from India and his doctor whom had seen him gone through the ordeal in the hospital and whom are Orthodox and Catholics respectively to give me that assurances on resurrection and Heaven. And I converted to Catholicism on my own free will a year later and now believe in what I believe now. God bless them. Amen.)

So, the no no at funerals? Don’t say anything. Keep the mouth shut, open your arms and heart instead, give the family your touch, hugs and tears. And yeah, wear black.

Finally, my forum for bereaved parents is up. MyHealingPath Pray for us (bereaved parents) that we will find our healing.

Thank you to Chee Aun for your help and Intergricity.

15 thoughts on “No No at funerals

  1. wow a church leader said that? very kurang ajar leh.

    and the “Don’t cry. He is in a better place now.” is so common.almost everyon uses it to comfort people.sometimes,it work though.

  2. I wonder if the pastor is the same idiot who presided over a friends wedding. Both the bride and groom have double degrees. He said O we thank the wonderful hardworking dedicated parents of the groom who brought up such a handsome, perfect son and gave him intelligence and wisdom and the parents of the bride for making her pretty!!

  3. I paling dun like how sum ppl would say “Dun be sad, I understand how you feel” when the fact if that, they haven’t gone through the same thing. Or when ppl ask you to stop crying coz you cry oso no use, he/she won’t be back anymore. It’s like, duh, I know that but I’m crying because I can’t help it…my tears just wanna flow

  4. Hi RB, Skay and Romantic – Things like this happen all the time.

    But let me clarify a bit more. This is not about religion but rather how inadequately equipped most people are at funerals.

    I found what Xiaxue wrote about the feelings of the grieving parties rather admirable. She had expressed so well the feelings of the grieving parties.

    I neither support nor disagree with what she wrote as she does have the right to be very mad with the whole thing.

  5. In my books, the land of “no more suffering” is a better place to be. Though raw in grief you might not appreciate it. When you’ve finally stopped grieving, you will surely realise they meant well.

    When my dad passed away, we did not cry. We had a jolly good reunion telling and retelling childhood stories. We remembered how he hated it whenever we watched those chinese melodramas, esp the Taiwanese ones… He would not have wanted us to wail and moan at his funberal, no doubt about that.

    He was an insulin-dependant diabetic for more than a decade. In and out of hospitals, for various ailments, long term medication … absolutely horrendous quality of life. He lamented life. He wanted, no, longed to go.

    We celebrated his passing for he suffered no more.

  6. Yeah, I agree funerals can be rejoiced for a person whom had lived well. In fact, when my father-in-law died, we had the greatest family gatherings. But when death is unexpected and more so, a youth or small child, it is a different picture all together. However, faith does help a lot.

  7. I’m very much happy to be an atheist. And it is definitely appalling to know that only near-death that ppl ‘convert’ in order to go to a better ‘place’.

    And I also love using ‘Oh my gawd’ all the time =P

  8. Hi Reta
    I used to think like you too until I understand the whole situation. Actually, if I can be in that kind position, it will be great. ‘Cos I can do everything under the sky and just before I kick the bucket, I quickly jump ship and be saved. LOL! But seriously, it is not like that. The person must be committed and have the heart or else, the person wouldn’t go through the conversion (baptism if in Christianity). Then, it will be a big burden lifted off their chest, most times, they receive some peace after the sufferings ( usually) and they are assured they have a place ‘to go’.

    However, my priest (Catholics priest) told us that usually they will insist for the whole family to be around and agree before they conduct any baptism. And do you know that even I, can baptise a dying person? If the person explicitly indicate that he/she believe in Jesus Christ. We went through a lesson like that during our course.

  9. I don’t like Chinese funerals, where the non Christian folks will pressure you into participating in the rituals, – that is, wailing and crying for the dead, and chiding you for disrespect fi you don’t. Grieving doesn’t mean you must wail or chant, and public outshowing of grief should not be forced,

  10. Sweetspirit – As always, thanks dear.

    Jinny – You know what is worse than the crying? Not crying, or rather not allowed to cry. When a small child dies, they don’t allow the parents to shed tears. So, there is no way that a parent can control crying. What was done is – they do not allow the parents to be present at the bedside. This is something that I am going to tackle in my forum. It is a tragedy because eventhough a person is dying, not conscious, the person may still be aware of who is around. And the parents, they are going to live for the rest of their lives with this void in them, a big gap because they did not have a proper closure. Some parents aren’t even allowed to attend the funeral wake and funeral.

    On the day Vincent died, earlier in the day, I had the chance of witnessing how a Muslim deal with death and another faith (my previous one) where they didn’t allow the parents of this 6 yrs old boy to be by his bedside. I was ‘in-between’ but leaning more towards Christ. So, when it is my ‘turn’, I was able to handle it like the Muslim. Be there and believe in life after death.

  11. I think people should write down all their wishes
    for the funeral..I remember as a child attending this funeral where the guy is Protestant and his wife wont follow his verbal wishes. Result: All the Taoist monks and orchestra and wailing in front and the minister walked at the back. Then they buried him in a non Christian part of the cemetery. So sad.Death is sad enough without people making a circus out of it, To me , a funeral is your last chance to honor and say goodbye not a place to impose the wishes of the living.

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