My first funeral in a church

Today is the first time I attend a Christian funeral. In all my life, I either do not know any Christians or I ran fast fast from any building where they worship an ang moh God. I mean, how can, mannn….. I am a Chinese so my gods should be like me, right? With Chinese clothes, white long beard and talk in a language I understand. Sin choi, sin choi.

(to those not familiar, I turn to Christianity in 2003 and Jesus is my Lord, my God)

So, I ended up in church today as part of the choir group. It was one of our senior member. I have never spoken to her and probably she doesn’t know me. I was actually very scared of her previously because she is always so prim and well-dressed. I wouldn’t want to go near her and sing out of tune and get smack, definitely!

But I go for the choir today ‘cos I know she would be pleased to see the full force from the choir group. I expected funerals to be emotional but determine to be cool about it. We sang some beautiful songs like the one sung by Elton John (pukes) at Princess Diana’s funeral. Make me a channel of your peace. (wait I free time, I go sing and record, ok? 🙂 )

She is well-loved by all the members as she had been there for 20 years. (I hope I can still sing for another 20 years.) So, almost everyone of them sob-sob, snort-snort, etc etc.

Because of her, I took extra care with my clothings today. We are supposed to wear white top and black pants/skirts. I even made up minus the mascara. Because I know she has always been very well-groomed right up to her last few months. So, I don’t want her to smack me for wearing like some ah-sohs.

With all the sobs around, most of the members can’t sing. Therefore, this kelefeh (me) tried my best to make up for the lack of ‘noise’ from my corner. Wah…cukup bersemangat. Each time, I kept pushing away any thoughts of any funerals.

Do you know that when people cried at funerals, sometimes, they aren’t crying for the deceased lying there but is a replay of their own losses? Most funerals will trigger off that emotional button. I can start crying whenever that Cina-apek underground band go ‘wang pu liau, wang pu liau’ (to the tune of Getaran Jiwa). Gawd, those underground band sometimes sound really horrible if you don’t pay them well. If anyone gives me that kind of band at my funeral, I will jumped out of my coffin and ‘AWWW…SHADDDDDAPPPP, people is trying to die here!’ (ala Anger Management, Shut yr pie hole, people is trying to work here)

So, song after song, I still tarak feelings. Not that I don’t feel for her son and husband. But hey, it is a glorious thing. She is with God now, we should rejoice. In the eulogy, one of our choir member joked, “Auntie Aurea is singing with the choir of angels now and we are still stucked with Gerard, the slave master!” LOL.

However, during holy communion, I walked past her coffin and I got a vision of her sitting there as usual in her spectacles, well-coiffured hair, make-up and tailored clothes. She was wearing a bronze coloured clothes. (I seriously do not know what colour she wore because the coffin is sealed and I didn’t attend the funeral wake last night. I didn’t say ‘I see dead people’ ala Sixth Sense to anyone around me of course.)

After I received the Body of Christ, I returned to my pew and fulamak, I suddenly broke down. Boy, was it shocking! Because in that few moments, it hit me that hey, my son also has the same glorious homecoming eventhough I never manage to give him a proper funeral. I grabbed Cecilia and told her, ‘I missed my son. He would have been six years old now.”

Fast forward, my super controllable emotions got back into normal….. and here I am merepeking.

To cut a long story short, it has been poignant attending a funeral in church. People are so composed. The mourners all dressed up like the Godfather movie set. Smart blacks. Funeral is a closure of a person’s life and when done so beautifully like that, it is more of a temporary farewell party.

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Our last Christmas carolling without Auntie Aurea because she was sick then.

Rest well, Auntie Aurea. I learnt few things today. Your legacy as a teacher in Convent Green Lane is so admirable. I am sure you must have been terribly proud to hear the eulogies from your ex-students. And hey, I also found out that we have a few things in common after all. I am also Mrs. Loh just like you. I also married a man shorter in height than me. And I hope to emulate you in keeping fit, staying hot mama and I shall learn to give killer stares like you. Plus the sharp tongue and a golden heart.

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God bless Auntie Aurea and rest well. May Jesus watch over Andrew the baritone choir singer (her son) and Mr. Loh (her husband) while you are away. Please continue to watch over us choir singers also so that we don’t get lazy, fat and sloppy and sing out of tune. LOL.

15 Replies to “My first funeral in a church”

  1. Growing up, a so-called christian until about 6 months ago. I began questioning myself, like does God really exist? Why the chosen people, are we(the non-jew) not good enough? If Adam + Eve are the 1st humans and have 2 sons, where did the 3rd generation comes from? Same with Noah….
    Another things that gets me is that, most wars were/are cause by religion.. be it Christian, Islam, etc.
    For now I am leaning towards Buddhist philosophy minus the God part. Live as proper as one can be and pushing up daisy when my time’s up.

    p/s I like some of the pictures you took.

  2. KC, like you I too ceased believing a long time ago. When I look at the sufferings in Africa, I question the existence of God and what did they do to deserve such sufferings.
    Why creat us in the first place? Only to see us err and cast us in a lake of fire if we are non-believers? Is He some kind of sadistical supernatural being? My conclusion is of course, there is no God.

  3. Cocka – Woooo, nice! I wish I can live on my own principles but sometime I prefer life to come with a manual, rules and regulations, lifetime guarantee and such or else I dunno end up where. But hor, where I come from, I don’t get drilled by the higher ups about non-believers being thrown out of the club. So, I have no problem with that.

    Cocka again – Funny that you ask. I actually forget to see because I was not following them to the cemetery. However…as I was driving home, I go ‘aiks, forget to see’. Kahkahkah, sort of like being tune from small la. Then. when I was turning into my apartment, a hearse from those smaller undertaker, the type open air with zombie looking helpers gave way for me to turn into my apartment. 2879 RM10 big RM10 small and if you strike, buy me a pro account at Flickr! Only USD24.95 LOL. What’s funny is usually hearse not so gentleman wan but he kasi jalan for me. So 2879.

    foodcrazee – Donch worry, adult discussion only. No one bash anyone up.

    kc – kehkehkeh, you know your Bible facts much more correct than me. I didn’t think much about that. More on Jesus’s principles and they are pretty cool. But whether Buddhism or Christianity, we are all told that living on earth has sufferings. And God gave us free will and that’s how the world is so f*cked up. Religion is just an excuse used by these people to fight for power and money. And as we know, $$ is the opposite of God. Oh well, what do I know. I am only 3 years old!

    All said, I guess our life paths have been charted somewhat.

  4. kc, many people assume that the bible is to be taken word for word. Even I used to.
    However, though it was not mentioned in the bible, God could have created more men/women after Adam and Eve. Adam could be a few men, and Eve a few women.
    Just like when the bible says that God created the word in six days, it doesnt mean 6×24 hrs.
    one day could be one month, or it could be a week! Think about it…
    There is a God..life isnt a bed of roses, we learn from the shit some days hand us.
    It’s always easy to switch off the life support of someone terminally ill, but by doint that, you will never learn how to selflessly care, never learn humility, patience and the beauty of life.
    There are blessings in every grief!

  5. Last year, I attended at least 3 funerals for my church members. I did scripture reading and bcos my voice not good, I did not get to sing.:-) I’m used to funerals and uncountable trips to the GH. (either to visit members or take them for follow-up) You see, these are the places I think I would not have gone had I not embraced Christ. Who wants to go GH everyday wor? Sure sooi one what… so many ppl died there… But now, what the heck, no pantang. lol

    Having said that, I am still sad at alot of practices by the church that somehow defeated the purpose of Christ dying for us. Christ came to set us free…. unfortunately, churches still put ppl in bondage. 🙁 OK OK there is no perfect church….. but, I sure hope there is…

  6. You wrote:- “After I received the Body of Christ, I returned to my pew and fulamak, I suddenly broke down. ” True, true.
    Without fail every Mass immediately after Holy Comminion. Never knew why. Dont need to know why, other than our Father is watching over me & kiddos. My own 11-yr marriage solemnised by our Parish priest at home shortly before my dear departed. Coming 8 yrs now. Baptised since then. PEACE BE WITH YOU.

  7. Everyone go to Cocka’s blog!!!! The story is almost turning 18SX.

    WFH – The feeling is always very overwhelming ya? It is good we are touched in that way and not zombie like take, swallow and walk out of church minus any enlightment. Sorry to hear about your departed one. Peace to you too.

    wuching – Aiyoh, I damn proud of my own surname wan. I like Chan better. Unless my atm got Tan Sri Dato’ Panglima then, I want to be Puan Sri Datin Panglima Loh la. LOL.

    SCB – Thank you.

    helen – I feel religion is a very personal communcation between Jesus and us. So, sometimes it is sad that a LOT of people ( a whole LOT) of people turned away from the faith due to problems with the human side. But then, we still need church or else we turn into our own Ayah Pin. BTW, Cocka is a follower of AP. LOL. You must ask him for a copy of the APiple.

    anucia -Thanks for your wise inputs. I hold fast to John’s ‘You did not choose me, I choose you….’ because I was hesitating if Christ is right for me, on the day before my baptism. It is His choice. So may God’s will prevail.

  8. Not surprisingly Pg is really small and Mrs A Loh was my Geography teacher in Form 2. Amazingly strict but truly with a good heart. I’ll never forget how to mark Rockhampton, Australia just slightly above garisan Jadi. As long as she lived a full life on earth, we should be glad that she’s in a most wonderful place now with Jesus.

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