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.
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.
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.