I tell you lah. During my own mader-in-law funeral hor, I had to force myself to cry because we were supposed to cry but I have very little feelings left as she had been in coma for a long time. Anyway, she had the same kind of ‘kong teik’ (elaborate taoist funeral rites) and I was the one who had to ‘brew’ the medicinal herbs supposed to cure her illness before she departed to the next world. It is one long ceremony of the taoist nun going up hill to pick leaves which will be put into a pot over charcoal fire. Then, I was supposed to fan the fire and brew it for her.
But yesterday (or rather tonight), the funeral rite was even sadder than my own MIL. While the daughter was brewing the pot of guava leaves with hot water, I cried and cried and cried. If there is an award for best actress, I would have won the Oscar for the most dramatic cry.
I tell you, it wasn’t my intention but I just cannot stop the tears. Actually, I never shed a single tear so far ‘cos you know lah, I admitted that I am not even close to the deceased. It was only these few weeks that we got acquainted by circumstances.
When I see that pot of ‘medicinal herbs’, I thought of the times I washed those ‘cancer leaves’ that my housekeeper (also the cousin sister of the deceased children) had plucked from her kampung. She would bring the bag of leaves and I would soaked them overnight. Then, I had to wash off the sands and boil it. I remembered the times I had to figure out how much brown sugar to put etc etc. Then, all those pots of fish and alphabet pasta I made. Those two leaves spinach, one slice fish, one garlic, half potato etc etc. Waaaaaa….so sad. And the pot of red beans I cooked at 3 am….etc etc.
It is sooooo darn sad. I just stood there and cried and cried and cried. I don’t care what his side of relatives think lah. “This woman siao or what, cry so much for what lah, not that she is related. Want to show off she is being filial kah?” My atm also leave me alone to cry all I want because I think he also knows how sad it is. It is like the finale. The last pot of herbs he is ever going to drink to heal him.
All these days, I never want to participate in their prayers because it doesn’t seem right. (I draw certain lines between respect for the deceased and prayers to their gods so I know when to step aside and when it is ok to join.) So, I had occupied myself with wiping the condensation on the coffin glass. It is sort of the last thing I could do for him.
After that medicinal herbs thingie, there is the ‘break the city gates’ for the soul to enter. Then, it is the final farewell where everyone is supposed to send him him to enter the gates.
I went to ask the Taoist monk, “Sifu, is it ok if I follow the ‘crossing the bridge’? Sifu damn understanding and explained to me that it is fine for Catholics because we honour our ancestors. He said it is only a rites to remember the deceased. (Bwahaha…I guess he knew that I was the one who suggested his troop to come and perform the rites, so better butter me, hor? The ceremony probably costs RM4K, wei.) He told me I can hold the joss-stick if I want. But I whispered to him, “I don’t mind but I don’t want my IBS 8-pohs to mistaken and confuse, so I shall just follow with the 10 coins.” My little boy enjoyed the whole 8 rounds across the ‘bridge’. We threw the 1 cent coin into a basin of water each time we make a circle. (we were left with two coins to take home for prosperity)
I tell you, damn drama ‘cos it rained cats and dogs with thunder and lightning. And many of the visitors were caught in the crazy jam due to the petrol price increased. My sister had to turn back because they couldn’t reach due to the kilometres of jam. Some petrol stations even ran out of petrol to supply. We missed the deadline ‘cos by the time the rite is over, it is 12.07 am so we didn’t fill up our Persona tank.
Anyway…my little boy has such beautiful explanation on everything. I am glad I brought him along (as we have no babysitter) to introduce him to some Chinese customs while blending it with our Christians’ faith.
“Mommy, they burn the house and then, it goes up to Jesus and so Jesus got many rooms for everybody lor.” (I tell you, it is so comforting to hear a wise quote like that. In My Father’s house, there are many rooms? Remember this verse?)
And when I asked him to give his last respect before we come home, he put his hands together, bow down and said bye-bye. I love my Catholic baby!
Funeral is today and hubby and I will have to wear mourning clothes. That will be the final thing that both of us can do for him. (It is 2 am and I am waiting for my black pants in the washing machine to complete washing before I put it into the dryer, for tomorrow.)
(I got video of the ‘breaking the city gates’. When I am free, I shall write the most elaborate Taoist funeral guide for the Dummies. It is something worth preserving because of the amount of filial piety put into the ceremony.)
Now, where is my eye cream. Doh!
Talk about the stupid KNNCCB petrol price increase lah. Did you filled up your tank? Lucky we top up the Naza Ria tank day before yesterday. When we returned from Telok Kumbar, the Rapid Penang buses were lined up in Sungai Tiram Petronas. I think the whole fleet of buses were there. When we passed by Shell, they had ran out of petrol. My hubby said all of us should park our car in the middle of the road and protest. Let the whole country comes to standstill. Ask UMNO to explain why a country like ours who produce petrol had to suffer like this. Gloomy days ahead.
12 thoughts on “It is darn sad, wokay?”
Its 2.08am..and I still cannot sleep..aiyoo!!! Last tuesday, i had this instinct petrol price will increase kow-kow on wednesday..so i already pumped my tank to the max! Nasib baik…but what add i sakit hati ..electricity also increased 18%!! celaka or not…u say??
Kadusmamas last blog post..Petrol Naik! Elektrik naik!! Gaji bila mau naik????
kanineh…Petrol increased by as much as 40% in 1 go! this kind of goment gila ah? if u want to increase..increase in stages lah..!! by this weekend, my wan tang mee is gonna cost more than $3.5!!! G I L A!
What’s ‘Kong Teik’?
Anybody interested in BMW, WRX and a Defender? I buying kapchai today. Niamah!!! 🙁
That sounds like a Teochew Wayang style rites ceremony.
I think all those tears come from emotional relief that the hectic rush-rush trying to save him with your best efforts is over. Not like the real sense of loss I felt when my Mother-in-Law left us.
So cute lah your boy… and the wisest words comes out from the mouth of babes… 🙂
You made my day today 🙂
Celestines last blog post..Leave It In The Hands Of The Lord
I saw inside news yesterday night, the government will send you money order when you renewing your road tax to reduce your petrol burden (not much but at least something).
but i wonder what will happen to the very poor families without any transport? they wont get anything from this rocketing petrol price increase and the worst is they will get even more susah by this petrol thru increasing of cost for makan minum, public transport, electricity, water and etc. The poor family will become more poorer!
How nice if our salary will increase by 40% too… I go dream now.
I was one of those kiasu fellas lining up at the petrol stations last night. Tension man. Had my camera in hand, so was busy taking pictures of the chaos while waiting patiently in line.
Nigels last blog post..Petrol Price Hike
😕 yeahlor…why naik so much..really gonna burden my familylaa and all poor families!..in farlim the situation was so critical…all the petrol stations were so packed and the pasar malam which is usually packed was so dull!..paklah u made em lost in their bussiness oso 🙂
wuah.. they burn mansion ah? Until Jesus can share share room. If kiddo’s ideology is korek, then we should burn bus, then all can tumpang go sighseeing. Lovely idea.. 😛
Kis last blog post..Petrol Nike Day
KNN! Cb ! Sorryla! Cant take it ! Petrol increase until so high..who can tahan! Next time wan to kAi kai also need to think! haih!
jarods last blog post..Obama Won, Fight Continues
That is a sad word, it’s true it is even sadder when the end is here even though the person is not related. 😥
We are bracing for many other necessity price increase. 🙁
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