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The seventh day

It is the seventh day today. Chinese believes on this night, the deceased soul will return home for the last time before he left this world for good.

Today, hubby went with his family to the crematorium to pick his bones. Kind of funny, right? Bones to pick. It is actually a basin filled with ashes and all the bones of the person including the big ones. The bereaved family members will use a chopstick to pick up the smaller pieces and put them in the urn. However, if I remember correctly, the skull is normally not included. I didn’t go this morning because I have to take care of my youngest kid who was sleeping.

I remember I picked my baby’s bones too. His pacifier made from silicon was intact despite the burning. But most of the bones were in ashes. The sight of that pacifier was more painful than the bones because it was the reminder that it was my flesh and blood in that pile of ashes as the pacifier was still in shape.

I think it is appropriate I recalled my last prayer for him, the bro-in-law of hubby I mean. Before the coffin was moved out of his shop, I told him in my heart to “depart, don’t worry, my husband will help to look after your family for you, they will be well taken care off and you just be happy. I am pretty sure you will get to a better place.”

I knew there wasn’t much time left so I burnt a joss-stick, held it high on my forehead level, closed my eyes and said all there is that I wanted to say. My prayer turned out much longer than I realised and when I opened my eyes, I noticed, “Fulamak, so many people were behind me with their own way of praying! Paiseh. I was standing there like a statue.” To those who are not aware, Catholics do burn a joss-stick as a mark of respect. You will know from the way we hold it. We just clasp it with both our hands and not move it in the motion like Taoists do.

So, go in peace….May the good Lord have mercy and brings you to His Heavenly Kingdom. I will tell my Jesus to do me that favour.




10 Responses to “The seventh day”

  1. 5X Mom i personally find catholics more liberal as they can hold joss sticks to pray to the deceased as a mark of respect to them. I think you did the right thing by saying your silent prayers to the deceased even though you are a catholic and you are not sure whether what you say will be heard by the deceased or not! My brother passed away 5 years ago and my sis-in-law refused to hold joss stick because she claims that she is not allowed to as she is a Christian. What a let down! I was very upset with her as i told her that what harm will lt create to her religion by just holding joss stick and pay her last respect to her husband. I wonder if this is the case or she is just too religious over this and against Chinese traditions?

  2. ray111 – Catholics mean Universal and all over the world, we are encouraged to hold on to our culture. For example, on Chinese New Year’s Eve, we do bring fruits, nien gao and burn 3 joss-sticks to offer as a memory of our departed ancestors. We are NOt praying but merely recall the times we had with them and also to ask God to bless their souls. You must join Catholics on this occasion because even I myself am still amuse to see our Indian Bishop in red robe, holding the joss-sticks and bow three times. The Pope urges us to stay rooted to our culture that places filial piety and respect for our elders.

    However, some Christians faith do not encourage this because other people may see us as a bit ‘sesat’ with this action. It is not actually because we draw a line between the action of respecting the dead person and sembahyang to their gods.

    I suppose my previous Taoist faith revealed to me what each action is for and so I am able to know if I am actually doing an action that shows my respect and I also know when to stop joining other ceremonies which borders on offerings to the gods.

    I guess if people are more aware of each other faiths and their rationale of doing things, they won’t live with so much fears and animosities.

    Glad you shared about this and I hope what I explained is enlightening to you. 😀

  3. if one day we have evidence that some advance life forms exist in other planetary system… will you still believe GODs?

    anyway, on the seventh day.. we had a moth flew into our home, we talked to the moth as if it was my papa.

  4. JT – I very faithful wan. If I love someone, and people tells me he is a jerk, I still stick with my belief. So you say leh? :mrgreen: Yalor, I also seen the white butterfly several times on special anniversaries. It is a comforting way to cope with loss so talk by all means. I talk to my ownself after my son’s death too. In fact, I wished him good night for many months until I got pregnant again. Or else I am a schizophrenia today. Hahaha. :mrgreen:

  5. u mean u r not schizophrenic yet? lol… joking only lah. i hav come to a conclusion tht it is impossible to satisfy everyone. even jesus and robin hoods had enemies right? i tend not to listen to someone abt someone. i believe only my eyes and gut feelings.

  6. 5 x mom thanks for enlightenment 🙂 Personally i am a tibetan buddhist and i too find our traditional taoist wake ceremony too aggressive and too splashy of money and time. i for one thinks that moderately wake service is enough and i find Taoist ceremony too extravagant especially the rich ones. Die also want face and show off! what is important is how you treat the deceased when he/she is alive and not spending lots of money to give them a grand sending off.As for us Buddhist our funeral dervice is moderate. chanting of prayers etc. not so complicated. anyway thanks and tata.. 🙂

  7. woah, wut brand of pacifier is that??? so keng 1!!Reading you talked about your baby always moved my heart. 2 and a half yrs after I first read your blog, I still just can’t imagine the amount of pain and heartache you had to go through until today. ((HUGS))

    p.s: any signs that BIL visited you on the 7th day? :mrgreen: and from what I know, skull got put inside the urn oso 1. it’s the last piece to go in, right at the top 😎

  8. sooi sooi – One does not really recover from those kind of grief. But with Christ, it is bearable lorr… The pacifier is a whole piece silicon, forget the brand. Do you know that it is highly dangerous to give pacifier with parts? Some kid even choke to death when the teat part dislodge from the ‘plate’. 😯

    No nid for him to visit, just kasi lucky number can liao. :mrgreen:

    ray11 – Yalor, when people do it for the wrong purpose, I also agree it is disgusting. But for my relative, I feel it is more a penance so that’s why I do not like people commenting about it in my previous post.

    JT – All bloggers are schizophrenic lah, or else we won’t be talking to our PC, hor?

  9. Lilian, one question, why other Christians do not hold joss stick as what you mentioned, the way of respect?? Why??

    Cindys last blog post..Prevention better than cure

  10. cindy – Actually, Christians are forbidden to worship any other gods other than God. So, some may feel that by holding joss-sticks, it is seen as worshipping. the other reason is probably they are not familiar with the Taoist way so they are not exactly sure what they can and cannot do.

    Catholics (which is Roman Catholics) is the ‘original’ from Rome. Until today, you can still find our very macho priests wearing lace robes :mrgreen: with lacey sleeves because they are adopting the ‘fashion’ of the Roman empire, I think. So, most of what we do are steeped in culture and tradition as well. Therefore, even during our special event mass, we also use a lot of incense and lots of smoke.

    However, when the Catholic faiths spread to USA and other continents, these countries adopted their own culture.

    You may be interested to see Mother Mary with Baby Jesus, looking like Japanese in Japan, Chinese in China, African in Africa… In fact, right now, there is a Our Lady of She-shan in Shanghai which is Mother Mary with Baby Jesus which many of us are asking (not to be confused as praying) to protect China and its earthquake victims.