=193= Melancholic Reflections: Funeral

Well, this is a bit overdue but yeah here goes.

On Saturday, during parents circle, I received a phone call from my dad that my grandmother passed away. She fell down in her house and just before she reached the hospital, she passed away. My dad also told me that the funeral will only happen on Sun because the body needed to be analyzed by the hospital. Therefore, I continued with what I needed to do in parents circle. It seemed a bit insensitive and emotionless, but why can’t one perform even under such circumstances? Gain composure and continue with what you needed to do. Well, the other fact is that, my grandmother wasn’t very close to me. The last time I saw her was like last year’s CNY. In fact I do not know her well at all. So when this happened I just felt a bit sad and that is all. I wasn’t grieving over her death; I just felt a bit of “by proxy” feelings through my dad. I found out later on that my grandmother passed away from a heart attack.

My brain is a funny thing. It has trouble remembering stuff like which number is my uncles/aunties. Like I know that he/she is my uncle/auntie, but I dunno who is younger or older. So when like I see them I often forget the title I need to greet them with. Therefore, whenever it is CNY or this kind of thing, it is always awkward. To make it even worse, this time round, I found out that my uncle got married. Then, in the subsequent days, I kept seeing new faces that I never seen before. Maybe it is because I do not spend much time with them that caused this.

The next thing is this, I really do think that there should be more insight on how a Christian should react in a non-Christian funeral. What can we do. What we cannot do. What do we say. How we should phrase our sentences. I am just lost whenever there is a ritual or a ceremony. I have no idea what I I should do whenever the person says, “pai, zai pai, sa pai(bow, bow again, third bow)”I have no idea what I should be doing when the monk starts chanting. Oh on the side note, I found it quite interesting, I just wonder what happens if the monk goes out of tune or zao xia. It’s quite cool to see them play percussion. At the back of my head, I was like trying I figure out the parts they were playing!

With this funeral happening, I started to think about a few things. I started to ask how is one person judged? I mean we always say that after we sin, we must repent, but I am thinking of my grandmother. She is 80 years old, she has probably no physical strength to do anything wicked. Probably have little opportunities to do bad. Perhaps just a little coarse in her words but that is it. So after retirement, she was basically sitting around. How would she sin? I mean, at that age, there is not much you can do, you no longer have parents to honor. Lying? Hating someone and killing them with your hearts? Worshipping Idols? Coveting what others have? I have no idea. What if one was in Coma for 7 years before dying? Would those 7 years be included in judgement? With your brain unconscious and no one can reach out to you. Judgement is such a scary thing and yet I am still numb. I would find that judgement just based on my youth or just based on my present would be scary. Lord, I really need your grace and salvation.

I noticed that my grandmother was quite popular. It was weird. I never knew that she had so many relatives and friends. If a person’s greatness is based on how many people she have come to her funeral, my grandmother will be pretty great. I often wonder how would my funeral be like if I die now? Will many of my friends come? Will they cry? Will thy even know? I mean my mum and dad isn’t very intergraded in church. Will my death be spread to the the youths? How will people remember me? Funny? Loving? Irritating? Annoying? Though I am trying my best to be the best person I can be, I really do not know what are people’s impressions of me.

Talking about the church, it was an interesting journey. When I first went to the wake on Sunday and had to go through all the weird rituals, I really do not know what I should do. Should I tell someone? Should I not? I really do not know. It was something personal and if you asked me face to face where I am going, I will not lie, I will tell you that I am going to my grandmother’s funeral. I did not want to blow it up because I really do not want it to be weird when they attend the wake and some weird rituals happens. I did not attend the wake on Monday because I have exams the next day. However, with so much happening, I really do need prayer, so I asked two people for prayer, Kennaf and PJ. Then I also asked Tat Wai to pray for me after all, he prayed over my family before. I asked for prayer over my family. Then all of a sudden it blew up. EnMing texted me. Ga texted me. Then the subsequent days, a few other people texted me as well, Bro Shavinn, Sis Grace, Bro Choo, Sis Sam, Sis Choo and Elsa. It was nice. Then on Tuesday, EnMing, Zheng Fen, Kennaf, Bro Choo and Joel Ng came! Thank God they came! Oh, Pastor Calvin and Sister Charis came as well! I was really awkward because they had some ceremony that the monks needed to chant all the way until 10pm with two breaks in between. With the senior pastor visit, my Dad exempted us from the ceremony so we can host him. Then with my friends there I could kinda get away with it. I was glad, it made things WAY less awkward.

Finally, when it came to the last day, it was a very heavy atmosphere. The undertaker made the five sons to put their hands on the van(with the coffin) as it drives away. I do not understand the significance, but after this, the atmosphere got really heavy. When it came to the actual cremation, gosh, I never saw my dad cry that much before. My dad is always very composed. Through the funeral I see him doing quite alright. However when it came to the cremation, my dad broke. I see him slobbering and saying “bye bye” to his mother. After all, my grandfather passed away when my dad was very young, so my grandmother took care of my dad all by herself. To have someone that close be cremated isn’t something that is easy to watch at all. We comforted him and I felt his pain.

After that, it was almost like a reminder that my grandmother on my mother’s side will one day pass away as well. Lord, my grandmother is an amazing women always cooking for me and my uncle’s family! Please redeem her Lord! Bring her salvation! Father, let me be serious about my spiritual walk.

After all of that and we returned to Yishun, I found out the ugly side of a funeral. One of my aunts, asked for the ring that my grandmother died with, claiming that her daughter wants it. To make it worse, it was during the wake before the cremation. It was such an improper thing to do. Come on, do not do that!

Funerals are really expensive as well. I just found out that the vegetarian food on each table cost $50 each. That hiring the undertaker would be 3-5k and the monks chanting cost 1-2k total up everything, that funeral alone cost close to 20k. It really is sad.

Well if I die now, I want my funeral to be something cheerful and not sad
1. I want to have a worship team in my funeral, like really full band worship! Singing praise and worship songs to the Lord! Preferably be Leb, cause if I can hear his drums when I am dead! That will very nice!
2. I want people of different backgrounds to gather into tables and share about their lives with each other. Have probably a good talker host them in each table(like a cell leader)
3. Somehow or another I want to use my death for the Lord—this was something I prayed after I saw the five sons pushing the van. Don’t point the glory to me, point it to God.
4. I will probably write something for the day itself something to cheer people up? Like a speech!
5. Have the pastor preach not on the afterlife but on God’s grace and mercy. Sure the family needs to be comforted, let the people there that came to visit do their job. Let the pastor bring good news to the lost.

If I die now, let me tell you guys something.

I tried doing my best in everything. In loving people. In giving my time to people. In studies. In supporting someone. In being a good drummer. In being a good cell leader. In leading a righteous life. In being a good person that one can rely on. However, I realised that I still fall short. I can try my best and am still not good enough. So I rely on God. In our culture of relying on oneself, it may sound very lazy, but it is the only way I can be good. That is to have a perfect example to follow. I am very thankful for you in my life. Trust me on that. Even if you have never met me when I was alive before, I give thanks because you are comforting my family that is so dear to me. Well, trust me on this, whether you are christian or not, you are loved. You are worth something. May you find a love that will satisfy you, for I have found and I give thanks. Thank you.

Haha, but Ya, I doubt I am going to die any time soon! 🙂 sure! I would probably write something more personal and to different individuals when I have the time, but for now, this general paragraph will do! 🙂

Thank you Lord for this time. It has been a pleasure.