2 nights ago, me & my Lioness went to her wake at Toa Payoh where most of my relatives finally saw me after like 10 years or so because I was MIA all these years. It was nice to receive all the hugs from the ones who used to be close to me during my young growing up years.
Grandma's face was looking shrunken inside the coffin but at least she had a peaceful countenance on her face.
It's Christmas today and it's also grandma's cremation day at 光明山 temple. My Lioness & me planned to take the first train since we had to arrive at the funeral at Toa Payoh by 7am. My poor Lioness had to struggle to wake up when I woke her up at 4:30am, so I let her continue to sleep for a little while longer.
We arrived at the funeral late anyway thanks to the rain that came suddenly while we were on our way to the train station. I have already started to HATE the rain lately with a passion since it always seems to come at the most inappropriate times.
When the Buddhist funeral rituals were completed and Grandma's coffin was loaded up to the transport, we formed a procession, followed behind the van ferrying grandma and marched toward the coaches that took us to 光明山。Our procession was a gesture that us, who are grandma's descendants, escorted her as she made her way to the afterlife.
Grandma's sons and daughters (including mum) had to wear white socks without their shoes as they followed directly behind the van and the ground was wet. Poor things. It then started drizzling and us men had to go around making sure that the women, and especially the children had shelter with whatever umbrellas we had with us.
At 光明山, a final Buddhist ritual was conducted before grandma's coffin was put in the furnace. Those of us who are Christians stayed at the back since we didn't participate in the ritual. So I stood to attention and bowed my head and offered a prayer for grandma as a sign of respect. Mum started crying and I went over to comfort her.
After grandma was cremated, we went back to the funeral place to rest before those of us who volunteered went back to 光明山 with grandma's sons & daughters to put her ashes into her urn. Once that was done, we brought the urn containing grandma's ashes down to the basement to place grandma's urn at the allocated space for her.
Inside the basement walking among the columns and rows of urns, I had to labour for my breath, probably due to the combination of the layout and depth of the place. I couldn't help but look at the photos and date of demise for the urns I've passed by. A handful of folks died so young.
When grandma's urn was placed at the allocated place bought by her descendants, we went back to the funeral premise, hung around for awhile, chatted, I played with the kids and we took photos before we left for home.
Rest in peace, grandma.
And Merry Christmas to you, dear gentle reader.
- De Lion Speaks