Sunday, August 8, 2010

This Post is Dedicated to My Grandpa

My father received a call at 1:45 in the morning on the 5/8/10. He froze a second when he knocked on my room door to tell me the news. Mom was pouring with tears, to her this was someone who she got really close to in the last 7 weeks. My dad had no idea what face was he to put on when telling me about the news.

Rushed back to Johor at 2 in the morning and reached the hospital's mortuary at 7 to identify his body. Once his body was identified, the undertakers took him to my grandma's house to be embalmed and put into the coffin. 

Reached my grandma's house after that and found that most of uncles were already there with my cousins burning hell notes and preparing the house for the funeral

Elder family members could be seen having small meetings to discuss about the funeral order.

My younger cousin would come up to me and ask "ah kong not going to wake up?" to kids this seems all to new and deep to them. Death is not something that they have understood well.

I guess if Ah Kong was around he would tell us that he is happy to be beside the Father now.

Since my grandma requested Taoist rites to be carried out for my grandfather's funeral, we had to adhere. Let me tell you this, Taoist rites can be very taxing at times. the whole "process" starts at 530pm each day and there is a different ritual which had to be carried out every hour until 12pm.

On the final night, hell notes,paper houses and cars were burnt as a gift to my late grandmother, the taoists believed that by doing so this items burnt would end up in hell for my grandfather to use

To be honest the Taoist monks are not the holiest of men i have seen. They could be seen in between breaks smoking and cussing. A great example eh?

Burning of the hell properties and money was the last rites carried out on the last day before my grandfather's funeral procession.

On the day of the procession, the mood in the house was sombre. 

Grown up man could be seen holding back their tears and some could hold it back just cried. Their children would ask them "Daddy why you cry?", but to the children, death does not seems as complex as it would be to an adult.

The weather was gloomy too on that day. 

After the coffin had been sealed. The sons, daughters, grandsons and the immediate family took one last walk around the coffin and a last prayer.

The procession was next, after the coffin was loaded into the hearse, the whole family than had to take the perilous bare footed walk from the home to the cemetery behind the hearse. Well we cheated a little bit, as the burial ground was 40km away we walked for about 600 meters before we hopped on to a bus to complete the journey

Goodbye Ah Kong, Your going home to the Lord.

One night a man had a dream. He dreamed
he was walking along the beach with the LORD.

Across the sky flashed scenes from his life.
For each scene he noticed two sets of
footprints in the sand: one belonging
to him, and the other to the LORD.

When the last scene of his life flashed before him,
he looked back at the footprints in the sand.

He noticed that many times along the path of
his life there was only 
one set of footprints.

He also noticed that it happened at the very
lowest and saddest times in his life.

This really bothered him and he
questioned the LORD about it:

"LORD, you said that once I decided to follow
you, you'd walk with me all the way.
But I have noticed that during the most
troublesome times in my life,
there is only one set of footprints.
I don't understand why when
I needed you most you would leave me."

The LORD replied:

"My son, my precious child,
I love you and I would never leave you.
During your times of trial and suffering,
when you see only one set of footprints,
it was then that I carried you."

Lee Chan Nam a.ka Ah Kong
Called home to be with the Lord on the 5/8/2010

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