Monday, March 3, 2008

Saying goodbye and returning to Manila

A-ko passed away around 8:45 pm on Feb. 9th.

The week after, memorial services were held every night to celebrate her life and bring together family, friends, and people from all over the city. I might have said it already, but despite being a time of sadness, it's also a time of celebration, to celebrate her leaving her suffering worldly body and going to a place of peace. Also, being able to meet so many family members (many which I had only seen when I was a little kid, some that I have not seen before) was delightful.

And I can't ever say anything bad about how much I get to eat.

On Thursday, Feb. 14th (Valentine's), A-ko's funeral service and burial was held. Traditional Chinese burial has the family members wearing all white. We all look like an army of hospital nurses, walking down the street. The coffin is placed in a car, and long stretches of white cloth are strung from the back of the car, a hundred or so yards behind. The family members walk behind the car, the ones closest to the deceased in the front, and the rest of us holding on to the cloth, as we march toward the church.

It's quite an experience.

A beautiful service was held for A-ko, with many family members talking about her life, and my Sa-ko giving a beautiful eulogy. We played the slideshow that we worked on the day before to celebrate her life and show some of the great old photos of her. I love old photos; I found some of my dad and my uncles, photos that had to be over 30 years old.

You can view the slideshow here.

Afterwards, we got into buses and headed to the cemetery where A-ko would be buried. Normally we would continue the walk from the church to the cemetery, but it's really really far to walk.

After one more prayer service at the cemetery and family plot, we all drop one white flower onto the coffin as our final goodbye before it is covered.

If I ever get un-lazy and get down to working on photos, I'd be able to put some of them up here.

On Feb. 20th, I returned with my Sa-ko back to Manila. Back to my home away from home.

1 comment:

xposition said...

Holy moley--that slideshow of yours is a freakin' movie trailer. I watch it and catch help but narrate with Will Arnett's voice. "In a world, where Filipinos live and darkness reigns... With a Lord... That knew her before she was born..."