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Archive for June 2008

19th May – Monday

OMG!!!! I overslept. i quickly got up washed my face and went straight to my uncles house. It was like 8am. When i got there dad was like “Cheh talk big only that you were coming to teman me” I jus sat quietly and had my breakfast. So well today’s the day. Grandpa’s cremation day. Perhaps the saddest day in the history of the Sims. We started off with prayers. Then together we chanted Namo Amitaba (to ensure rebirth in the western pure land). We then continued off with saying our final words to him. Then came the most heartwrenching part, the part where grandpa leaves the house physically.

 

Firstly, a guy from the coffin shop comes and announces that the spirit is leaving. Then he calls us all 1 by 1 to cleanse us. (by rubbing a paper up and down over us). Then he said whenever the coffin is moving (when the coffin guys move the coffin…. not when the coffin “moves”) nobody should see. Bad luck.

 

After all the ceremonies, its time to load grandpa’s coffin to the van where they will take his coffin to the cremation place. Along the way, all the relatives have to push the van together like escorting grandpa and following him spiritually as he leaves permanently. Everyone cried. I tried to hold it in but i jus cant. I even tried pursing my lips but it was no use. Its jus sad. Along the way we chanted namu amitabha. Apart from that the van was playing the prayer too.

 

After escorting grandpa to the road, we got on a bus which the Sim’s rented and went to the cremation centre to continue the ceremony. Along the way the van was throwing out all the prayer papers on to the road. And it went all the way to the cremation centre.

 

When we reached there we prayed somemore and then headed back home to my uncle’s house. There we walked across fire and washed our face in lime water. Both to buang suey. My aunt did a terrific job of cleaning the entire house and reputting back everything to its original state. The house was lively again.

 

That night the cousins were playing and joking around. While the uncles and aunties all continue the discussion of dividing the funeral costs and also who will take care of grandma. That night we also planned what to do for the remaining of the week. Apparently most of the cousins are goin back to their work while the rest back to their studies. I was the only one who didnt want to go back to work. So it would seem that i would be stuck in kelantan with my bro and 3 cousins. Originally there were to be 14 cousins. End up with 5.

 

20th May – Tuesday

Today we went back to the cremation centre to collect grandpa’s remains and move him to his new house. All that was left of him were just fragments of his bones and ashes. We performed more prayers and then neatly packed it to an urn. From there we transported him back to his new home. On the way, we prayed namu amitabha and had to say “we’re crossing the bridge” if we were crossing any. Apart from that the joss stick which was lit was killing the people at the back. Me and my cousin could barely open our eyes.

 

When we reached there, we prayed somemore and brought him to a buddha statue to wait while his house is being completed. That afternoon, we went to take something like a cleansing shower. Where the monk sprays holy water all over us to buang suey and also protect us. It was kinda neat and cool when the water splashed all over us. The ants werent cool. So were the smell of the drain.

 

That night we went to the airport to send my 2 cousins back home to selangor. I got a look at the airport and it was well…… dull. Well i didnt expect much i mean its a small airport anywayz. Besides that we got to talk about my work. My cousins did ask about what i do and haha I showed them what i have learnt for the past 2 years. I did spark some interest in them about what we do. And also assured them flying is safe. haha.

 

21st May – Wednesday

For the whole day i talked to my cousin who is also a huge movie goer like me. We share almost similar tastes but she (thats right its a she…) really really knows her movies. haha. Even i lost to her. That time indiana jones was out in the cinemas and we really really wanted to see it badly. But unfortunately in kelantan there arent any cinemas. Yeah thx a lot PAS. Real huge improvements over the past few decades. So we ended up going to the beach and to their biggest shopping mall……. KB mall. Real original aint it. Pantai Cahaya Bulan (PCB) apparently was called pantai cinta berahi. till PAS came. haha pantai cinta berahi. wow thats a real powerful name. I do like the beach. Nice wind. Nice waves. Nice sand. But the most important one which was missing where the babes. There werent any. A beach without bikini babes is not a beach damn it.

 

After that we headed to the mall and thats when we saw how big it is. There are only 3 floors. No arcade, no cinema, no snooker or pool centre. Owh yeah did i mention its smaller than summit? Haha. Anywayz along the way all we can see are the football fans. Manchester United and Chelsea fans were all over the place. Myself included haha. Thats right. Tonight (tomorrow morning) would be the 2007/2008 UEFA Champions League Final game. Finally something that even kelantan cant spoil.

I guess some people might be wondering why did it take me so long to update this blog. Haha truth is, its been an emotionally and physically exhausting 2 – 3 weeks. A balance of both happiness and sadness. A pinch of hardship and shaking these legs of mine. It all started on the 16th of May……

 

16th May – Friday

It was a friday, meaning that we practically work at about 8.30-9.30, 10.30-12.15, and 3-4.15. Thats right we work for about roughly around 4-5 hours tops. Thx to our malaysian working culture and also the friday prayers, friday is basically half day for malaysia. And in my working place which is heavily populated by malays and muslims, we are of no exception. On top of that we (METC trainess) received news that boss was gonna give us saturday off (17th). Wow. Boss was nvr this good. Anw as soon as i got home from work and right after dinner, me and the guys went out to the CC for a little R&R. We played till the wee hours of the morning till around 2.30 when mom called and asked where the hell was I. I said ill be back soon and shortly after that, I arrived home at 3.30. I sneaked in quietly and headed to my room. As soon as i got in there, i turned on the comp and go facebooking and drafting yet another blog. It was around 4am when i decided to go zzzzzzz.

 

17th May – Saturday

It was around 9am in the morning when i was interrupted in my sleep.

 

bro: eh kor wake up!

me: zzzzzzz

bro: oi wake up

me: shyt im in trouble (for comin home late.. busted!!!)….. zzzzzzzzzzz

bro: eh wake up and pack ur bags

me: wat for? goin for holiday ar?

bro: we goin to kelantan.

me: why? what happened? *immediately woke up*

bro: ang kong (grandpa) passed away…..

me: shyt! wtf happened?

bro: dunno. aunty CY called and said ang kong fell asleep and nvr wake up.

me: shyt. wheres dad?

bro: in his room.

me; damn………

 

We couldnt get any flights, so we had to travel by road. 8 hours drive. Throughout the journey, we talked a bit. Dad didnt seem sad but deep down, i can feel his pain. Throughout the journey too, *my family is like cnn. 1 fella know every family member: aunty, uncle, cousin all know* i received loads of condolences messages. Dad did say that grandpa had already accepted the fact that he might not live for very long and wanted to be cremated. Even when he died he still didnt want to trouble his children and grandchildren.

 

We stayed at a guesthouse just 2 roads away and as soon as we dropped off our luggages and suitcases, we headed to my uncle’s house where my grandpa passed away in.

 

There a canopy was erected (is it the right word….?) up. We head straight to grandma (not the one at my house, my other grandma) and comforted her. Then she took us to see grandpa in his coffin. And then thats where i felt it. Grandpa’s joyful and jovial face is now swollen, dull, pale and grey. There was nothing that we could do except stare at his calm and peaceful face. He was dressed up handsomely adorning a suit with a tie. Even in death, he still looks as handsome as he was when he was alive. Grandma then later said “your son, daughter in law and grandchildren are here to visit u”  Thats when it really really hit me. My eyes couldnt retain the tears and it flowed out. All i could say was “hi. im back. hope ur happy wherever u are” Then we took the white shirt kindly donated by the hokkien society association and wore it. 

 

Grandma tried explaining the chronological events which lead to this tragic. She said grandpa normally wake up at 6 to go to the toilet but he didnt. Then at 8 he was still sleeping. Aunt asked whats wrong. Grandma said hes jus tired, let him sleep. Then during 9, my uncle went and try to wake my grandpa. The moment he touched him he said “he’s cold” Then he checked for pulse and try to wake him up. Grandma was still in denial. After furiously trying to wake him up. They knew that grandpa has left for a better place. Thats when my uncle informed all of his bros and sis and well everyone came.

 

It was around 10.30pm. 2 monks were driven by eldest uncle to grandpa’s house. They tied a white string onto grandpa’s picture and recited a prayer. It lasted almost 30 minutes. Then they tried explaining life after death and what we should do.  The monks said that we should now do good things not for our sake but as merits for my grandpa. Doing charity, donating, and be with the family, any goody good stuff helps.

 

As more and more of my cousins came, we could see the sadness in everyone’s eyes. Tears were flowing through their eyes. All thinking the same thing which I did.

 

18th May (sunday) 

Well i guess its 12.00am. Thats when another one of my aunts came. They did the normal thing, prayed, talked to grandpa and comforted grandma. By that time, one of my cousins. Lifted us cousins spirits. “Dude is there anything to eat here?” We laughed our asses of and headed to kfc. Imagine a innova with 8 people wearing white shirts going to kfc. There we joked around and talked bout the times we had with grandpa. It was a nice relief especially being stuck in the atmosphere of death. Its not a nice feeling mind u guys. Its jus discomforting, uncomfortable and well dull.

 

later we went back to the guesthouse to catch some sleep.

 

We had breakfast at my uncle’s place. And then more uncles and aunts arrive soon after. Probably the biggest reunion we ever had. Among the cousins anyway. During that time, the uncles and aunts decided to go and pick grandpa’s “house”. i followed dad to a temple with dragons all over the place. Over there, we got a look at the “houses” They come in all shapes and sizes. Some have slots in walls for the urn. Some have their own huge lots. A freaking huge altar when compared to those small slots in walls. Nevertheless the uncles (my dad included) picked a nice lot. (yeap dats right a huge altar) for grandpa. its facing east and also the beach which is both a nice view and wonderful feng shui.

 

That night, we continued the prayers as the cremation ceremony will be held tomorrow. After dinner, the monks return for another prayer in my uncle’s house. Apart from that, the uncles, aunts and cousins had to donate food to the monks by scooping rice into the monks plate as a way to accumulate merits for dear old grandpa. Then we donated robes to the monks which happensto be one of the biggest merits in the living and afterlife. Then that night, it was my dad’s turn to take care of the candle which lights my grandfather’s coffin and pictures. Apparently we have to prevent the fire from extinguishing till the day he physically leaves the house. I too voluntered to help stay up. Before going to the guesthouse to take a shower, the grandchildren all helped to fold gold and silver papers to be burned along side grandpa. Once that was done, we headed to the guesthouse to take a shower.

 

There were like so many people waiting for their turn to take the shower. I was one of em. There were 2 toilets. Upstairs and downstairs. When i go up, downstairs was empty. When i went down, upstairs was empty. Apparently somebody doesnt want me to take a shower. So i lied down on the bed to rest for a while…….