Sunday, 24 May 2015

Marking the first anniversary of daddy’s departure

Twelve months ago, on this date, calculated based on the Chinese calendar, daddy left us for a better place. Living in a heavily ritualized family based on the Confucian tradition and Buddhism, the past twelve months have been full of activities which mainly involve prayers and offerings every one or two months for daddy as well as my ancestors.

Food, food and food! 
Today is no difference either. A monk was engaged to move daddy’s temporary tablet to join that of my ancestors’ at the main altar. Cooked food, mainly consists of daddy’s favorite dishes were prepared days in advance. The folding of joss papers to resemble silver and gold ingots as well as lotus flowers took place a few weeks ago. Last minute shopping of other offerings such as clothes and shoes was done yesterday. Fresh fruits and other delicacies were purchased this morning.Friends and relatives brought their offerings of food and joss papers too. All done to commemorate the first year of daddy's departure from human realm.

Yann busy marking the territories to ensure all offerings are received. 
At around 9.30 in the morning, relatives from near and far gathered to pray for daddy, headed by the monk doing his chanting. When all was over, we gathered for a reunion lunch. Jokingly, I think, with the amount of joss papers that we burn for daddy on each occasion of prayer, the happiest person is the owner of the joss paper shop. I can see and feel that the mood of every family members turn more jovial with each passing prayers and days but I know, the day for a complete healing from the sudden loss will never come.

It took an hour for this little mountain of joss papers to burn. 
As George Elliot said and I quote – the dead are never dead until we have forgotten them or as according to the great Roman orator, Cicero, the life if the is placed in the memory of the living. Daddy will be forever around in our memories and will never be forgotten till the end of the day. 

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