Thursday, October 27, 2005

Vita Terminus

Death is a very strange thing. You get to experience a whole lot of lunacy, largely in part of the people who gather at the wake. I just found out I have another cousin I never knew existed till today, and my job apparently is cause for great celebration, despite the fact that the head of the family has passed on. There were more instances of lunacy as well. Handphones rang off during the wake, a small circle of people chattered away whilst prayers were said, and a group of church ladies insisted on singing off-key, despite my best efforts to tell them. The journey to the cemetery was interesting, to say the least. The enormous coffin, which took all of the strength of seven men to hoist up, was put onto the back of a timber lorry, and I almost said out loud "You gotta be fucking kidding me right?" when we were told to get on the back as well. So there I was, along with the dozen or so of us, holding on to dear life as the driver took us to the final resting place of my grandad. Oh, and the red cloth hanged along the side of the lorry kept flapping into my cousin's face in the wind, which I found to be largely humorous. The cemetery is as Resident Evil as can be possible imagined, with discarded tombstones lying everywhere and dead trees littered along the way. Naturally, my uncles pooled together, becuase there is simply no way my grandad is to be buried in some mangy plot in the cemetery, so the lorry had to trek like five minutes into the place and up to the top of THE hill. Naturally. I've always underestimated the power of persuasion. Or at least, me being influenced by prevailing emotions. I got off the truck with curious gloom, but as we approached the tombstone, I knew the finality of the situation was something I was not prepared for. As my grandad's tombstone slab was being sealed, I took time off from cameraman duty and looked at the faces of the sons and daughters my grandad raised. In seeing their anguish and grief, I felt bereaved as well. In seeing their tears, I too felt their loss. In realizing that even in death, unity endures; I too shed a tear. My grief was not for the man who was laid to rest, but for hunbling experience that was laid before me, as I reflected upon five loyal sons and three loving daughters whom gave their time and love unquestioningly. Few minutes ago, when my dad called me to check whether I've arrived safely in KL, I knew that despite my grandad's passing, nothing has changed. I am thankful to have been a part of this humbling experience, and when I die, I should be so lucky to experience the same love this family has for the father whom raised them all.
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