Tag Archives: Funeral

The One With The Family & A Funeral

Uncle's Funeral

As much as it was a sad occasion, the passing on of my uncle has brought my entire family together. I cannot remember the last time my mother, sister, brother, and various aunts and cousins gathered at one place.

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Hong Kong Funeral

I went to pay respect to the mother of a friend of mine just now, who has recently passed away. It was my first Chinese funeral in Hong Kong.

Hong Kong Funeral

The solemn but loud occasion took place in a centralised funeral parlour located in Hong Hum. My friend’s was located at the third floor, sharing the facility with four other family. The highly efficient machine of Hong Kong commerce was humming along effortlessly.

What astonished me was how Hong Kong people transformed the ritual of a funeral into a spectacular art form on its own. Colourful paper offerings, loud clanging music, heart-stopping movement, and hypnotising chants filled the hour I spent gaping at it all.

But lest I got distracted by the unfamiliar bangs and noises. The pain of the family was real. Behind his stoic expression and watery smile, I sensed a deep well of sadness behind my friend’s eyes.

Stay strong, Vincent. My thoughts are with you.

(Photo Credit: filmmaker in Japan)

10 Things I Wish You’ll Say At My Funeral

Pardon the blog post title, but you’ll see my reason in a minute.

I have been seeing mentions on this television commercial by MCYS Singapore all over the place on Twitter and Plurk. Usually I ignore such video sharing tweets/plurks, but when one particular Plurker whom I despise and like in equal measure shared the same video on his Plurk, I was amused.

If the most cynical person on Plurkville is motivated enough to share the YouTube link, there must be something about it, no?

So, I watched it. And I think you should watch it too before continuing to read this post.

I cried. Of course I did. What did you expect?

There are many things that you could learn from the ad. Perfect imperfections. To hold on dear to something valuable to you until the very end. Family bonds. Racial harmony.

I could go on and on, or you could hop over to the ad maker’s blog to read the flood of comments on the ad. One particular comment struck a chord in my heart , and effectively captured the power of the ad’s message:

I used this short film with my civics class, after I asked all 28 of them to share what they couldn’t stand about their family (they loved talking about that!). After viewing this film, the hyperactive 18-year-olds became really sombre and I peeked to see one of my boys actually tearing a little. We then talked about family and also the notion of perfection in their future life partners. I think they learnt some lessons today.

Finally, a Singapore government ad worth blogging about… although it was made by a Malaysian.

It made me reflect on myself, on things I hold dear in my life. And… it made me think, of how I might be something dear to the people around me. And I wonder – what would these people say during my funeral?

(You see, there is a reason for the morbid title of this blog post!)

That I value above all, honesty. I might not be 100% honest all the time. I hate lies – I don’t like being lied to, and I don’t like to lie. Because of that, I try to let my life be a lie. That explains some tough decisions I have made… and it’s because I do really think that honest is the best policy

That I have many friends. Close friends, dear friends, bosom friends. From school, from neighbourhood, from online, from work. While I may have drift apart from some, even my best friends (at any point of time in my life), I do think back of you, and I smiled. I smile at our shared memories. For that, I want to thank you. You made my life beautiful

That I love my family. Even if I seldom affirm them. Even if I hardly utter or write it in words. I might not be very close to my family members, but we share a connection that will last forever. Blood ties. My love for you, my family, has always and will always be unique and irreplaceable.

That I have utter love for books, and that sometimes I act or speak weirdly because of the tales I read. Chick lits, sci-fi, self improvement… I am a tried-and-true book worm. Just read my most loved books, and you’ll know why I behave in certain ways. Yes, you literally can read me like a book.

That I treat the world as a book, and it is the longest book I ever read. My travel tales span years and years, covering all sorts nooks and corners of the world. I read them a chapter at a time, in leisure, in its full color and glory. And I cherish these memories above all. And that’s why my holidays are precious to me.

That my age does not equate to my wisdom. Despite growing older by the day, there is still, and always will be, a child in me. Who gape aloud in wonderments of life, who still laugh at things you don’t find amusing, who still be impulsive and do things “adults” won’t do. Life is too short to be too serious.

That despite my confident front, I am insecure in parts. That I am still affected by how people think or judge me. That I won’t say bad things about you if I have nothing nice to say to you, and I expect you to do the same for me too.

That little things make me happy. Like a muffin you offer me despite only having one on your own (and even if I told you I am on a carbless diet – but it’s the thoughts that count,hehe). Like when you remember I like sweet popcorn on top of my salty ones, and will order it just so. Like how I like nothing than roaring down a steep hill on a motorbike, grinning like a mad man while watching the beach rushes by.

That most, if not all, decisions I made in my life are in the quest to be happier. Yes, you can be happy, but how do you be happier. Yes, I am happy with 75 push ups, but I’ll do another 25 to make it a hundred to make myself happier. Yes, I am happy to watch a musical on my own, but I’ll be happier if I share the magic with another friend.

That I truly believe that happiness is a personal decision, whatever your circumstances. So when I seem to be unreasonably harsh to you, I just want to be a true friend and speak my mind… and that it pains me that you unknowingly make decisions that only sadden you.

And above all, I wish the people who loved me will see me perfect in all my imperfections.

What would YOU want your loved ones to say about you at your funeral?