It's crazy. I remember sleeping at 7 A.M, thinking how the day would turn out with my buddies eating mango rice and savoring Starbucks.
"Huh?" I awoke, blurred.
"Popo is dead, we're heading to JB, pack up quickly." Mom answered.
"What?!" I was trying to absorb what she was saying even though I heard it clearly.
"Popo died, pack your stuff we're going to JB now."
"Oh." I was somewhat in shock. Then I realized Grandma is Mommy's mommy!
"Are you okay, Mom?!" I asked. She sure seemed fine.
I quickly packed my bags, I had to bring EXTRA clothes for Asia Conference which was two days away. So, great. Had to keep in mind on two things at one time. My room was in a wretched state when I left.
4 hours later, we were passing Skudai Parade. Wow, I'm in JB. Haven't been here in months! The funeral parlor was 'Nirvana Memorial Center'. Most of my relatives and grandma are Buddhists.
We stepped into the room. The first thing I saw was the altar with a beautiful picture of my grandmother. "No. It can't be really." I thought.
We bowed down in respect and walked behind it. I diverted my eyes away from the coffin, thinking what this was for. "Hmm, to burn hell money, I guess."
I was right.
We all finally had to take a look at Popo. Instantly, my grandaunt (the sister) and my mother (the daughter) started to cry. Yi po started blaming herself and the hospital for what happened. The rest were all in Hokkien or Teowchew.
I looked at Popo real hard. "You were alive a week ago when I saw you. I never thought this would happen, I'm sorry." I told her in my head. I was tired, Mom asked me to rest in a room. Once I saw it I went, "Wtf?!"
Dirty pillow(no thank you :D), creepy atmosphere, old air-con and it's located right next to Popo.
Uh, nevermind. I'm not so tired after all! I find the whole Buddhist belief so weird. They wash and refill the water everyday, saying it's for Grandma. We might as well burn a toothbrush and toothpaste for her and be done with it.
Another irony is that when it rains, we have to put this wooden umbrella over her head. What about the rest of the body? Can someone please explain?
Before this golden cover was placed over her, we had to put circled incense (like 100 of them) all over her body below her neck. What's that for? I don't remember doing that for Gonggong.
Offerings, it was the first day so I assumed some stuff would be placed there later.
I found a quiet time where no one was walking in and out of the room. Nobody was mourning to Popo. I took a seat right next to her.
I started saying stuff I wanted to tell her but never did.
I apologized for the trouble I caused her when she was alive. I even teared two times. It wasn't because I was sad, they were tears of regret. "Why didn't I pray for you more? Why did I wait for so long to reach out?" Yeah, I'm a Christian, so I do believe she's in hell right now. I really didn't wanna imagine the pain she's going through, HER BLOOD IS TOTALLY IN MY HANDS.
I didn't have much to say, so I walked out in shame and slept while listening to my Ipod Shuffle. This was something really unexpected. I shall continue the other 4 days next time.