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February 10, 2014

A Chinese Funeral

According to Kat, her grandma led a bad life. She got married when she was very young and bore three children after. If I am not wrong, she was 15 years old since she was married. She managed her own business in Arab street that brought up her children single handedly. I couldn't really remember the details but I know 2 of her children passed away before her, leaving my dad-in-law. When we moved back from America and stayed with my dad-in-law, she moved in too from her Sin Ming Road HDB flat. Since then her condition has been deteriorating due to old age but she was still in good spirit. I wasn't really close to her but I did see her almost every day. There were some unpleasant episodes between her and my mom-in-law but those were just some of the many squabbles that happened in the house. 

For 2 years I saw her getting older and weaker but there was nothing I could do. A week before end of January, she got admitted to CGH and was diagnosed with pneumonia and heart disease. 3 days later she passed on. We were able to spend her last moments by her side and we believed she left peacefully. The wake and Buddhist funeral rites was carried out for the next 2 days at Sin Ming Funeral Parlor, and on the third, the eve of Chinese New Year Eve, she was buried at Choa Chu Kang cemetery. These are the sketches done during the funeral wake and the burial ceremony. 

Buddhist monks performing the funeral rites.

Friends and relatives who came to pay respect to the deceased on the first night of the funeral wake.
Family members chanting and praying with the Buddhist monks.

Visitors are given red threads or red packets containing a coin to ensure a safe journey home.  They are supposed to leave quietly, without saying goodbye to the deceased’s family.

Friends and relatives who came on the second night of the funeral wake.

The funeral procession.

Grandma was buried at Choa Chu Kang cemetery.

Rest in peace Grandma.


Andreas Koeniger said...

So sad!

Andreas Koeniger said...

I envy you, how you can make sketches in such moments!

Tea norman said...

You really have caught the emotions.

Minerva said...

My sincere sympathy for your loss. Thank you for opening a window to this part of the world.

memi said...

I am so sorry for your loss, but what a memory to capture. So touching and beautiful.

MiataGrrl said...

What a beautiful tribute to your grandmother.

kumi matsukawa said...

Sorry for your loss. I can feel how you tried to see things that is happening objectively and at the same time with sincere emotion. Hope her rest in peace.

Veronica Lawlor said...

I'm sorry for your loss. Beautiful post in her memory.

Inma Serrano said...

Beautiful memory Don, sorry too.

Don Low said...

Thank you all for your kind words.