My cousins and I in our white clothes with black mourning pins.
Angkong's (my paternal grandfather: see last post) buried now so in a sense, it's over. And yet it seems like the grieving's barely begun.
Lots have happened since my last post. The family's all so tired but also very overwhelmed by --- as my uncle phrased it --- "the outpouring of affection". Less than thirty minutes after Angkong died, we had to pull out the phone at the house because people kept calling past midnight to offer condolences. More than a hundred flower arrangements arrived for my Angkong before our own flowers for his coffin could even be delivered. We still wonder how everyone found out so quickly; the obituary almost seemed like an after-thought.
And the people who attended the burial and the services each night... We'd made the whole thing simple but the services were standing room up to the funeral parlor's parking lot. My uncle always said Angkong was rich in friends; we didn't realize how true that was. People just kept surprising us from those that cried for him though they weren't family relations to those that attended the services from all over the world. I have a wonderful memory of a quiet Japanese man who sat in the kitchen during the services because there was no room, and came to pay his respects from his home country just because "it was right". I'm also reminded of a lady that told me my grandfather had character, and a friend who'd met him only once but visited because our love for our Angkong made an impression on him.
So many sad and happy tidbits intertwined from that occasion. I just wanted to thank all those people for supporting us the way they did. And for still supporting us now when we have to pick up the pieces. It's bittersweet to put on our white clothes every day, and almost embarrassing to cry over the silliest things that just remind us of him. For instance, I cried when I received my new Chemical Engineering textbooks for the semester because I remembered how proud Angkong was that I was getting an education.
We're also getting pretty busy with keeping my Ama --- grandmother --- company. Cheering her up is practically a full-time occupation. I find myself hurrying to finish studying during free breaks in school so I can zip by my grandmother's house at night. Though our whole family's actually pretty low these days. We joke, laugh, and enjoy being close to each other, but we all will have to comfort each other in the days ahead.
Then there are the traditions: I think I'll be wearing white in all my blog pictures until next year, and no reader will see me in red until 2011.
I feel like I'm sort-of babbling now but I guess it's my way of coping. I know he's happy in heaven, but we all miss him. We were all blessedly close to him, and we're thankful for that. Some people might not understand that --- my cousin's still a bit sore about her classmate informing her that a dead grandfather wasn't such a big deal to cry about --- but that just makes this whole experience a bit dearer.
This is getting pretty long, and I'm feeling tired so I guess I'll go now. Hope you guys are all doing well. Keep happy!
Daisy on 11/18/2008 12:51:00 AM