Final goodbye. The inevitable.
What can I say? Nothing lasts forever except "nothing." Change is constant and with change comes the end of things - for this matter, life.
Seeing the remains of our grandfather placed in his tomb it's like mourning him for the second time.
For the last time, a service was held earlier today, a service of comfort for the family. It's an emotional day. I was trying to hold back tears and trying to keep it in. We were joking and laughing throughout the day but behind all those was sadness.
I was not there yesterday. Last night was the bulk of the preparation for food. Pigs and chicken were butchered as was the custom. Other food was also prepared. I didn't take photos for I would rather focus my time with relatives and the family.
Emotions ran high especially so because alcoholic drinks were involved. Family drama is always present in times like this. We all know how it goes. As much as we want harmony, there will always be those who likes arguments and cause trouble.
Why can't we not think of ourselves for once? Even for just one day. Why is one day so hard to sacrifice for our family? You were not there when they are alive. Yes, there's no use for showing concern when they passed for they can no longer see and feel it. However, humble yourselves for once. Don't let pride and ego rule you. The world does not revolve around you.
I woke up really early today, maybe two hours than my usual time of work and did some tasks then prepared myself and headed to our grandparents' house. Everyone was busy doing the final preparation for the day's event. Those who were there last night relayed what happened. It was saddening to hear but we just laughed it off. We don't want that to tarnish the memory of our grandfather.
The program started around 10:00 a.m. Us grandkids are supposed to sing a closing song to end the service. However, I didn't join for we were busy preparing with the food. Also, I'm afraid I can't hold back and open the flood gates.
After the service, we ate and then rested. Most of us then gathered and headed to the cemetery which was some 1-2 kms away. However, the other half of the way is all uphill such that only those who are strong enough to hike went, mostly the younger ones.
Another short program was held there before finally placing our grandfather's remains in the tomb together with some of his belongings as was the custom. The urn where his ashes are was sealed shut but our grandfather's brother instructed that it should be opened to release the spirit of our grandfather and not be kept shut. They had to use a saw to make an opening and not totally opening the urn.
When the program was done, the rest went back home but we stayed until the finishing touches to the tomb was done before heading back home.
Those who came back from the cemetery should wash their hands in a basin where guava leaves were soaked in warm water as is the custom, washing away the bad luck. Candles should be lit continuously during the vigil to guide the spirit of the departed. Before the candle burns out, you should light another one.
These are just some of the superstitious beliefs that are still practiced today.
At the end of the day, it was tiring but being there for each other, doing what you can to help made the day worth it. Today, I get to be with our relatives that I haven't seen in a long time or just meeting for the first time.
There is still that bond that is within us.
To those who have lost a loved one, a friend, a relative, live in the beautiful memories that you have with them. Find comfort among those left behind. Take time to mourn. Grieve. It's not easy moving on but find strength in the bond that you have.