Friday, July 12, 2013

Grandpa's Departure Day

I never fully understood how a Chinese funeral ceremony was when I was a young girl. All I know was mourning, chanting, procession session, burning paper idols such as paper made mansions, cars, Astro satellite, servants and chauffer, gold, hell notes $, kneeling on the ground and crossing bridge (sending the souls to the other world). Usually it takes few days for the ceremony to complete.

Now as I have grown up I began to realize the story behind the Chinese funeral procession. My Grandpa passed away on 4th July 2013, morning 5am. My whole family had to rush back to hometown to pay our last respects to our beloved Grandpa.  As soon as we reached there, we had to change into white and black uniform and pay our respect to our Grandpa. First time seeing my dad crying at Grandpa’s coffin broke my heart, realizing that Grandpa has left this world for real. Grandpa suffered from relapsed cancer which spread from lung to the rest of the internal organs.

As the evening went by, the chanting ceremony began with heavy accent Hokkien which I barely understand. Chanting took few hours including kneeling on the ground, putting joss stick, mourning session, calling Grandpa to cross the bridge etc. So many rules need to adhere which I believe is man made laws. At the end of the day, I found the ceremony so depressing. It does not make sense as they were preparing for Grandpa’s walk to hell and life in hell with luxury?  Burning those paper idols seems weird to me. Why they cannot have the mindset that Grandpa is with God and in heaven now? Heaven is a wonderful place to be at. No pain and sorrow. There is no need for us to bring our worldly treasure as everything is provided in heaven. Our treasure (eternal life) is already in heaven as written in John 14:1-4.
“Dont be troubled. You trust God, now trust in me. There are many rooms in my Father’s home and I am going to prepare a place for you. If this were not so, I would tell you plainly. When everything is ready, I will come and get you, so that you will always be with me where I am. And you know where I am going and how to get there.”

As I sat there waiting for the time to pass, I noticed that the altar has some drawings of stages of hell. I was literally shocked for the first time.  Why would you want to send your love one to hell? Why we believe that all souls go to hell? The priest kept praying that “god” will bring our Grandpa safe back to spiritual realm. Does that mean that he is lead to hell? I do not feel sad right now compared to others because they do not know where Grandpa is going after death. Now I understand why Chinese funeral has so many ceremonies and customs. It is so that they will have reassurance that the dead one will die peacefully. I believe it is a way of deceiving themselves.

My role as granddaughter has ended. I did not get to see him before he passed away. Even I am not sure if my grandpa is saved by Lord Jesus though prayers had been done with my boss and church friends. But I choose to believe God has taken care of everything whether we understand or not.  Our God is God of love, hope and peace. He provides us an assurance that we have eternal life after death. This I called, Our God, Lord Jesus who is willing to die for us so that our sins may be redeemed and we can have eternal life after death.

Now is my turn as a daughter/siblings role to pray for my family members. I pray that Lord Jesus have mercy towards my family members to open up their eyes and soften their hearts to receive Jesus.
God’s lover

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