Memory.. Little threads that hold life's patches of meaning together. ~ Mark Twain

Thursday, March 23, 2006

Remembering The Deceased Loved Ones

Ching Ming is a few weeks away. But because of Nai Nai's recent passing and it's her first year, we were to make the trip to the cemetery way before Ching Ming.

Just like the previous trip back to Dad's hometown, it was awkward not being able to see my grandparents at home. I guess the only consolation was seeing a month's old niece and another one who's started to walk (she walks up and down all over the place! I think we are more tired catching up with her. Hehe..) . It was also a time for Mum to announce to the relatives that her eldest daughter is getting married. *blushes*

Nai Nai and Yeh Yeh's grave are just next to Tai Poh's. Yeh Yeh got his land about 20 years ago. The first few of my Ching Ming trips were to follow Yeh Yeh to offer prayers to Tai Poh. We would help him clean the grave while he prepared the food offerings and he would lead the prayers. Time really passes by so quickly. The land beside Tai Poh's was no longer empty now.

We woke up early that morning and left for the cemetery, armed with parangs, sickles, prayer items and lots of food. The sun had just risen. We made the first stop at the small temple which is located after the entrance to the cemetery. We offered joss sticks then we drove up the hill to my ancestors' graves. It was so serene and quiet there. Flowers blooming everywhere. We cleared up all the 'lalang's surrounding both the graves and swept the floors. We placed coloured papers and huge, lit joss sticks on the graves. I don't know what these means actually.

Ching Ming 2
Look how colourful the graves are!

We offered prayers, food and wine (Hennessy XO!) to Tai Poh first and then to Yeh Yeh and Nai Nai.

Ching Ming 1
Tai Poh

Ching Ming 3
Yeh Yeh & Nai Nai (I took out Dad's and his brothers' names that were engraved on the tombstone)

Then we burnt lots of paper money for them. We also burnt a few of Nai Nai's items such as her blanket, slippers and clothes.

Ching Ming 4
Will they be able to receive the 'goodies'?

The last time we went to the cemetery for Nai Nai's funeral, we threw a bag of beans on her grave. They're actually growing now! Hopefully they will grow even more and provide some shade to Nai Nai and Yeh Yeh. *grin*

We saw a few families at the cemetery too. They were also doing their 'first year visit'. Some of them brought firecrackers to burn at their ancestors' graves. Macam CNY la. *smile* We lingered on at my grandparents' grave for a while more as Dad and his brothers cleared up the neighbouring grave (one of Yeh Yeh's old friend) and offered prayers and food to him. My aunts would use coins to 'ask' my grandparents if they were happy, if they 'sik pau mau' ("are you full already?" in Hakka).

After we were sure that they have eaten enough, it was time for us to leave. We will be back again for Hungry Ghost Month in August.


Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home