Dad’s passing was an anomaly in the system. It became a coroner’s case which took about a day to clear. So, due to the awkwardness of the situation, dad’s funeral being a 5 days affair that resulted in his cremation being on the 7th day. Traditionally, supposedly, chinese customs states that cremation should be on an odd numbered day, thusly it was either day 3, 5 or 7. While we wanted a quick resolution, day 3 was impossible as it meant that people would have only “visited him” for less than 24 hours before he’s gone while day 5, the temple he wanted to be in does not do cremation on a friday.
As mother was very… out of it when we needed her to act on things quickly, plus reliability issues, I took charge of the entire funeral. Planned it with help from relatives, called his friends, paid for it with the right sources, etc. It was a very interesting affair. Waking up early to complete rituals and to ensure certain things. Rituals that I never knew of suddenly became very important. It also led to other scientific discovery – that the heat from a candle can quite possibly melt and crack glass.
On many levels, dad wasn’t a superstitious person to start with. He observed some stuff and not the others. This made it a little difficult to decide what rituals to stick to, and what we should do. Eventually, it boiled down to the price. Clearly, if I have to pay extra for it, it’s not that important.
It’s still a little surreal to re-visualise the entire 7 days that I went through. And then it was gone. 1 week without dad, I managed to survived through things that he normally do or advised me to do.
Prior to this, when it got real serious, people commented on how well I was taking this. how calm I was. I often reiterated that, besides my job, dad has often prepared me for the inevitable. He had leave me instructions to do things, teach me how to get them done, WHERE to get them done, who to ask for help and when certain things to occur.
Of the things pertaining to my mother, a lot of it was filled with hate. There were times they were filled with sympathy, other times they were tinged with regret and sadness – and definitely a few filled with mercy. In my father’s last days, it vacillated often between mercy and anger. Despite all the anger I have towards her, I often took the high road and not mention a few things that dad has mentioned to me about how to deal with her should he passes, to avoid hurting her and making her go mad.
You see, I didn’t have to do much, she was already feeling the guilt and the fear resulting from her guilt.
However, my sister is a completely different story. My dad has nothing but love for her. Like me, he might have gotten angry and frustrated at her, but he has never once talked about abandoning her or similar such thoughts. The days after the funeral involved getting everything ready for her life without my dad. The few things I had to look at were:
- Financially, how do I plan for her.
- Education, does she still need more, can she do them, would anyone discriminate against her?
- Career, where can she go and what can she do?
In the end, I worked along the path that my father once showed me: go by what she loves and is happy with and you can’t go too wrong with that. After all, all a parent wants is that his/her child is happy.
I took her to to arteastiq to paint. It’s a social painting and tea place, but really, when my sister is there, it is like she just found her sanctuary. she had be there for hours if she could. The staffs there have been nothing short of beautiful towards her. So thank you guys so much.
I took her to digipen to look at the courses there, we sat through many things to have a look. I am not sure where to head from there besides the short courses, but I also don’t want to stress her out. In the end, this might be no more than a hobby.
There was also an issue about nutrition. My sister’s nutritional levels are like.. zilch. While I am on my hunt for good food around here, I have been taking her everywhere too. This has resulted in large number of japanese food being consumed hahaha, and discovering places that works for us. Sakae sushi is clearly not one of them, by the way.
However, I have also fallen sick recently, so my adventures have been slightly curbed
In comparison to even sydney, there’s a lot more anime related stuff here. I have been happily wandering shops, admiring things and eyeballing a few things for myself. I have spent about 200 bucks just on toys and stuff alone. There’s also a very easily accessible Kinokuniya nearby, which contains a lot of information and is about 5 times the size of any uni bookshop (another source of money stealing schemes by publishers). This is getting scary. Add that to my need for retail therapy when I lose my shit, I have been blitzing through cash -.-. Of course, most of them are on good meaningful things, but damn. LOL.
In my spare time, while waiting for my sister or just relaxing, I walked around the places as part of my touristy thing and where there were very strong memories of my father. Sure, we have been everywhere, but there are certain places where certain memories can not be eradicated. This was one of them.
I was born there and used to live there till I was about 8 or so. I remembered the week leading to our actual move, the tears involved coz I refused to part with my beloved home. the comfort doll I had to carry that eventually got worn out from the moving. And the plastic lizard I put in my mouth to scare people on the bus off.
This area that you see above, it used to be just a boring chest height wall with grilles covering the top half so no one can climb out as there’s a parapet leading to all the windows of each unit. It was meant for maintenance guys to climb on, though, so there’s a part of it that can be unlocked and open up.
A long long time ago, some potential burglar climbed there, on to the parapet leading to my parents’ bedroom where I still slept. My dad, a light sleeper, noticed the torchlight flashing around and yelled at that guy and gave chase. I don’t think he ever caught that guy, but that was one of the moments dad was a big hero in my eyes.
I can’t believe how time flew by. in 2 sundays time, it will be the 49th day. It hasn’t been easy, but I am on the mend thanks to friends and relatives. Thank you all, really, for all the support and friendship.