Sunday, June 11, 2006

JY's mom's wake was in the void deck of her HDB block. By her tradition, JY couldn't leave the area while the wake was in session, because the immediate family of the deceased had to keep replacing the big joss stick whenever it looked close to burning out. This meant that JY spent 2 nights straight in the void deck, only taking a couple of hours break in between to rest.

June and I joined her late last night to keep her spirits up. We brought the 'X-men' Monopoly set that June had bought for me a couple of birthdays ago, along with other games and reading materials in preparation for a long night.

It was the first opportunity to tear open the Monopoly set, and the 3 of us enjoyed a silly, not completely by-the-rules game all the way till about 0400 hrs this morning. By then, we were all drained so JY went to sleep in her uncle's car which he had kindly parked just in front of the void deck, and we went home.

We rejoined her at about noon for the procession to the crematorium. There was a simple cermony for the closing of the casket, during which JY had to focus on her mom instead of on her guests and well-wishers, and... well, it was clear she missed her mom a lot.

It was the same at the crematorium. The ceremony seemd designed to alternate between procedure -- routine behaviourial response -- and moments of silence and stillness for reflection and personal emotional response. The balance between the 2 responses helps the bereaved deal with the loss and brings closure at the same time.

JY, you've had a really trying ordeal to get through and you've had to be strong all the way. We won't be around next week, we'll be in Bali, but you have no shortage of friends who will be there for you. Hope you get some rest soon, and try to enjoy what's left of your vacation. Let's go 'blading again soon, ok?

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