The Final Portrait

Life is like a drama, and drama is like life. In the different important stages of life, we all think of recording every memorable moment for posterity with the camera. However, when it comes to the important “end point” of life, not many people take the initiative to consider leaving their self portrait behind. It usually doesn’t cross their mind that the only way people can still see them after they’re gone is through photos of them in life.

Many people tend to think they don’t need to have their pictures taken or they dislike the notion because they are too old. Later however, when the time comes to prepare for the funeral, there simply isn’t a suitable or presentable photo that can be used as a funeral portrait.

Things aren’t the same today as in the past; modern people are more liberal and can talk about their life plans openly, so it is no longer a taboo to discuss death.

Many elderly folks not only choose their final resting places and decide on the sort of funeral they want, but will also go to a photo studio to have their portrait taken to prepare a satisfactory “funeral portrait” for themselves. This practice not only allows family members to make proper arrangements for their funeral but also eliminates the need to worry about the arrangements later on.

On the topic of funeral portraits, do you know how to choose one? What are the important things to note? Can regular photos be used? What should one do with the funeral portrait after the funeral service?

The placement of the funeral portrait within the memorial parlour  is not only convenient for the family and the Nirvana funeral service team to quickly identify the venue, but is also allows the family to have the feeling that their loved one is still there with them – allowing them to cherish the memory of the deceased through the photo.

The common perception of a funeral portrait is a headshot, but did you know that nowadays a normal photo taken in life can also be used for the same purpose? In the selection of a funeral portrait, you can refer to the following suggestions:

  1. Physical or digital photos
  2. It is recommended to prepare at least 3-5 photos in case of emergency
  3. A single frontal photo is preferred
  4. Large and visible portraits

What should be done with the funeral portrait after the funeral?

After the death of a loved one, the funeral portrait often adds to the grief of those left behind. Even though they know their loved one is gone, they will still miss the person the moment they see the photo.

According to traditional customs, the funeral portrait is collected after the funeral and not taken out and hung at home until one year after the death of a loved one.

The portrait can be cremated along with the casket. If the portrait is not burnt at the time of the ceremony, it can be done a year later on an auspicious day.

After the funeral service, some families place the portrait at home for a period of time to pay respects to the deceased – a practice equivalent to an enshrined ancestral tablet or deity.

The treatment of the portrait of a deceased loved one still needs to be arranged in accordance to the actual situation of each family. As long as one chooses what one considers to be a more appropriate treatment, the deceased can be put to rest and the living can be comforted.

RHYME OF LIFE: A PRICELESS TREASURE OF LOVE

RHYME OF LIFE: A PRICELESS TREASURE OF LOVE

“The goal isn’t to live forever, the goal is to create something that will.”
Nirvana Center Kuala Lumpur built their unique columbarium that is touted to be unlike any other found in Malaysia – the Rhyme of Life, embodying American journalist and novelist Chuck Palahniuk’s quote above.

read more
Why are funerals needed?

Why are funerals needed?

Every ritual at a funeral is a way to accept the fact that we have lost a loved one, and the loss of a loved one is an unavoidable life experience for everyone and it is also a process.

read more
Malaysia Multi-racial Farewell Ceremonies

Malaysia Multi-racial Farewell Ceremonies

Malaysia is a multi-racial country, with the main ethnic groups being Malay, Chinese and Indian. For the ethnic Chinese, there are various religious funeral rites such as Buddhist, Taoist and Christian, and Islamic and Hindu rites for the other ethnic groups. Different ethnic groups and religions have different cultural practices, religious ideologies, beliefs and values, making Malaysia’s funeral culture appear diverse in many ways.

read more
Ancestral Tablet

Ancestral Tablet

The ancestral tablet is also called “soul tablet”, “spirit tablet”, “soul seat” and others. In Buddhism, it is called “lotus dais” or “lotus seat”. It is generally used as a temporary seat for the soul of the departed to reside, and convenience for the family members, relatives and friends to pay their respects.

read more
shuukatsu

shuukatsu

Shuukatsu / Translated by Colin Kuan   The term “shuukatsu” has become a popular buzzword in recent years. What then is “shuukatsu”? Shuukatsu originated from Japan. According to the United Nation’s 2019 Revision of World Population Prospects, the most important...

read more
The guardian deity of tombs – Hou Tu

The guardian deity of tombs – Hou Tu

The guardian deity of tombs - Hou Tu Whenever you visit a cemetery during Qing Ming, have you ever noticed a small stone tablet with the characters “后土 (Hou Tu)” inscribed on it nearby the tombs of your ancestors? Before paying respects to our ancestors, we will offer...

read more