Many are aware that they should express their heartfelt feelings to the important people dearest to them  during important celebrations such as Valentine’s Day, Parents’ Day, Mid-Autumn Festival and the Double Ninth Festival. However, very few people understand the significance of funerals.

In ancient times, the purpose of funerals was to ensure the dead were properly laid to rest; but in modern times, its purpose is more to commemorate and remember the life of the deceased and to give those left behind the opportunity to heal and adjust to the loss of a loved one, as well as to give them and ourselves a chance for a proper farewell.

Funerals allow us to express our emotions. When people are faced with something painful and traumatic, they often choose to avoid it or be in denial. They bury themselves in work or other affairs to escape dealing with the grief. However, funeral rites can allow the grieving person to take a moment and come to terms with death and their personal emotions. Funerals allow us to openly express and vent our emotions, and organise our thoughts; to not suppress or ignore our emotions concerning the death of a loved one.

Funerals allow us to remember the dead. Through funerals, we can directly face our feelings about the death of a loved one, and allow family and friends to speak their thoughts, their stories on getting along with the deceased, as well as their bits and pieces of life with that person. These scenes of life vividly reflect visions of the deceased, as if the person is right there with us – so that we can recall moments of joy and good times shared, instead of constantly being in pain from the parting.

Funerals allow us to re-examine our relationship with the deceased and share these bits of memories of life with others. The many beautiful stories and memories shared at the funeral help family and friends see the deceased from different perspectives, and commit the relationship with that person from “these moments” to memory. Funerals provide us with a chance to say, “Thank you for being there; I’m sorry I was wrong; I really love you; you will forever be in my heart; and you are very important to me.”

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. Therefore, we should not only participate in the entire process, but also face and express it more earnestly.

How do we face the rest of our lives after the death of a loved one?

Begin by accepting the loss, and through the funeral, cherish him or her in your heart.

The Final Portrait

The Final Portrait

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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...

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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...

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