So I buried my dad about two weeks ago. Technically, I'm still in mourning mode - the basis being that I haven't bawled like a baby just yet.
I did when Nanay died nine years ago. It happened during the wake. I started crying and just couldn't stop. I was inconsolable for a few minutes and can't get a hold of myself. So they let me cry until I ran out of tears or until my eyes looked like they just had their period.
I think I'm undergoing a different kind of mourning. And even I wonder how many kinds there are. For one, we haven't cleaned out Tatay's room just yet. We cleaned out Nanay's closet about two weeks after her funeral. It was more therapy and closure really. Plus we needed to make the place more livable for Tatay then, when he would be sleeping alone and didn't need a constant reminder that he was sleeping alone.
Two days after we buried my dad, we went to a neighbor's wake - one of tatay's good friends in the olden days. Two days after that, we also buried my aunt, my mom's older sister. And when I went to work on Monday, I had to set-up a video screen for yet another wake - another of Tatay's political cronies. And then about five days after, I went to attend the funeral of a friend's mom. You'd think that this would make Nov. 1 so much fun now since everybody will have yet another reunion at the cemetery. While that could be true, I still think I need to bawl and I don;y know why I haven't yet.
Death is final. It's the only sure and constant thing that will happen to everyone at any point in their lives. I think that is why we were never to keen at taking pictures during the death of a love one. Aside from the fact that people are not really too sure if they should smile for the camera when they're standing beside a coffin, I am just not comfortable of pictures during a funeral. Well, maybe for documentation later on . Maybe we need proof that we were at someone else's funeral?
I avoid looking in coffins. I personally hate funeral make-up - no offense to the make-up artist - considering they are working with dead people who cannot suck in their cheeks to show their cheekbones for the artist. No, I just don't like remembering my dead that way. I want to remember them living, moving, laughing. I want to celebrate their life and not their deaths. I want to remember how they lived.
The funny thing is, our community celebrated Halloween today. Our neighbor helped decorate the front driveway with two ghosts, and some pumpkin heads to get the kids into the mood while trick or treating. Our own little boy, dressed in his Superman costume was scared shitless of the ghosts outside the driveway and couldn't bear to go outside without company. So much for wanting to keep things funny and enjoyable. At least, it did what it was set out to do - to scare innocent kids. I wonder why we find that funny. Maybe it's nostalgia for the days when we were scared shitless ourselves when we were small.
And so tomorrow, we will again go to the cemetery to visit our dead on November 1. We had set-up a tent, flowers and candles for the ocassion. We should bring pictures of our parents too = to make it easier to remember why you're there in the first place.
You'd think that all these signs of mortality looming in front of us would want us to live better lives. But no, we didn't buy healthy food to bring the to the cemetery tomorrow. We bought comfort food because technically, we are still in mourning.