In Memory of My Granny (1921 to 2006)
She was sent into the crematorium, there were no dry eyes. Amid all the chantings and the prayings and the kowtowings, her coffin was placed on the trolley, directly in front of the incinerator.
The door opened. The interior was made of bricks, it was small and compact inside. The air inside was thick and had a reddish tinge but there were no open flames. Her coffin was pushed inside, mechanically. For a few seconds, nothing happened. Then suddenly the red cloth that was placed on her coffin caught fire by itself. The cloth started to burn and the assistant closed the door. We stood there, waiting, crying, remembering her.
A couple of hours later, we went back to the crematorium, ready to collect her remains. We walked along a long corridor to the Collection Room, following the assistant. Her ashes were then rolled out on a simple trolley, already collected on a piece of red plastic sheet. The assistant began to transfer her remains onto the table and proceeded to sort them out. We were told to call her to rest in peace, in her final resting place. Dad, being the eldest son was the first one to place her first bit into a beautiful white urn. Then followed by uncle, and the rest of us.
A piece of yellow cloth was then folded properly and placed inside the urn. Then Dad hugged the urn and followed the monks, with us following closely behind and proceeded to the columbarium pagoda. She already had choosen a lot for herself 6 years ago, and fully paid for it with her own savings. The urn was then passed to the assistant there and we were told to give her one last look and say whatever that we wanted to say to her for the last time. Afterwhich the door was closed and sealed. Her picture was then slotted on the outside of her door.
It was finally over. Mama is finally resting in peace now.