Edit: Shit, I realised how philosophical and waffling this entry ended up being...//
Here's a little update on what I've been up to in my holiday "trip" over the past 1-2 weeks.
Well, the first day (two weeks ago) I was at home having a rest, the second day my dad took us back to see our grandparents. Everything seemed fine.
The third day my dad went to work but at noon my dad called saying Grandma had passed away.
My dad applied for a two-weeks leave and then drove us to Grandpa's place. He was speeding at 100km/hr on the normal road. My dad's face was so tense that he seemed emotionless. It was pretty scary.
Then on that same day, my three aunts and two uncles (dad's siblings) came back as well. It was a Taiwan tradition to crawl to the body from the house entrance for the first time to see the deceased. Almost all of them were crying so hopelessly. No one seemed to think logically because they were overwhelmed with emotions and a lot of the time they were speechless. Seeing all that I was scared.
I couldn't find a better adjective, because truly - I was scared. I saw my aunts and uncles cry for the first time. I saw my grandpa and imagined the empty loneliness of the house and himself when everyone goes away after the funeral. I saw the place and everyone almost tore themselves down by the most fundamental instincts. I saw my younger brother cry. Even with my dad's deceiving logical thinking on the exterior he was really distressed on the inside. However what scared me even more is that I wasn't sad.
I asked myself who was this person that just passed away? Who is this person to me? What are the things that everyone is crying for? Are they surprised? Well, I was surprised. I was there the day before grandma passed away. She was almost always sleeping but you could tell she was alive and there, burningly lively at the heart. The day I saw my grandma's dead body, she could almost be sleeping too. What is it thatis missing? One thing I'm certain is my grandma's pain is gone and she's free. Surely my dad, aunts and uncles are ready to accept this. Maybe its the reluctant feeling to cling onto everything that was left.
There were so many arguments between my dad and my uncles. And many more that could've happened if a fire was put to the leaked oil. My second uncle had an argument about the "pot" that keeps the burning remains of Grandma after the cremation. It originally costs 140,000NT but my second uncle keeps haggling the price like he's at a street market. My dad wasn't very pleased and said something after the monks who sell the "pot" left. That's just one example. If grandma was here, the least she would want to see her sons argue.
As for myself, Grandma taught me something - I have to work on my cutting. I have been cut free for quite a while. I think it's because of Grandma... I saw my dad, aunties, uncles and other people cry. I saw what everyone is going through... just by taking my own pain away with a blade seemed so selfish.
So after one whole week of traditions carried out (mostly consisting of reading ancient scripts, worshipping grandma and "guarding" her body throughout the night) the final funeral came. In the early morning a function was held for distant cousins and close friends to say their final goodbye and pay their respects to Grandma before the cremation. Then it is the the function for co-workers and people from groups/associations that probably had little to do with Grandma to pay their respects too. At the functions my grandpa had red, drained eyes that can hardly squeeze any tears out of it. It breaks my heart to see my grandpa like this. My dad handled these external people calmly, speaking plainly. Still there were no tears from my dad's eyes. Then we arrived at the cremation room which the coffin was placed in front of a hole. A green light would be lit and then the hole would opened and the coffin would be pushed in. Everyone knelt down in front of the coffin waiting for the green light. Everyone had really really disheartened, stressed, uneager and unwilling faces. Only a few had watery eyes, but no sobbing sound could be heard because there was a band playing in the background. My naiiveness told me this showed everyone have accepted this loss - at least beginning to. Everyone was still. Then when the green light was lit, the hole expanded and the coffin slowly shifted into the red fiery opening. This was when everyone bursted into tears in the masses. Even my dad. This was the first time I saw him cry in my entire life. It's hard to explain how I felt, or how he felt, why he held it inside him for so long, and what feeling and meaning is associated with a wooden box moving into a hole. Sometimes these haunting questions cannot be answered. Maybe not until I have experienced it myself.
All that takes me back to reflect on my own feelings and actions. Of course there will be ups and downs in our lives. Its HOW we cope with it. Everyone in your life is a road. You construct new roads in life and new roundabouts and roads intersect and connect with each other. We visit these roads, we maintain them, we use them to get somewhere. When someone dies the road they represent would be blocked. It's still there like a memory that could be visited but could not be used. However you will hardly ever come across it again when you have finally moved forward and found new paths to take. The journey to accept is slowly phasing this road out and constructing new replacement paths to get somewhere. It takes time, there are risks, and there are changes. These under-constructoin paths are misty, dark and have infrastructures that compose of something you have no idea of. The thought of that is scary.
I'm saying change can be positive. It's scary. It's uncertain, but we can set a goal in the distance and construct our pathways to it. Dictate your own life. Don't linger at the same spot. Picture what you want, then aim and go hardout for it. Love what you love, but in the end treasure what you have. You just need to know the directions you are heading.