My 89-year-old grandma passed away on the 13th early morning. She had been sleeping(unconscious) since May only with IV. It’s weird feeling among family like sadness with relief, you know? Or the Japanese word “Dai-oujou” makes us feel easy. ( Dai-oujou means a good life, like living long enough and died of old age. )
It was the first funeral for my kids. They had never seen a remain ever. So, i guess it’s kind of shock for them. They were scared at first, but.. they gradually got used to it, and then stared at her so carefully! Their curiosity overcame fear.
At the cremation place, Momo hadn’t known what would happen next before my explanation. She said “It’s too rough for her! You never burn her?! “. Tatsu knew the fact people must be cremated, but still he looked shocked seeing the place he was standing at like the steel doors, and spooky sound of fire, polite but cold face men on duty, they put someone’s casket into it so naturally, etc.. The final moment to say good-bye to grandma, we wetted a small branch in the water and spread it around on her casket. It’s one of ritual manner, but this one was so easy to understand for kids why they did so.
My kids learned a lot. The way people passed away from this world. The way how to say the final good-bye. The meaning to live. The meaning of family. My grandmother taught them a lot with her own body.
2 and a half hours later, we met her bones. So fragile and thin. Again, Momo was scared to watch them. Moreover, you have to pick up these small pieces of bones with long chopsticks and put bones into a pot to bring it back home! So scary for kids, I guess. But! ( you knew it?) Momo got used to it again, and she tried to pick up much bigger bone. OMG….It’s not a competition, Momo.
I won’t let them do like that if it was not my grandma funeral. But i knew she was smiling by our side to see her grandchildren picking up her bones so hard!
It was an easy and peaceful funeral. One thing I regret….I should have talked to her much more after I became an adult. I don’t know how she survived the war and had raised 5 children. It’s too late to regret.