Monday, May 16, 2005

The funeral

Wow. That body part beforehand is just insane. I cant remember much of the last funeral i went to cos of medication i was on causing memory loss. They brought the coffin in, opened it and u can smell the body. Not nice.

Then each person feeds her some blessed water and then sticks some rice on her forehead with that red stuff. A lot of ppl came and so this part took around 45 mins. It felt like hours. Its very strange and very disturbing to her loved ones. I was fine cos i wasn't close to her and i'm able to do things without thinking so i just did that. But some ppl who were close to her looked so damn shaken. Her 2 daughters (incl my mum) sobbed uncontrollably when it was their turn. It was just WAAAYYYY too much for them to handle. I thought my mum was gonna faint or something. But again i just tried not to think about it as it would have got me started. Her crying was back to normal levels about 5 mins later.

The other daughter wasn't even allowed to be in the room cos she's not very good with stuff like this at all. I wonder if its worth doing all this stuff when it causes so much distress. Having the body open is one thing, but having to actually touch the body is just too much.

One dumbass woman got her little daughter to do feeding and rice thing. She must have been about 7 or 8 yrs old. WTF. WHAT IS WRONG WITH SOME PPL.

Yesterday my aunt was saying how none of the women should go to the funeral at all. At the time i was thinking WTF. But i see now why. It can be very distressing for the closer ones. There's no way I'm having that kind of ritual with my parents. Luckily my siblings are less religious than me.

And then there's the weird practises afterwords. Like not allowed to touch any food or clothes before having a shower. And you have to leave the clothes you're wearing to soak in water. We were told to put our clothes & towel in the bathroom before we left for the funeral cos once you come back you cant go touching anything. Cant even touch your towel.

And 95% of ppl don't even know why we do these things. I still don't. I'm just assuming its to stop the spread of disease from the body which would obviously be applicable back when they started these practices, but not really now. But practises like these are never updated with the times. Even if disease was completely wiped out in a hundred years, i reckon this practise would still go on.

At the moment this stuff has to be done cos its for the older lot who believe in this kind of stuff but i wonder what I'll do when I'm older and have my own family. Can i make my own rules?

Sunday, May 15, 2005

Nan dies

Nan (mum's mum) died a few days ago aged 82 yrs old. I wasn't very close to her tho so i wasn't directly affected too much. She'd been ill for about a month. Her diabetes really flared up and i was wondering if her 2 daughters who live with her were able to feed her sensibly. They're not very capable or knowledgeable like that. But they've been doing it for years so i'm sure it just flared up for some other reason.

In hospital, apparently there was some insanely impossible high sugar count in her blood... cant remember now... something like 70 or something. I think that damaged a few of her organs cos she never did recover from that and developed loads of problems like kidney failure, weak heart, hypo-tension, a bad stroke while she was unconscious (which left her paralysed on one side) and an infection on her foot that led to gangrene.

She had surgery to cut off a few toes but she never really recovered from the surgery and remained only half conscious after it til she died about a week later.

The doctor called us in a room one day to say she wasn't going to recover and that should anything happen like a heart attack or her breathing stopping, he wanted our input on what should be done in case it was a borderline decision. Basically asking us if they should resuscitate her or let her die. I was quite surprised they let us decide things like that. The family decided to let her die as it would just delay the inevitable and cause suffering.

A few days later they decide to stop some of her medications and to let her die. I think she was expected to pass away that night or the next day or something but she managed to hang in there for about a week, each day becoming slightly more conscious. She'd be able to open her eyes one day... a day or 2 later she was managing to respond to us with yes or no's.... a further day or 2 she was pulling sentences together... til she finally passed away one early morning.

When we visited her, relatives close to her were sad, obviously. But ppl who weren't close to her were sad too. My brother who see's her about 3 times a year (and even that's when they have to see each other during Diwali or something) cried on seeing her. Maybe seeing other ppl cry made him cry. Although unlikely as he's tough as nuts. He probably felt sorry for her lying there, possibly suffering. I was kind of pleased for her, that she's finished this life and is onto whatever comes next.

One thing annoyed me. One of my uncles (from dad's side) went to see her and then calls my mum up saying she's not looking good and it looks like "her souls stuck in her body cos she has things she wants to say or worries about the ppl she'll leave behind". So him and his wife suggested we make sure we tell nan everything's gonna be okay here when your gone. And to do prayers so she passes away peacefully. We held a prayers thingy that night and nan passed away the next day. Eery! But it annoyed me that he just stated it as kind of fact. How is he supposed to know what's going on. He hardly knows her himself.

We're Hindu Gujarati's so we hold 10 days of prayers for 1 hour after the death. It's a strange feeling sitting there for 1 hour in the middle of people singing songs i don't even understand (religious Sanskrit songs). I'm not even a religious Hindu. I pray in my own way, not to a temple or to pictures of gods such as Ram or Krishna. I wonder what some of my relatives think of my non-religiousness. Whether they think i don't even believe in god at all. Or if they look down on me.

Today at the temple, one of my cousins was explaining to me how to do the praying procedure when you go into a temple in case i did it wrong. And it felt so odd doing it as it doesn't mean anything to me.

Tomorrow is the funeral. I've only been to one before, my aunts about 5 years ago. That shocked me a bit as i was young then. They bring the body to the home where the person lived. And everyone was queuing up to do something, i never asked what, and just went in when it was my turn and my aunts body was just lying there in the coffin type thing. I didn't expect to see a dead body there in front of me when i walked in!!!! And you had to throw something on her, cant remember what. Some blessed flowers or something. This part causes a lot of crying. Probably designed to help grieving. Then they take the body to the cemetery and have it cremated.

Wednesday, April 13, 2005


Hmmmmm not sure what i'll use this for yet. Probably not serious posts. But an outlet for happy and funny stuff for me to read over in the future. I don't like to write about negative shit. I do that enough as it is during the day in my head. And I'll try not to turn this into a place to rant about my health issues.