On the evening of Granny's departure, we returned to Chi-du to welcome her memorial tablet back. The living room was filled with my family members and children running around. It felt no different from our past Chinese New Year's gatherings.
With the memorial tablet, Granny's beautiful photo, flowers and fruits, the altar looked lively. We followed the Taoist priest as he recited the Buddhist mantra to guide Granny's soul. The children behaved themselves and worshipped the Buddha figurines with us too. This funeral is very different from the ones I've been to before. Rather than terrifying, it is warm with our best wishes.
The gentleman from the funeral parlor helped us pin a piece of jute cloth onto our arms. The kids asked why. We replied, "Granny will find her way home if she sees the yellow butterflies in the dark."
We went on to fold paper lotus for Granny to step on on her way to Heaven. The children were eager to learn. They each took a piece of paper with a lotus printed on it. Though their works were kind of slanted, nothing could discourage them. The four-year-old Xin even went home with a pack of paper to fold. Thus, not to dampen their spirits, I unfolded their finished works and refolded for them.
I went to several funerals in my life, but this is the first time I really learn. In the company of my wonderful family and children, the rituals I used to believe irksome so comfort my heart this time.