April 26, 2008 I walked into the gates not knowing what to expect. It had been a weeks since my great aunt fell into a coma. I can still recall that day. My parents were devastated and I did not seem to care. Couple days ago they pulled the life support from her because they did not think that she would ever wake up. Today was her funeral and I didn't know what to feel, miserable or content? It had not really hit me that she was gone, forever.
As I walked through the gates, colors of black and white were seen everywhere. For a second I thought I was color blind, but I was reassured that I was not when I noticed the colorful orchids and roses piling on the table. Cousins, aunts, uncles, and the rest of the family were spread out and mingling. It was like a huge reunion. Adults were wearing these white bandanas around their head. My dad had told me that they were for the adults that were blood related to the person that passed away. I thought everyone looked ridiculous with those things tied around their foreheads. But I was not so concerned about that; I was too busy occupying myself by hugging my cousins and talking about random things. My sister and I had to help set up because it was a tradition for the young girls of the family to help out. We had to place tissues on each aisle of seats.
"That's a freaking lot of tissues, I don't think we need that much," I muttered to myself. Somehow my aunt heard me.
"You'd be surprised about how many people will be crying by the end of the afternoon," my aunt replied with a smirk.
The ceremony began awhile later and we all took our seats. Monks arrived and began to chant things that I could not comprehend. It lasted for about an hour. Bored out of my mind, I sat there twiddling my thumbs, listening to my cousin's whisper, and letting my mind wander off. Suddenly everyone stood up and began to circle the coffin. Not knowing what was going on, I just followed. Watching my feet, I walked and walked, until I reached the glossy maroon coffin lying in the middle of the room. I glanced up at the corpse, and one look at the pale, peaceful face of my beloved great aunt, made my eyes well up with heavy tears and spill over. Before I knew it, I could feel the tears gush miserably down my supple cheek. I couldn't react to it, my feet were glued to the ground and my body, stiff as a cardboard. At that exact moment all my emotions and thoughts came rushing out. My hands felt sweaty, my body was frozen cold, and tears leaked over the edge of my eye. All I wanted was to move, take my eyes off of her, but nothing would let me. It was as if we were the only two people in the room. The beat of my heart was the only thing I heard. Thump Thump. Hours seemed to fly by in a matter of seconds. A warm hand lightly touched my shoulder and all the noise rushed back into my ears, followed by the sight of my crying family.
As I made my way back to my seat, I used the back of my hand to wipe away the tears oozing from the corner of my eyes. My sleeves were all soaked up with salty droplets. Sitting down, I reached for some tissues. Couple minutes passed and wads of tissues piled up in my lap. Uncles and Aunts began to speak about the past and I continued to let the tears fall. Scenes began to flash into my mind like an old western film. My aunt had been through a lot such as escaping Vietnam, and suffered from a hump that crushed her lungs. She may have had lots of hardships but she was one blissful old lady. I remember when I was younger that she loved the Lakers, screaming and cheering during the finals, she was filled with so much life, so much love. I finally realized that her enthusiasm, her smile, her laugh, and her love had left with her. I will never be able to see it again. Realizing this I began to bawl. The sobs thrashed from my chest, my eyes turned puffy and red from the tears constantly pouring down my face. I finally understood what funerals were about. They were about remembering and reminiscing about the person that had departed from this world. But I know she is in a better place now, no more suffering, no more pain. May you rest in peace Great Aunt Két, you will forever be in my heart and in my thoughts.
"When we lose someone we love, our bitterest tears are called forth by the memory of hours when we loved not enough"