Sunday, April 8, 2018

Thoughts of Mortality During Qing Ming

The Hengfam did our yearly Qing Ming Saturday just, with us completing our run quicker than previous year’s actually, much quicker in fact, along with a vegetarian luncheon at our last stop (first time we did so), a light drizzle and we ended our day earlier than expected, and planned. As exhausted as we were (I woke up this Sunday morning thinking it had been a Monday and trotted around fo a good 20+minutes thinking so too :p) - I'd certainly felt it had been one of the more "stress-free"/"strapless" Qing Mings in recent memory...

Every year we - or at least myself - is faced with thoughts of “mortality” (from varying modes of "being humbled" to "severe fear"), and the sombring truth that we tend not to focus on throughout the reminder of the 364 days on, or perhaps we do so more than anyone realises, but do not ask, because us Asians in Asia might be “sensitive” that way.

I have been a mess since my Dad’s passing five years ago, and I do not hide that fact, nor does Stroke have colored my every day since 8 years ago - but that is my burden to bear, and for most other folks to avoid asking about, innit? But that’s fair fact in life, and I am neither asking for help nor seeking sympathy, innit? I just blog about it LOL

It's my own mechanism to cope, I surmise, and I am grateful for the ability to, as much as "social media" has since given everyone a even chance to share/air their own opinions (when not one his asking for them specifically), it too has allowed a platform for folks - like myself - to air "feels" and thoughts, however mundane or sensitive they might be, IMHO ... but I digress :p

But then again, conversations about “mortality” might not necessarily be the common “water-cooler banter” folks like to concern themselves with, in lieu of a “heavy conversation” - which to me, in my current state of life, is a literal “fact of life” - saddened though they may be, but not needing to be avoided, innit? Like “sex education” is to folks and their kids, perhaps? LOL

Different strokes to different coping mechanisms, I insist, and that's alright, innit?

Be that as it may, I’d managed to keep a decent straight face throughout it all these years, but alas broke today, when I over heard an older aged uncle - who seemed the rough and hardened type of older gentleman (“profiling”, I know) - sing a Hokkien song to his beloved at the crematorium niche.

#qingming #singaporelife #hengfam #henglifesg

A post shared by Andy Heng (@asliceofheng) on

How I wish I could comfort that uncle, but perhaps in our Asian-context, we might well be “butting-in” to another person’s personal life, unwelcomed … and everyone is entitled to their own sorrows and ways of coping … just feel that sometimes we do not need to do it alone by ourselves, don’t we?

NO, this is not “a cry for help” (I constantly say, as if anyone would ever think the way LOL), but perhaps a call for compassion beyond our own fortunes and fate?

“Mortality” should not be only about “tears” and sadness … it could also include “compassion” beyond the suffering, and the chance to move forth with life, a step by a slow step, doesn't it?


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