So this afternoon comes and I get another phone call. Sam was laughing at me as I had about 5 wrong numbers during the time she stayed.
It turns out to be Serene. Their family (the Chua’s) moved back to Malaysia about a year ago. Hannah was best friends with Rachel. I knew Eugene a bit as he was in my devo group when I was in yr.12, a year younger than me I think, nice guy. (Eugene is a very cool name for asian guys and utterly daggy on anglo’s, why is that so?)
Anway. She finds out mum isn’t there and so decides to ask me to help her out. Apparently some kid from MECS (school) has recently died in a car crash. I had absolutely no idea about it, so I’m making facial questions and trying to find out the story from Sam in the middle of the conversation. She wants to know what Aussies do (they were only over here for two years I think) for funerals. What to send. A wreath, flowers…
I was half at a loss. The only person close enough for me to attend their funeral that has died was my Opa quite a few years now and I was overseas then, so missed it anyway. I realised she was asking because of cultural differences (duh!) and so did my best to explain that probably the best thing, seeing as it wasn’t someone hugely close to them that she should probably just send a card. “Should I put money in it to help with the funeral?”, “Um no, just a card I think”.
Australians treat death will an odd disrespect. We do not I think, grieve properly. We don’t deal with it properly. We perhaps acknowledge it for a very short point in time and then stuff it under the verandah while we have a BBQ on top.
We don’t celebrate death very well either. Christians should view death with greater hmm.. how to say this without saying like life is not worth every breath. anticipation?… no thats’ not quite right. It’s a good thing to celebrate someone’s life.
We should also celebrate people’s lives more when they are living, then they are at least around to know how much we appreciate them.
Aboriginal cultures have this set mourning thing. They wail, they cry, they recognise the loss publically. Together they bear the weight and so (I think) lessen the load, draw the hurt into the open and so well, deal with it effectively. I’m pretty sure Solomon Islanders are much the same.
Funeral Parlours are such ugly places. I’ve never been in one, and hope I don’t have to (dead or alive) hearses are black, limos and pointless. Funeral flowers are ugly. Flowers belong in gardens or at weddings. Their beauty is a pitiful mask. I don’t see a huge problem with them, but yeah mm they have their place excess is not part of it, if used rightly it’s fine.
I was thinking the other day about if I had only a short while to live how I would live differently. I guess it genuinely struck me (rather than just the general concept) I wish I had written some stuff down as it was a bit (just a bit) motivating. I’ll have to think about it a bit more.
Meanwhile. Living life as God wants me to is the closest I can get to explaining that, and for each of us I think that is slightly different.
your right, i dont think, as a culture, we do the whole death thing very well.
as a rule, unless we are closely related, we hide the tears, if there are any tears.
i didnt know ben very well. oh, i knew what he looked like, and who he was, but i didnt know him. the news just made my face sad for a moment. remembering that death is a thing that one should be sad about. just words to my ears, not really affecting me.
it reminds me of when i found out that Jo had misscarried. i breif, “are you alright?” to my sister was all i could manage. unless you are close family, you dont get to share the burden. its just this weird thing australians do. well, most anyway.
i dont think australians are much of an emotional people. but maybe, its only the aussies that i know, mostly of dutch descent, that arent. we pretend like everything is ok, and keep out emotions hidden.
that is just how things are.
(maybe i should have made this a blog of my own, and not just a comment.. oh well)