See you in the next life, grandma

Today as the rain poured down at the gravesite, I was sure I would catch on fire from throwing endless amounts of paper money into the open flaming canister. We prayed to her, burned incense, planted some flowers and left her favorite dim sum dishes as an offering. As each day passes, I remain exhausted and drained. There are moments of happiness in each day but I feel tired with a heaviness that surrounds me.

Yesterday, the movers took away all her belongings and I donated them. It took me 2 days to pack her apartment and it took them 2 hours to move it.

I paused every once in a while, sorting thru her clothes, staring at the leather jacket she wore in the 70’s, or holding the furry winter hat she wore when it was very cold. I held them for a moment, thought of her, and let them go. It is our tradition to not keep anything. My dad does not like to keep anything of the deceased and keeping things makes your attachment to material objects that much stronger. It is best to let it go. From my mother, I only kept one necklace of pearls. From my grandfather, I have only my memories, specifically remembering in his last years when I was working in sales, I would tell him my sales numbers and he would always reply, you aren’t working hard enough. From my grandmother, I have her always in my thoughts, as the person who helped raise me. She will be deeply missed.

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