Goodbye My Dearest Father
My dearest father has left us forever. It was Monday 1st August when I went to visit my father in the hospital. It was about 5.30pm when I arrived his ward and noticed that his hands were very swollen. My heart sank as I knew that his time was nearing the end. I had seen many terminally ill cancer patients from my volunteer days where their bodies and organs had all gradually shut down till the last stage where the water retention would appear. I snapped his photos and sent to my siblings who made a dash to the hospital.
I held my father's hand and it was very cold like ice. I stroke his warm forehead and combed his hair with my fingers softly. I held his hands very tightly and started chanting all the Buddhist mantras, knowing that it would help him go in peace. I promptly walked out of the room and visited my friend in the next ward. My old friend had suffered from a major heart attack and was critical. I chatted with him a bit and cheered him up, not to fear of his sickly condition. My phoned beeped and I saw the message from my sister - "Dad is gone...."
The night was very long as we had to do so much preparations for the funeral. I had booked for the special funeral package last year and it was a real breeze as their professional team handled all the necessary and meticulous details. The most important duty when someone dies is the timing of its soul emerging out of their bodies. It would need between 6 to 9 hours for the soul to rise up and they often felt suffering and lost to experience their own soul tearing out of their bodies. This is the most crucial time when we need to be at their side and chant prayers to seek divine's blessing to help their journey out. My brave and fearless wife walked into the morgue of the funeral parlour alone and stood beside my father's body. She chanted the whole sutra book of Bodhisattva Di ZangWang to ferry my father's soul for over 1 hour. She stood in the middle of several bodies and coffins alone! I believe the other souls also benefited along.
The funeral wake was held for 3 days and 2 nights.