Funeral Rites a la Filipino
We had to come earlier than planned and also unexpectedly to the Philippines. This was because our beloved mother had suddenly passed away on 19 June 2017 at the age of 82.
Even now her passing is still rather surreal. Our mother was so strong, feisty and had a very larger than life personality. She always came out strong.
She was the type that spoke her mind no matter what consequence it would left behind. She did not have a self-edit button in her brain. She said things the way she perceived it and usually in a very tactless way, which sometimes did not earn her any good points.
However, despite her quirks, she did have a very good way of looking at things, her psychology of people worked very well. She can see through anyone.
My mother did not suffer fools gladly, however when you had gained her trust, she became a firm friend and a very trustworthy one at that. She will do anything for you.
Her children are her life and the love of money 🙂 was what made her ticked. She always complained of being lacking in money, this may be true as she can be generous, and rather too generous as we found out while we were sorting out her paperworks and documents. We found that she had been regularly ‘donating’ to the Benny Hinn ministry.
Well, I hope it made her happy, that is all we can say, as her children. We do not really need any inheritance from her. Thank God, she had brought us up to be independent and resourceful.
Anyway during her funeral there were so many things that we had to observe. Some are mind boggling but we did try to adhere to them as we do not want our dearest mother to be burdened or troubled in the afterlife.
Here are some of the weird and wonderful superstitions:
- Apparently if the wake is held at the house, the family members are not allowed to bathe in the house. (They can take a bath somewhere else!) My mother’s wake was held at St Peter’s Chapel in Mayon corner A Bonifacio. I would personally advise to get a funeral plan set up. It will help in the long run and one less thing to worry about during a sad and trying time.
- Avoid sweeping the floor during a wake and this apply most specially to the bereaved. Sweeping means trying to get rid of the spirit of the dead.
- After leaving the wake, do not go straight home as the spirit will follow you. My sister who came home from the states, stayed at our old family home. She made sure that she would go elsewhere first before going back home each time she came back from the wake. She said it was not the spirit of our mom that she was concerned about but the spirits of the others in the funeral home.
- Do not bring home the food served at the funeral wake. Why would you?!!!
- If the dead person is an elderly, ensure to partake of the food served during the wake. Apparently the long life of the deceased will rub on you.
- Avoid tears falling on the casket because the tears will prevent the dead from going through easy transition into the afterlife.
- if the dead person’s fists are cleansed, this would mean money trouble for the family left behind; if the hands are opened there won’t be financial difficulties (hope this is true, I noticed that my mom’s hands were opened and that she had big hands.)
- The dead should not be wearing shoes to prevent hearing them walking the floorboards.
- Change your clothes worn from the funeral immediately after coming home.
- During the wake, someone should be awake.
- Apparently you shouldn’t say thank you to those offering condolences.
- All the flowers during the funerals must be buried with the dead but all the names of the family members written on the casket must be removed but not by a family member.
- After the 9th day of my mom’s death, we had to give sopas (macaroni soup) noodles, biko, puto and cakes to neighbours and those who attended the wake and funeral.
- The same food giving will occur again on the 40th day of her death.
- Discarding her belongings will commence on the 40th day of her death. Her clothes will be given to charity. Actually it is preferable that her clothes are given away a year after her death.
Mommy, REST IN PEACE!