10/07/2010

What's there to grief?

Human beans have made progress in many fields, in leaps and bounds. The one area that is most neglected is life's journey, living and dying. All the best brains do not think the understanding of the meaning of life is that rewarding and devote their energy in science and technology and in fields that are more rewarding in material comfort. What ended up is that the meaning of life is left to many rascals and half literates to interpret and formulate for the rest of the beans to observe and follow. Why should there be grief when someone passes away to start another journey in a different realm of existence? For those who believe that dying is the end and nothing happens after that, dust to dust, I can accept their belief. I can also accept whatever beliefs about life after death. My belief is that there is life after death and living is just a short sojourn on earth. No need to go into big argument about the different beliefs here. My question is that why should there be sorrow and pain when someone has lived a good life, a life of abundance, a life of comfort and luxury, having everything there is to have? There could be some sadness for the living that the deceased will not be around anymore. But it is nothing more than going on a long vacation. Grief and sorrow are understandable for the down trodden who did not live a good life, depending on one's individual interpretation of good and bad of course. The deprived, the people who are struggling to have the minimum of material comfort and necessities, full of wants but not having them, those who died living behind dependents to eke out a living on their own, those who left behind young and helpless children, those who have many unfulfilled dreams, unfinished tasks, there are reasons to grief and to be sorrowful about. The Chinese custom also acknowledges that people who lived a good life calls for a celebration. The green joss sticks were changed to red joss sticks. There will even be live shows and orchestras at the funeral. Such death is called 'hee song', meaning happiness cum sadness, a mixed of both. But in most instances like this, the family is well off, abundance of children and wealth, and the deceased live through a ripe age, generally above 80 with at least three generations of family relations, and passed away peacefully. It is time to understand and appreciate life and what is a good life. It is time to re edit the customs to see life in another perspective, and call for celebration in recognition of a life well lived.

9 comments:

Anonymous said...

There's really nothing comparable to live a good life to maturity and die peacefully with least or no pain. The next journey shall be good if the first ended good with no pain to oneself or to the successors.

Chua Chin Leng aka redbean said...

She had lived a life as complete as anyone can get.

Matilah_Singapura said...

There is no evidence to support the popular "comforting" belief of an afterlife after death.

Therefore, until such evidence appears, a reasonable conclusion should be that this is the only life each of us has. And it is fragile. It can end anytime.

That being said, it is also reasonable and rational to act during one's life in ways that will "enhance" the experience of living.

Grief is a natural process of expressing an emotion of loss. Since deep down most people believe that there is no "heaven or hell" (an idea which causes them indescribable and continued conflict and struggle if they hold religious or spiritual beliefs), the death of someone close is FINAL: you will never ever see that person alive again.

Therefore it is quite reasonable and rational to feel sadness and a deep sense of loss, and "grieve" i.e. slowly come to terms and accept the OBJECTIVE REALITY of the situation.

When one gets a grasp of the science behind our existence, a celebration of life on a daily basis is not irrational.

The fact that any of us are alive to begin with is in itself uncanny. In fact, there is a definite chance that we should not be alive at all.

We greive because deep down, although we don't manifest it -- we believe that this life we have is precious. When someone dies, we face our own impermanence.

Anonymous said...

Reminder of inescapable. We are just born to die, what in between is incidents. There is no such thing as peaceful death, it's a myth.

Chua Chin Leng aka redbean said...

Let' not be unkind with our comments on those who have left us.

Chua Chin Leng aka redbean said...

Let me rephrase the famous quote from Khaw Boon Wan that went something like 'if everyone is like Kwa Geok Choo, then living in Singapore is like heaven'.

I think it will be more correct to say that if everyone lives a life like that of Kwa Geok Choo, then that is like living in heaven.

Anonymous said...

I think Mr Khaw is getting hazy in his head. His mind has obviously been affected by his recent surgery.

Anonymous said...

If only Minister Khaw can tell us the unenlightened, wat's heaven liked, I may consider to be his disciple and serve him all the way. But then again, it must be asked, how much conscience does he possesses?

Anonymous said...

Every being embarks on a journey that's paved by its' predecessors(parents/grandparents) who end theirs when they die. No more journey for them(forebears), whether they were good or bad, those who knew and know them will give the judgement. Those who gained from the deceased shall sing praise, those that suffer from the deceased shall rejoice due to the passing, it is all there for everyone to see. The afterlife journey if any shall by judge in a different realm not for living beings of the Earth.