Today is day 49.
I am sure to most non Chinese people this will mean nothing.
For the family mourning the passing of a Chinese loved one, 49 means everything.
For my family, day 49 represents the ending of the funeral of my husband’s father.
It is important that everything has been done correctly.
We need to honor the memory of my father-in-law and those he has left behind.
It is said that if the whole of the funeral is not completed properly that bad luck may be bestowed on our family.
Today we have completed the final burning of joss sticks. We have stood in front of our doorway, faced to the east, bowed three times, brushed our hands across our foreheads three times and tossed away our grieving garments. We have gone out for a banquet where we made certain to have an uneven number of courses.
These are the traditions.
The day started with an offering of tea and muffins for my father-in-law. It has ended with our final good-byes.
As our grieving period comes to completion we would like to say Yow Sum to all that have been so wonderful to us during this difficult time.
My father-in-law will now have completed his journey to the other side.
May he rest in peace.
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