Thank you everyone for the outpouring of love from yesterday's post. All of your kind words mean so much to me.
I am feeling a bit morbid talking about death today but I want to share some of the Chinese customs that we have.
Let me first start off by saying that my parents are not very traditional Chinese in that they did not go to the temple as long as I can remember. Yes we ate Chinese food pretty much everyday growing up and celebrated Chinese New Years but that's really about all that we did.
So when my dad passed away, we really had no clue what to expect. I don't judge any of these customs and really just want to share with you what we've been through. We met with a Chinese priest that took down all of our birthdays (just immediate family) and selected the dates for the cremation and service. I was told that I was not allowed to be at the cremation because the way the dates landed, I was considered a pet and not family. We also had to bring clothes for my dad that had be in even numbers (for example: pants, shirt, underwear + shoes = 4) and I had to purchase a blanket for my dad. We also had to bring a dime that was made before 1964. We rummaged through our loose change and finding an older coin was tough. Luckily, there was a coin store in town and we were able to find the dime. I honestly don't really know what any of this means but being good for the deceased and the living.
Other things that we needed to purchase for the day of the service are offerings for the journey to the after life. (read more about it here). As part of the tradition, we offer food and liquor as well burning of fake money (read more about it here), paper house, car and whatever the family chooses. Although, these process seems very archaic it was actually very therapeutic for my family to look for things to buy that we think my dad would enjoy. I was amazed at things that you could purchase to burn (clothes, paper ipap/iphones, maids). We ended up laughing because my dad will finally get the iPhone and the BMW that he's been wanting.
The service is not for a another week and we were told because my parents did not have any boys, we are required to wear white for the service. During the service, our family will pass out a red envelope with $0.25 and a piece of candy so that the guess can return home safely. We are also in the period of mourning so we are not allowed to wear any bright colors and definitely not red.
I know that you are probably used to seeing me in a lot of colors. I actually have outfits in drafts that I may share in between all the neutral colors I have been wearing lately. It's funny, I want to grab some color when I am getting dressed - it just feels so second nature to me.
Dealing with death is never easy but I am glad my dad lived a happy life and is loved by so many.
On the subject of death, what traditions are unique to your culture?
Merona Dress Similar
Banana Republic Necklace Similar
Ann Taylor Cuff Similar
Banana Republic Adelia T-Strap Pumps Same
If you made it this far down my long post, I have a funny story to share. See the necklace below and that there's a clasp there? When I bought this necklace, I put it around my neck and used the clasp to fasten the necklace. It was placed so high around my neck and made it really uncomfortable that I just wanted to throw the necklace away. Fast forward 6 months later, I finally figured out that I could just tie the necklace with the ribbons! Sometimes, I am not the sharpest tool in the shed.