This day was just plain weird and awkward.
So I thought that we were just going out to mass and do some quick grocery today but that didn’t happen when I noticed that we were already passing through the Filinvest toll gate. Yeah, it took me that far from ATC to notice that we weren’t going there. And then I thought that maybe we were going to Makati or something. Then when I saw that we were already passing by Ateneo, I asked to noone in particular, ‘Where are we going?’
Then my brother said, ‘We’re visiting the dead.’ And then it all clicked. I said, ‘So that’s why you three are wearing black. How come you guys never told me! And I’m wearing PINK!’ (Way to go being the sore thumb, Alec!) Mom said that it was alright just as long as it wasn’t red but my brother interjected, ‘But pink is a shade of red.’ ‘So who are we visiting?’ Then they told me who and I said dumbly, ‘Isn’t he that relative who added us in Facebook?’ (Apparently, he was my dad’s cousin, son of my granddad’s sister, so that makes him my uncle.) And they said, ‘Yeah, that’s him.’ It’s kinda awkward to have a friend in some social networking site that’s dead. It’s like, so what happens now? No more updates?
So then we arrived at the funeral parlor and, well, it kinda was my first time in a very long time. The place practically creeped me out. Yeah, well, it’s not everyday that you have a dead relative just feet away from you boxed up in a coffin. Anyway, we arrived there and it was only Lola Pacit, the deceased’s daughter and his brother. (Note that I’m not really good with names) So dad spent the time chitchatting asking for the details of what happened and so on while the three of us (My Bro, Mom and I) were silently listening while munching on some Nagaraya that Lola Moore handed to us.
At some point, I kind of spaced out and I just kept staring at the coffin. I never really mustered the courage to go up there and look at what’s inside. Man, just thinking about it spooks me. Mom said that I shouldn’t force myself to look at it if I didn’t want to. I didn’t and I left it at that.
We had lunch there, that was, after the deceased’s other kids and another uncle(the deceased’s brother) and his family arrived. I have alot of cousins I am not aware of. Mom said I’ve already met them during Tito Rocky’s son’s Christening but as I recall, I was hung over that time form gradball after party, so I wasn’t really aware of who were there.
After a bit, a number of people (more than what my fingers and toes can count) came marching up and into the room where my uncle laid. I was kind of puzzled that I asked my dad, ‘Are they also our relatives? Do you know them?’ And he said that they weren’t and my Lola whispered that they were members of the ‘religion’ that my dead uncle was, you know, church buddies? You get the point.
The next part is going to sound judgemental, biased and discriminating so keep reading if you’re interested.
His church buddies were all dressed up in blouses/ shirts and long skirts and some of the women had bandanas tied to their heads that I couldn’t understand why because they looked so tacky. And then the older men were in long sleeved polos and slacks. The guys looked suspicious like they know some scam that we don’t (see I told you I was going to be judgemental). And then there were the teenagers who looked like they were, I don’t know, trying hard to look good for each other. The girls were trying to sway their hips which really looked awkward and the guys were sporting some feeling cool outfits with shoes that are more colorful than their checkered polos. Then there were the kiddos who ran around while bouncing a green balloon. There was even this one kid who kept running around even though he already wet his pants. Kids… I love them to bits but some of them are just…
Anyway, we stayed for a while, all us Mediodias huddled in a corner, sitting tightly on that red bench near the window. I was eavesdropping on the conversation to my right. Of those church buddies and my cousin. The guy kept telling her stuff and she just kept nodding but somehow, her body language was screaming that she wasn’t at all agreeing to what the other guy was saying. It was something about the interment.
Well, I wasn’t surprised really. For one thing, when we arrived, I heard from my very sensitive hearing that, well, that ‘religion’ that my uncle believed in had some odd practices. They didn’t believe in medicine, as in the whole hospitals and doctors package. And they didn’t want to be in a coffin when buried. They wanted to be wrapped in white cloth and then buried. No embalming (Yeah, when I heard that, I instantly felt like a germophobe. I mean who wouldn’t internally freak out when you know that there’s a decaying body a few feet away from you, only a thin sheet of wood separating the living and the dead.) If my dad were reading this, I bet he would go all ballistic on me for talking, I mean, writing things like this when the dead was a relative. I know but this is something so new that I have to write it. What else was unusual (to the Catholic) way of treating the dead? Oh, no flowers. Yeah, the place was bare. I really didn’t ask why anymore because it confuses me the more. And more so the fact that we (the people I can talk to at that place) weren’t acquainted with the ‘religion’ either. (Sorry, noone could provide me with the information of what they called themselves.)
After the church buddies’ chat with the eldest daughter and the widow, they went on with their way. Three of the women in the huddled up group to our right came to us and shook mine and my Mom’s hand. I had no idea why, but I shook it nalang. Firmly. We left a little while after because we had to go back to the South and hear mass.
I do hope my uncle would finally rest in peace. And I do hope my cousins to their best from now on. I heard they’re scholars and the elder sisters were working part time so I kind of feel glad for them.
Makes me look at my own family. Made me realize how lucky I am that I have them and we’re complete. But I doubt that I’m showing my appreciation after what happened during that very awkward dinner. As they say, you can’t help but get annoyed sometimes with the people you love.
I better get off this right now because I have a quiz in Physics tomorrow morning and I’m not the least bit ready. :))