Wednesday, October 11, 2006

The End of the Tyranny

Heh! I know this probably isn't a very polite title when you're talking about your grandmother's funeral, but Grandma, or AhPor as we call her, would have seen the humour in this. She was a funny woman and you'll see her influence in the family. We're all funny, happy people. Besides, I felt it was important to set the tone that this isn't one of those sad posts, so no more condolences, please. :) Also, in case you're wondering why "tyranny", well, she used to beat the crap out of the most of us.

Here's a pictorial.

Everybody thought AhPor looks nice in this picture. But in all honesty, I never felt it captured the essence of the woman. A true picture of Grandma would have her with a rollie on her lips and her right leg propped up on her chair.

As far as Jesse is concerned, it was just another road trip. It was the departure of his very last great-grandparent. She was 91.

For the wake, they blocked up the whole of Harrison Street. Sorry folks!

The funeral was conducted by a Taoist Sifu from Taiwan. He looked like he came right out of a Bruce Lee movie.

As the Sifu conducted the proceedings, our boy decided to steal the limelight, running up to the front and making a spectacle of himself. Just look at that cheeky monkey! We'll punish him when he turns 16.

The day of the funeral was the most moving for me. It was for Uncle Ricky too. Of the whole family, Gran probably spanked us the most. Must be why we missed her most too.

Grandma wanted a celebration more than a funeral. She told Mom to keep things light, to tone down the mourning and to tune up the music. Mom hired a band of cool old guys who played plenty of Teresa Teng music.

A lot of of family had embraced Christianity and Grandma understood that some Christians had problems with jossticks. So she decreed that Christians would hold a flower for her. No arguments, no debates, no internal struggle, nothing. It's a nice little gesture on her part, I thought.

Unlike most traditional Chinese funerals, the Taoist sifu had us carry the casket onto the hearse. He felt that it was appropriate that loved ones do this. I think so too but my opinion doesn't count since I'm behind the camera while my siblings and cousins did their thing.

Grandma's family consisted her 5 kids, 1 adopted son, 1 godson and his wife, 3 daughters-in-law, 1 son-in-law, 18 grandchildren, 3 great-grandkids, and a whole bunch of distant cousins.

Okay, okay, we did it. The haze started in Taiping.

Grandma was laid to rest right next to Grandpa who left 15 years earlier. Despite her tough Clint Eastwood-esque exterior, she was hopelessly in love with Gramps so it was good that they're together again at last.

Grandma lived a long, fulfilling life. And she left behind a legacy of laughter, love and of course, pain-as-hell canings! Yeah, she beat the crap out of us all the time and yet we all loved her to bits. Still, as a precaution, we didn't bury any of her Rotans with her in case she decides to cane us someday in the afterlife. Heh.

Goodbye AhPor. It's been a ride.


  1. Even a funeral post, you managed to put a smile on my face. :)
    Farewell, Ah Por! :D

  2. Oh my.. This is definitely one of the best reads =) Rest in peace, Ah Por..

  3. Awesome post James. Funny...yet touching.

  4. james,
    this was a lovely eulogy of sorts. let us celebrate ah por's life. sounds like her life was a wonderful music concert, which has just completed.
    god bless,

  5. what a final journey! may she rest in peace :)

  6. This is how it should be. Funerals, celebration of life. 91??!!! that's fantastic!!!!!!!! I'm sure she led a wonderfully fulfilling life!!!!! Hurray for AhPor!

  7. Gee...the word cane sure came up a lot...
    (She beat the crap outta you?!? That musta take a heckuva long time...there is so much crap in there!)
    It also explains a lot wonder you're so messed...uh...I mean well behaved.
    Well done ah poh!

  8. Wah.. who is that muscular guy in front carrying the hearse? Cute leh? Hahhah.

  9. Trust you to make an adventure out of a funeral! Ah Por RIP.

  10. this is such a great post, albeit the loss.

  11. You did it James. Her chronicles.

  12. definetly one of the best memoirs of a loved one - i kinda dont believe in tears especially over a person who lived their life -
    so i love how uve written this - n i remember her n her rollie - thats the image that stuck to me - from the time u posted the taiping photos
    oh jessie looks so cute

  13. My condolences, mate .. and a wonderful tribute.

  14. yes this is a wonderful tribute (pictorial tribute too) to your grandma, james.
    like you and some here, i believe death is a celebration of life. to us, christians, funeral is something to celebrate, not a day of total mourning. (more so for those who died of sickness/old age but of course not of sudden death).

  15. is that your wife?the one sitting besides jesse holding a flower?

  16. Loopy Meals has always been the best source for touching, amusing pictorials - and this is one of the best yet.
    A wonderful tribute to your Ah Por, am sure she's justifiably pleased :)
    p.s. MY GOODNESS! I failed to visit your site for just a wee bit and LOOK how Jesse has grown! What a handsome fella!

  17. Jesse's got this "Beatle" like hairstyle.. whassup with that?
    Anyways, thanks for a wonderful account of how much she meant to all.. And look how well all turned out because of the caning.. :D
    I turned out well too.. (I hope).. :D
    Anyways, see you around something bro..

  18. A wonderful, touching eulogy. I really feel that I understood who your grandmother was and what she meant to you. A great tribute.

  19. Glad you enjoyed it, Jason. :)
    Thanks for saying so, Pelf.
    Thanks Revlon.
    No encore performance for this one, Adriene. :lol:
    Her life was an incredible journey in itself, Eggy.
    Getting to be 91 is quite the feat, huh, MOTT?
    I'm the poster boy for child abuse, Fanboy! :lol:
    That's my cousin Jeremy, Gina you slut! :P
    :lol: Bonnie, everything in my life is an adventure.
    Thanks Anjali.
    Not quite Shine. A novel is in the works... I think. :)
    That's how most ppl remember her Visithra. :)
    Thanks Bob.
    I think when you get to be 91, it's cause for celebration, Lucia.
    That's Mae, Temi. You know her?
    And quite the rascal too, Maverix.
    We call it the "crash helmet", Paul, courtesy of my MIL!!
    Thanks Anulla. :)

  20. i have been a silent reader of your blog for a while and have enjoyed it till i was inspired to do one of mine too. i think this is one of those that ranks up there as one of the most meaningful entry.

  21. Not many grannies in this world that a guy can light up a cigarette with after dinner. Will miss her.
    ps. My nephew's hair needs some serious restyling!

  22. hey james, your granny looks like she had a sense of humour. liked the teresa teng band :)

  23. Jesse's pix with the bad hairdo just kept bugging me. I couldn't help thinking he reminded me of someone. Then it hit me ......Zang Toi!!!! NOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!

  24. Congratulations on a funeral well photojournalized. I'm sure she'll smack you from wherever she is because you didn't speak up about the photograph haha
    I think I blocked out most of my grandma's funeral from trauma. The sobbing ball of tears in the corner was me, I remember tons of my friends whom my grandma fed and took under her wing came to visit but I couldn't even say hi. I'm still not over it yet, so I envy you.

  25. Hahaha!! Zang Toi is indeed has an ugly hairdo.. he is not a looker himself either. Lucky Jesse is cute.

  26. Dear James, my deepest condolences over your loss. But hey, I'm sure Ah Por is smiling to know how you commemorate her death in such jovial and colorful manner. Chins up!
    Btw, I've recently finished reading about 3 years of your life (or Jesse's, or Mae's) and I find that I crave for more. Do blog more often, reading your blog warms up a dull, cold boring night here in Melbourne.

  27. James, condolences to u and ur famly.....bye bye james's por por~!~!~!

  28. wat a wonderful write up... on ah por's final journey! may ah por rest in peace

  29. Wei, I spot some leng chais wor. Can intro intro? Hahaha!

  30. Wow Duckie, that was quite a complement. Thanks dude!
    In another life, she woulda been a comedian, Peiwei. :lol:
    Hang in there, Gwen. :o(
    Noooo... not Zang Toi. Uncle Stevo sucks!!
    Gina, he better not be not cute or we're returning him. Hahahah!!!!
    Thanks for reading, Amydoll. :)
    Thanks Phoenix.
    Thanks for saying so, Babe.
    Can, Primrose, for a small fee. :lol:

  31. OMG.. never wonder.. how ppl can take pic in this occasion..