I have never seen my grandparents (from my dad's side) in real life.
Sure, I have heard stories about them, but not enough to really know them. I think it is such a pity not really knowing about them.
Today, we went to visit my grandma's grave in Seremban. We went to exhume her bones as my parents have bought a place in one of the memorial centres for her to rest in peace. Some time last year, we exhumed my grandpa's bones from Penang and had him placed at the memorial park already. Today, they have been placed together after so many years apart.
The entire ceremony from the time we arrived to the grave till the completion of burining of the after life papers was pretty long. It started in the morning where we had a prayer ritual at her grave. We were told that we had to wait for 2 hours before we could gather her bones, so we went to have breakfast.
After an hour, it was ready. My dad, bro and cousins went to see the bones being collected. I was too chicken to go, so I stayed at the foot hill with mum. The bones were brought to the foothill where it was burnt for about an hour till it was brittle and then it was filled into an urn. The urn was then transported back to the memorial centre.
There, we had more prayers and then after like 2 hours, my grandma's urn is put into the unit where my grandpa was. Then we had more prayers and then finally we burnt our paper offerings to them.
At each step before we move the urn, we had to "ask" for her permission to go into the urn. The monk had to throw a "sing pui" where it supposedly shows if the spirit will say Yes or No to our proposal. This is actually 2 shell-like item where one is supposed to face up and the other down when the monk throws it on the table. When it shows this, the spirit is deemed agreeable to our proposal ... in this case of moving her from Seremban to the memorial centre and later into the unit where she will rest with grandpa. Luckily, the "sing pui" showed her concurrence ... it is deemed to be a good sign.
I think now my dad is at peace knowing that his parents are finally together and this is something he feels strongly about. For us, it means that we do not have to scale the hills to find their graves and no more dirty shoes for me .... and no more scratch marks on my legs!!!
May they rest in peace.