Funereality – Part Two

THIS IS PART 2 of “Lost In China’s” story about her father’s Buddhist funeral ceremony and her take on it all.


A Buddhist monk, my sneezing sister and I are driving along in a Mercedes with plush leather seats. Something that resembles a dried up stalk of corn is wedged between my sister’s seat behind me and the side of the car.  A large, black umbrella is at her feet.  My sister, Annie, is highly allergic to all things, and the stalk of corn is not helping. My deceased father – that is, the sign on which his name is written – is in a large wooden barrel, along with three sticks of rapidly-burning incense. I’m holding this barrel awkwardly in my lap, trying to keep the sign from falling over and catching on fire. I have my seat belt on, but the barrel does not. And the thought that I may survive a car accident, but that my dead father might die…again…is causing me some anxiety.

Suddenly, the…

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