Family-Togetherness Brings Closeness

By Paul Chong
A Chinese by Descent
An Australian by Consent

Thursday, 15 January 2015

Kids grow up . . . we grow grey & old
Kids grow up . . . we grow grey & old

We get to be so engrossed in our daily lives that we tend to drift apart from our loved ones, especially when we live afar from each other. For weeks, months or years we may not have any contact, then family get together on account of an unexpected demise of someone dear. Sorrow & grief appear to draw people closer than happiness – that’s because your emotion is touched more by the loss. When a loved one passes away, it means also the passing away of a father, husband, grandfather, or brother. Grief covers friends as well. A period of mourning naturally follows. Have we ever considered contrarily to celebrate life . . . to focus on the positive side rather than all the negativeness of life?

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In this digital age there is no reason whatsoever why persons cannot keep in touch with the ease of instant communication, by & large free of charge, such as Email,Skype , FaceTime, WhatsApp, SMS & the like. It is inconceivable that people should fight shy of such devices, unless he or she chooses not to. Also in a family circle, some members besides being inward looking, develop attitude of aloofness.

Personally, there were nine of us siblings . . . one living in UK, one in Melbourne, three in Perth, one in Penang, one in Taiping & two in Kuala Lumpur. Now there are seven of us siblings left with the two in Kuala Lumpur gone. Ironically, living near could be distances apart when one focuses inwards rather than forward & outwards.

Family-togetherness is always such a pleasure. Over the years, family gets larger & larger . . . the young grow up & the elders grow grey & old. That togetherness can well be maintained these days, not necessarily physically but “electronically” as through such devices like WhatsApp with photo exchanges & conversation for all to participate in. Of course, every once a year or two, a family gathering is recommended over dinner with fun & recreation like karaoke. Be surprised to find lots of hidden talents among your own loved ones.

Weddings are special occasions to look forward to. Family holidaying together is also welcoming.

Oppo Oppo - China's New Mobile Smartphone
Oppo Oppo – China’s New Mobile Smartphone

Let’s move on with the advance of time lest you’d be lagging behind. It’s never too late to learn new things. Who said you can’t teach new tricks to old dogs? This old dog (at the “tender” age of 76) just been taught lots of new tricks electronically by his young niece, who has a pharmaceutical graduate daughter who could soon get married to make her a young grandmother. Just can’t imagine that her daughter is the oldest of my son’s generation!
So “Oppo . . . Oppo” here we go. My youngest brother Mike was spontaneous in his response . . . “Oppo Oppo . . . your grandsons may think it’s Hippo”. By the way, “Oppo” is a new Chinese brand of smartphone with capabilities that matches iPhone or Samsung! It’s tremendously good value. My excitement caused me to purchase another one for my dear wife, when I was happily skyping her from Malaysia. Surely she was not going to be left out!

Let not smartphone outsmart you!

Global interconnection
Global interconnection

I have maintained a personal blog https://p21chong.wordpress.com (and http://paulchong.net ) for a few years now with some 600 articles of various interests to share with one & all and enjoying over 860,000 hits
globally, except China.

Hopefully & prayerfully, the million hits target will come soon with your help . . . sharing messages worth spreading.

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Grieving For The Dear Departed

 

Eielson Air Force Base, Alaska — The Aurora Bo...
Image via Wikipedia

 

By P Chong                                                         Sat. 23 Oct. 2010

Grieving is universal. It doesn’t differentiate between colour, race or creed. There’re no boundaries between classes of economic status. Grieving is essential for the soul, mind & body. However, how does one grieve?

Personally, there’s no set form for grief. People grieve for relief, solace, or sadness & there’s no right or wrong way in expressing it. According to sociologists at various universities opinion can differ from one to the other.

There should however be stages of grief. First comes the acceptance to be expected out of this natural phenomenon. This is followed by the healing process and then there has to be the moving-on process. You can’t keep on grieving for the rest of your natural life. For the living, life goes on and so must you.

When a person passed on, it’s not not just a digital statistic, he or she is someone’s grandparent, father or mother, husband or wife, uncle or aunty and so on. The deceased is many persons in one . . . dear to someone. For the widow or widower, it could mean moving on in finding new partner. To love again? Why not?

What about attendance at funeral? Your presence of course is a question of honour & due respect for the departed. But some people can’t bear being at funeral. So long some representation of kind or person is being arranged, it’s the heart within that really counts. There are in fact hypocrites who wail and cry aloud at funeral, but to what end and purpose?

Modern technology has replaced or substitute for cases who simply cannot make it for the funeral because of distances & circumstances. Out of town or country mourners keep vigil & pay respect via electronic media where video clips or slide shows are available for viewing. This is the burgeoning trend that allowed people to share memories & eulogies.

Video or slide show tributes chronicling the deceased’s past are shown during visitations and memorial services are being held at funeral parlours. The trend is towards celebrating the life of the dear departed.

As a matter of fact, we cry from the cradle to the grave. The day we were born, we uttered our first cry . . . then we were crying for this & that . . . and sooner or later, we cry for others or others cry for us! What a life of crying! It’s crying to no end. We celebrate our birth. We celebrate our marriage. Why not we celebrate or let others celebrate our good life?

In the presentation of the eulogy, the speaker may well moderate emotion enough to focus on the joyous & good experiences of the dear departed with a clear mind.

Healing process comes through looking back on the past experiences & reminisces & sharing the joy rather than the sadness among relatives & friends. It is not to say that it’s unnatural to feel pain & the sense of loss.

At funerals & hereafter, in observing devotion & dedication, there are these actions to consider:

To take a look at one’s own life

A time for reflection

A time for resolution

A time to act

That life is a journey not a destination

Try to make it as interesting & loving for self & others!

In recent memory of my brother-in-law Brother Kheng in Taipei, Taiwan.