lyra24 (lyra24) wrote,

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Different customs

Got an email from the parents in Japan... things are quite different over there, I must say.

Don't know what the customs are where you live, but in Sweden a funeral doesn't take much longer than half a day or so - the ceremony itself maybe an hour or two, and then usually a gathering afterwards where they serve either coffee/cake or small snack type food.

In Japan they first have a wake, when you light incense and things like that, and you also view the body (again - not sure if that always happens back home... don't think it does). Then dad told me the ceremony itself will only be a small family/close relatives affair... "it'll only take two days and we've declined participation from Miwako's (my aunt) and Atsuo's (my aunt's husband) workplaces, and I've also declined participation from Sumitomo (the company my dad's company is an agent for)". I mean... that would never happen in Sweden - that you'd get representatives from the work places of the relations' of the departed. Possibly you'd get work colleagues that had personally known the deceased, but nothing else really.

I wonder how my mother will hold up - she didn't do too well at grandma's funeral... Japanese ceremonies usually consist of long periods sitting in seiza, and she had to be excused. I don't blame her, it's hard to maintain over a longer period of time if you aren't used to it. Her email betrays her worries about my father, who in typical Japanese style is keeping up an unaffected front, but she says he is suddenly complaining about aches and pains in his neck and shoulders. Anyone else think "psychosomatic issues" here?

As for myself I'm not too bad... as long as I don't dwell on it, I'm ok. But every mention of it leaves me in tears, I think I'm fine, then someone asks something that means I have to explain or talk about it, and before I know it I'm crying again.
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