What is left now, after my mother’s funeral and then followed by the cremation of her body is just fragments of reality and memory of her.
The following day, we went back to the crematorium to collect her bones and ashes. We have decided to keep some of the bones and scatter the rest down a river, in an orang asli village in a forest, named, Janda Baik (good widow).
My mother would have objected to keeping any dead person’s belongings or parts of their remains in the home of the living. We didn’t mind that ourselves. Infact, we find that keeping a small portion of her bones, which had been through an inferno, helps us remember her better. The portions in the bottle, is my mother’s new reality. Our memory of her past and her ‘presence’ in our house, create moments of awareness which gives access to a connection with her even tough she had gone.
My sister and her husband had also taken another small part of our motherâ€™s bones back to thier home as a treasured memory of our mother.
These broken pieces of her skull represent both the reality of our mother’s past and her present state of being, whatever form it may take. Memories, thoughts and perceptions will slowly fade in time; but how long will items like the burnt skull segments last in a bottle? How will my sonÂ remember his grandmother in 50 years time? What sort of memory will my son have of me and his mother when we are both gone?
Is this what life is all about, just fragments of reality and memory, in the end?