On October 9th 2007, our family held the funeral of my sister Noy. After the regular prayer, the buddhist ceremony followed and just a handfull of people left. I was amazed by the amount of people that wanted to stay for this ceremony. I'm not sure if any of you understand or have any knowledge of buddhism. Well, my family is buddhist but of course we are open to other religions.
My mother is very close to the Laos temple in Catlett VA (wat laos, buddavong). There were live monks at the funeral and they chanted. They lined up each family member in front of the casket and each of us had a monk's robe in our hands. In the robe there were flowers, candles, our name, and cash. We laid them on top of my sister because she was going to be cremated with it. The meaning of these items is to provide her with them for her journey. Once the strings and flowers are cut away, it is releasing her spirits and allowing her to go. After the ceremony, the monks followed my parents to their house, along with our friends and other family members. I followed my oldest sister and her friends to her house because we also had people over.
That night I had the most sad, scary, yet vivid dream! This is the first time Noy's face appeared since she passed away on October 4th. In my dream she had blonde hair with red streaks! I couldn't figure out why. Well, Noy and I were at my parents house and she was packing all of her things. I asked her where she was going. She said "I'm moving out Joy, I found a really nice barn/garage apartment right behind mom and dad's work. It is perfect because I can display all of my art work like my own little gallery, and it will only cost me pennies". I said "pennies, wow that is cheap"? I cried when she grabbed her things. She told me she loved me and that everything will be ok. Then she disappeared.
The next morning we had a family gathering at my parents house. It was just the family this time. For a whole week before her funeral, my parents had all of their friends, our family members, and monks to have private prayers for Noy. When I arrived at their house, I noticed a bunch of white string covering the whole house and around the backyard. While we were eating outside, I told my family about the dream I had. My sister Janet told me that Noy had blonde hair with red streaks because her best friend Masha has that same hair color. My mom said the reason why Noy was moving out in my dream is because her spirit is no longer allowed to return to the house. This is why the strings were covering the house and yard. It is to keep her away and remind her that she has to go on with her journey. I didn't even have to ask anyone about the pennies. I then remembered the monks putting aluminum foiled pennies inside her box before we cremated her.
I have attached a youtube slide to add to this posting. This slide contains my sister's artwork. Her artwork shows how spiritual she was. I would like to share her gift with everyone.