Sunday, May 20, 2012

Eleven Years

The Chinese have many weird beliefs, and one of them is the ability to communicate with the departed through dreams, and getting a "sheng bei" when asking questions during prayer ceremonies. A "sheng bei" is basically an affirmative, indicated by getting different sides up tossing two coins (conventionally, wooden blocks are used, I think - I did not research this tradition prior to this post). For example, one might ask one's ancestor, while the joss sticks are burning, offerings on the altar, "Are you happy over there?", and then toss 2 coins. If they landed one heads and one tails, the answer is yes. Both heads or tails mean no.

I find it frivolous, and yet, when my mother tells me that the reason she could not get the "sheng bei" despite tossing several times in a row but that when I toss I usually get it the first try, is that my father loves me and wants me to do it, I desperately want to believe. But I know it's all probability.

I desperately want to believe in so many things that in my conscious mind, I know cannot be. Like how my frequent dreaming of him means he isn't ready to leave me so he "visits" me in my dream. I am inclined to think that it is because I think of him way too much and too often. Also, I have the annoying ability to dream vividly and remember most of them afterwards. Other family members may dream of him just as frequently, just that they don't recall anything in the morning. A couple of years ago, my mother suggested that I speak to my father at the altar and let him know that I'm well and happy, and that I can take good care of myself, so he needn't worry about me anymore - so the "dream visitations" may cease. I didn't. Not only because I don't believe it, but that just in case it is real, I don't want his "visitations" to stop.

Does every one who's ever lost a parent grieve (seemingly) indefinitely like me? Or am I just really, really weird? I am not improved in this aspect since this date last year (read the post). If there is a curve for level of recovery from the pain of this loss, where it saturates to a plateau, I've been there for some time now. I will not improve with time.

My mother keeps track of the lunar date, I do the regular one. It's eleven years, today.

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