Dear Matt and Mar,
It’s Qingming festival once again, your great grand mother (my father side) whom passed away when your grandfather was just a toddler is at rest here.
This is an old cemetery, pretty much right in the middle of the city of Bangkok. Now mostly as people passes away they are buried outside of Bangkok (some for economic reasons and some simply because there is no space available), so some of your great grandmother’s neighbours have been moved to join with the rest of their recent departed family. Each year as we come back here, more and more grave have been dug up and relocated.
It is a tradition for Chinese family to bury their passed away loved ones, but our family is a bit different, it all started with your great grandfather (my mother side), he was a very forward thinking person (I can still remember him very, very fondly). He strictly informed his family that when he passes he didn’t want to be buried, but instead he wanted to be cremated (Thai tradition). The reason was stunning, he didn’t want his descendants to go through the hassle or to inconvenience his descendants with the need to come and continue to look after the tomb especially on the Qingming festival, instead we should just celebrate it at home.
That was the beginning of a new tradition with my immediate family, then when your great grandfather passed away (this time from my father side), prior to that he had also asked for the same route, but unfortunately your grand father got into trouble with some of the older relatives.
Don’t get me wrong, we truly cherish this annual event, but both of your great grandfather was very special, and brave to step our of the norm and to do what they thought was best for the future generations to come, of course there is no right or wrong, just a different road taken.