Thursday, 27 December 2012


-Another  day
another chapter-

I had found the above picture when my grandmother on my mothers side passed away. Well, my grandfather on my dad's side passed away on December 19, 2012, he was 98 years old. I find this picture once again on my mind. I wish I had saved the information of who created the picture. 

Death has a way of creating a period of reflection. We celebrated my grandfathers life. The Pundit who conducted the ceremony made the point that 98 years is the oldest ceremony he's ever delivered  and  98 years is a drop in the bucket- well, we know we don't have all the world in the time, we just make decisions and live like we do. I say we, but really i'm talking about just sounds better when I make it a collective ordeal.

Today is a snow day and a few days have passed since I attended the funeral. I will be attending the 10 and 13 day part of the ceremony. I'm born an Indo-Canadian. I am still learning about all the traditions. My parents played lots of Indian music, took us to Hindi classes, we prayed, we discussed. I was always drawn to spirituality, mainly due to the interest my parents showed us in learning about our traditions.  They taught us different prayers- they translated what they could.
I was fortunate that death was not something that occurred much in my I guess we didn't really cover this topic in great detail. We often spoke of Reincarnation, It's still one of my favorite topics. In the past couple of years due to loss in our family I have been observing what we do in death.

I found this write up at that describes  a bit of the rituals:

Indian Funeral Traditions

The time after the death or passing away of a person in India is given a lot of importance. As per the Hindu Holy Scripture like the Bhagwat Gita, it is believed that the soul of the person who has just passed away is on its way to the next level of existence at such a time. As such, it is with an intention to help the departed soul in a peaceful crossover to that next level of his /her existence, that Indians observe so many death rites and rituals.

One such Hindu death ceremony is the Teravih. It is a period of mourning observed by Indian people, starting from the day of the death of a particular person, whether male, female or children, to the 13th day after his /her funeral. During teravih death ritual, there are many rules that the family members of the deceased have to observe. For instance, they are not supposed to attend religious functions, eat certain foods like sweets, wear new clothes or participate in any cultural activity or festivity.

The basic idea behind the Indians' following all these funeral traditions is to show reverence to the deceased person. Normally during this time, all the family members share each others sorrows and pray, so that the soul of the deceased person rests peacefully. Though it's basically during teravih that the death rites are strictly observed, but traditionally, the death rites in Hindu religion extend up to a year.

At the end of one year, all elderly members of the deceased person gather once again for the Shraad ceremony. The 3rd, 5th, 7th or 9th day after the death of the person are also important, as all relatives gather to have a meal of the deceased's favorite foods. A small amount of the food is offered before his /her photo and later, it is ceremonially left at an abandoned place, along with a lit diya. However, there may be slight variations in the way people of different religious sect observe this death rite.

Upon the death of my grandfather, I reflected on his life. Memories tucked in the back resurfaced. The family  shared stories we all knew him, but in different ways- he bridged the gap between generations through conversation- he loved to read- he was educated with lifes' lessons-he was Religious- he was a father, brother, funny- he was my Aaja. 

Death has a way of bringing to the surface what's important.  I feel the tug of time slipping away and the excitement of what's to come. With death brought the reunion of our family during a holiday season I feel is meant to be share with those we love. 

I am nowhere near my goal to lose 7 pounds by New years. I am actually half a pound more than when I started this blog. It's so easy to write what we need to do and how we need to do it. But I find it so hard sometimes to put it into practice. If I want to increase my personal strength both mind and body, I need to commit and be at my goal weight by my birthday (that is 5 months) . I need to find it in me to commit to this goal. Reflecting on death, I think has found me some perspective.

On a happy note- I delivered a necklace I made to a birthday girl, she was so happy with the necklace! I will be posting a picture soon. Currently have a 2dash3 sale on earrings. Please message me at

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