Recently, Kurt sent an email to his brother explaining a bit of Filipino tradition regarding death, the wake, and funerals.
We will post more on other aspects of Filipino traditions regarding death, but for now I post this:
Thank you for praying and supporting us the way that you do.
We buried Jerard today.
Beth and my hearts are quite sad and we are finding ourselves breaking into tears at different points of the day.
But that is the grieving process and we don't want to ignore or deny that real grief. Over time and by God's grace our grief will run it's course and we will have more peace than pain - right now there is more pain (but there is still peace).
I will explain one Filipino tradition regarding wakes that exemplifies the sort of people who are surrounding us here. Filipinos never leave the body alone from the point of death until the grave. Funeral homes run 24/7 with people spending the night with the casket in the funeral home.
I (Kurt) spent the night from Friday until Monday morning there (I went home during the day at different points). On Friday, 3 others were with me, Saturday there were 8, Sunday 10, and Monday night there were 14 and then 3 others who visited from 2 am to 4 am that last night.
Many of the people that were there with me, some on successive nights, I had just met.I think of Churis and John, two young Christian men who are good friends of my friend Jake. These three spent most of the nights with me. Ben spent the last two nights with me too.
John and Mikayla talking
Arlene, our long time helper and Jake, our good friend who
put together the video for Jerard
and did many other things to help us during this time.
People play games or watch movies, talk, take naps when they need to, and otherwise have a good time together through the night. What an amazing tradition.
It is very tiring, but after just having come through it, I feel a bond with these friends that is deeper and truer than if the tradition was not there.
Anyway, that is a little taste of the differences. Thank you for your prayers.