Funeral

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     Yesterday a man passed away. I noticed that from his daughter this morning. I am a manager of my apartment building this year, and he was the former manager. I took over his duties in the end of March.

     He was still young. I don’t know his age exactly though, I think he was in his 60’s or in the beginning of his 70’s. According to his daughter, he collapsed during a baseball game about 10 days ago. He had a coronary. He had fought for about 10 days in the ICU, but he breathed his last breath at last yesterday.

     As I wrote above, I’m a manager. So I was really busy today. I had to cancel my English lesson. After knowing the man’s dead, I ran around to inform everybody of the news, to arrange for a bus to take them to the ceremony hall, to give a phone call to the president of the residents’ association. Besides, I had another appointment to see a trader to let them estimate for mowing the area of my apartment this morning. While I was talking to the person in charge of the trader, I got many phone calls on the funeral.

     I didn’t know what to say when I met a son of the man. He resembled his father in his face.

     Here in Japan, there are many interesting customs. For example, people believe if you hold a funeral ceremony on a day called tomobiki, someone who is a friend of the dead will die soon. Tomobiki means a friend-pulling day. That’s why people avoid holding funerals on the day. According to the son, yesterday was the tomobiki, they have to have ceremony for three days. Usually, people hold a wake and a funeral ceremony. But this time, they have two wakes and a funeral.

     I have to prepare condolence money as a representative of my apartment. I hadn’t known that you had to bring something called osabishi-mimai in a wake and bring money in a funeral until today. People used to bring some sweets as osabishi-mimai in a wake, but recently people tend to bring cash instead. Of course, I found out it today! I went to buy some special envelopes for the money and a black clothing just before. And I went to my mother’s apartment and borrowed a Buddhist rosary.

     To tell the truth, it’ll my first time to attend a wake (a funeral) after becoming adult. I don’t know what to do at the ceremony hall! Anyway I’m leaving home soon to attend the ceremony.

 

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