Friday, October 21, 2016

The Quarrel Never Ceased (至死不休)

We always pray to the dead to rest-in-peace and forgive anyone who have done wronged to them. Of course, there is no way to be sure if the dead would be so forgiving and leave the judgement to the God; or to let one’s karma to take its course. Sounds strange? Let me tell you this true story I witnessed myself and the sequel of it…

This case happened in mid-80’s in a funeral service parlour. My Taoist master was also a deliverance Taoist at that time and he was performing a dead ritual for a gentleman, the late Uncle Lee. I wasn’t really interested in learning the dead ritual but only present myself to help the master as a general worker together with other brothers and sisters.

There, Uncle Lee was laid quietly in his coffin with his extra-large photo propped up in front with some flower garlands donated by friends and relatives. A table with some food offerings and a large incense burner was also placed in front of the deceased. Normally three bowls of white rice, some barbecued pork, fish, cakes etc. were served throughout the dead ritual. In Uncle Lee’s case, the dead ritual was booked for 3 days.

So said on the first day, after my master has completed the ritual for that day; some mourners arrived to pay Uncle Lee his last respect. As usual, the mourners were led to the front of Uncle Lee’s photo where they would take a bow. Suddenly a piece of sizable pork flung from the table striking one of the mourners on his face! Everyone was stunned as the piece of meat would be around 600g in weight and there was no wind blowing at that time.

Dear old Mrs. Lee quickly rushed to the gentleman handling him a piece of towel while apologizing to him. After the person has wiped his face, he then introduced himself as Uncle Chong; and that he was late Uncle Lee’s business partner. They parted a year before Uncle Lee died. The reason being that Uncle Lee accused Uncle Chong of misappropriate the company funding; and some heated arguments resulted. But because of lack of proof, no legal action could be taken against Uncle Chong. This has caused Uncle Lee to be extremely upset and a year later, he succumbed to his heart problems.

Uncle Chong thought by paying Uncle Lee his last respect, their disputes could be brought to an end; but apparently this is not the case since almost everyone at the scene believed it was Uncle Lee’s doing to fling the meat at Uncle Chong. And, people thought since Uncle Lee has expressed his anger; the dispute was over…

A week after Uncle Lee’s funeral, the unexpected news of Uncle Chong suddenly passed away spread out. Rumour has it that it was the work of Uncle Lee to drag Uncle Chong down to the underworld together. It was also said that during the ‘soul returning night’ (回魂夜) of Uncle Lee, the quarrelling sounds of Uncle Lee and Uncle Chong could be heard echoing in the room where Uncle Lee’s soul was purportedly returned.

Looks like none of the parties were prepared to settle with each other…

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