Cindy’s Funeral

This is the most depressing weekend ever. I flew back Friday night to Bay Area to attend my best friend Cindy’s funeral. I have never cried so much in a day before. But after spending some time with her family and seeing how strong they are, I felt much better.

Cindy’s family is Catholic. They held the funeral mass at a Catholic church near her house. She had a huge family, all of her uncles, aunts and cousins attended the funeral, as well as her high school/college friends and co-workers. The service was conducted in both Vietnamese and English. I couldn’t understand any of the songs they sang in Vietnamese, but they sounded very sad, and yet, brought out a bit of hope in everyone. A hope that Cindy is happy in the hands of God now, and hope that her family will stay strong together. At the end of the service, they opened up her coffin for people to see her and say their final goodbye. As I looked at her, I could tell she lost a lot of weight. She must have went through a lot of inner struggles before making the final decision.

After the mass, we all drove to the cemetery together at her burial site. This was the saddest part. As they slowly lower her coffin into the ground, her mother broke down and started crying loudly. It drove out many tears among the crowds. I couldn’t help it but let my tears slide down my cheek one by one and began to think about how Cindy was. If she could see this, she’ll probably regret that she ever made the decision of jumping down the bridge.

Afterwards, we were all invited to her house for some refreshments. Everyone went to her old bedroom to look at her pictures and share many happy memories we had with Cindy. We all remembered how Cindy liked to laugh, loved taking pictures, loved shopping and bought all those pretty dresses and shoes that she would never wear. Where ever she was, she was always the one making lots of noises. Along with her family, we laughed, cried and comfort each other together. At my amazement, her boyfriend and ex-boyfriend were there in the same room, sharing their happy stories when they were with Cindy. Her family did not blame either one of them, instead treating them as part of their family. At first, I thought Cindy killed herself because of relationship problems. But after seeing how her boyfriend still have great feelings for her, remembered each single word she said or things she did when they were together, I began to think maybe it was a combination of things that drove her to the end. Just like her cousin told us, there were too many factors and we may never know what went through her mind at that moment. The only thing we could do now is to pray that she’s at peace and she is ok now.

At the very end, her family gathered around in the living room and prayed together. They also asked people to share their thoughts and feelings. Instead of focusing on the past and trying to find out what happened, they decided to focus on the future and on how to build a better family together. As most other families, they have problems and conflicts before. The adults never listen to their kids because they think the children are still too young. The kids wouldn’t talk to their parents about their feelings either. After this incident, they’re willing to open up communication and become more accepting to new ideas. They would also like to listen and understand each other better. I thought it was really great that her family took a positive step after such a tragedy. Indeed, at times like this, family is always the best support. If later on I have my own family, I would like my children to communicate openly with me, treating me as their own friends so I can have a better understanding of them.