10 Years ago, if someone were to mention about Sea Burial, its mainly for the really poor, destitute or single without any more family members. Back in the early 2000, Sea Burial was less common as people were not very familiar and educated about it.
Sea Burial somehow become more popular in the late 2000 as more and more people came to find out about sea burial. As a Funeral Director, i have done many an average of 5 to 6 sea burials in a month. So now there lies a question of why there is an increase of Sea Burials in recent times. Here are 3 main reasons why.
1. I do not want to trouble my family to pay their respects during my death anniversary and special occasions like Qing Min, All Souls day and even Hungry Ghost festival.
2. Its more expensive to put in a columbarium.
3. My children are living overseas and no one will come and visit me so might as well scatter my ashes into the sea.
So question now is if Sea Burial is the way to go or not?
Many years ago, i told my wife that my wish was that i wanted Sea Burial as i believe that one generation may visit me during special occasions but what about the next generation and after? She was amendment about it and kept asking me to reconsider until one day while i was out at Sea during a trip, i ask myself what if one day if my grandchildren who do not know who am i wants to pay respects to me and ask my children where is Grandpa, how will my children tell them? Are they going to bring my grandchildren out to sea and point to nowhere and say “Grandpa is somewhere there. You can pay your respects now?” Then i decided to go to my mum and talk to her about my sea burial plan and she scolded me and said. ” The fishes in the sea will eat you and you will have no more soul. Do not think about it. To scatter your ashes into the sea will result in 魂飛魄散 meaning your soul will scatter as well.” Still not convicted by what she said i decided to turn to my church for more answers and what the church views about Sea Burial and this was what an article wrote that it is recommended ashes be interred in a columbarium, so that the dead can be remembered and prayed for by the community of which he or she had been a part. Still not convinced i decided to go through some newspaper articles to find out that even the Taoist also feels that the departed should have proper resting place so that the soul will not be disturb. That was when i was convinced that Sea Burial is not something we should do.
So what then should be the reason to choose a Sea Burial. Here are 3 reasons.
1. I do not have anyone to see to my final rites ( you are considered a destitute under the eyes of the law)
2. My family is not able to afford to purchase a niche at a columbarium and there is no other way out.
3. I am the last living generation in my family and i really cannot afford any niche at a columbarium. Meaning to say, you are the only child and you do not have any relatives, children or friends around to see to your rites or pay of your funeral. ( I strongly recommend pre-planning for such cases.)
Once again, thank you for all your time and have a great weekend again. Before i end, if there is anyone who has any questions or doubts may call me or pm me at 98668642 to discuss further on this issue. Your decision today, your legacy tomorrow. Good day!