Glycemic Attack (the raves and rants of Bacolod Spice)
I cannot remember them asking us: “Gusto niyo magpa-landscape?”
I can only remember them telling us that the lot was P41,000 plus “good for two ni siya, sir.”
“Good for two” like pansit good for two, chicken binakol good for two, linaga good for two.
But in this case, it means that if my mom dies, her coffin would go on top of my dad’s.
It has been two months since my Dad died. We, I and NegrosSugar, visited his grave today, Easter Sunday because my father and I were wont to get together on this end day of Lent when he was alive.
It took some time before we found his grave among the rolling greens. Unlike the cutely manicured plots of some and the stately mausoleums of the rich dead, my dad’s was a dried-up patch of earth with a tombstone on top.
“Ano ang natabo di? (What happened here?)” I asked the park staff who accompanied us to the grave.
“Wala kamo sir naghambal sa ila nga mapa landscape haw? (You did not tell them that you want this to be landscaped?)” he asked back.
“Kinahanglan pa gid na gali haw? (Do we really have to tell them?) I asked in response.
“Wala kamo kabalo sir haw? (You do not know?)” he asked again.
At that point, I found myself in an episode of “Who’s Line Is It Anyway?” which made me think that I cannot find answers in our conversations, going as it is while we were standing on top of a grave.
If Dad were alive, I swear he could have told me “Ireklamo ta ina ‘to (let’s complain).”
And complain I will but it was a Sunday. The funeral park’s office was closed.
We wanted to light candles but the wind was blowing hard. In the other graves there were “candle houses,” the fancy shiny ones made of steel and glass where you place the candles in.
Father’s grave did not have one.
“Gusto mo to magpabutang, tag P500 lang na,” the park staff told me.
I will have one installed after the landscaping is done, I said.
I can only wish that they could have issued us a bill of particulars, including the landscaping and the mounting of the candle houses, before my father was buried. We could have paid for it in advance or we could have opted to decorate it in our own way.
I am thinking now of decorating his grave Jewish style, like what the Schindler Jews did.
I know it is hoping too much if you expect a funeral park to spend for the “landscaping” of your loved ones grave. After all the plot is only P41,000. You could not expect them to throw a little freebie worth P500.
I know that living and dying in this country is expensive. I just did not expect that we have to spend P500 for the grass and another P500 for “candle houses.”
But what was more horrifying was the dedication they placed on my father’s tombstone: “We will never forget the best of what you have cherished; we love u so much Dad.”
Number One: they never told us that that would be the dedication.
Number Two: what the hell does that mean?
Number Three: we love u so much Dad? Why the “U” instead of “you.”
They made the tombstone into a cellphone.
I am not naïve about the fact that dying in this country is expensive.
It’s just that I never expected even the grass is not free.