Death Rituals and Grief Rituals


Death is messy and time-consuming and exhausting for the survivors. Death is confusing and maddening. At Blunderbuss Magazine, Essay Liu, a Taiwanese writer, documents her father’s death and the rituals in the days following. Translated by Kevin Tang.

Day three, 5 AM: coffin laying ceremony.

The funeral home prepares bricks of tissue paper, paving a thick cottony bed in your coffin. The funeral director says now’s the time to tell your father — the softer his bed, the sweeter his dreams. We parrot his chant — the softer your bed, dad, the sweeter your dreams. We refuse to think of how it aims to soak up your decay.

Diksha Basu is the author of The Windfall. You can find her on Twitter @dikshabasu. More from this author →