A few days ago, my sister asked me whether I can come with her to a crematorium. She said she needs to see the place so when the time come, everything will be ready. I was a bit startled, I asked her who will be cremated because for Balinese it’s not common to be cremated in a crematorium. Although nowadays crematorium becomes more acceptable for most people here, for its practicality and considerably cheaper compared to conventional Balinese cremation ceremony. To get a glimpse of balinese cremation ceremony, you can go to one of many website (in english) about it here.
I was a bit relieved when she said this is just the how-if-things, for her dog, not her. But just for the ‘fun’ of it, later I told my secretary that the next day I’ll go to a crematorium to ‘order’ arrangement in advance. His face turned pale and forbid me to say such things. Lol. Anyway, so the next day, off we go to the crematorium. There’s only 3 crematorium on this island and this one I think was the first crematorium among them.
It’s not just a crematorium but also a cemetery for Christians. The crematorium site is at the back (waaayyy back), so we have to drive past the narrow road where on our right and left, all those graves. It’s a bit spooky because there’s nobody else but us and ‘them’. I keep telling myself to not let my mind wondering around, going further to imagine they’re all standing on their graves. It’s a bit spooky because in balinese cemetery, there’s no tombstone, usually it’s a flat ground because most of the time it’s just for the cremation ground. So all these graves, each off them is quite big and most of them unattended with all those plants surrounds them..the dried out flowers since the last person visit the grave. Really, I was trying my best to not let my mind and imagination wander. Below are some of the pictures I took that day :
We thought we’re gonna find somebody here, but nobody’s around. A few years ago, I was here, one of my colleague cremated here, she’s very young, around 23 years old and it was a sad moment because she’s just graduated and have her life ahead of her. Her son was just a toddler, looked very confused with the crowds. Again, it felt a bit spooky.
It was a broad daylight but I thought I watched too many horror movies already, I start to think that I might can’t think straight here. So I try to keep pushing the spooky part away, far away at the back of my head, and try to ‘enjoy’ the moment. It’s kinda give me a glimpse that life won’t last forever. That this body of mine could heve ended here, buried in the most unscenic part of ‘paradise’ island. Although I’m pretty sure when the day comes I’ll be cremated in my village. Anyway, it’s worth to visit.
So on our way home, my sister and I talked about when her dog’s time comes. There’s a one way ambulance available to pick him up to the crematorium, but my sister said that we can take him here by our own. The cost would be around US$ 200, so my sister will have to keep the amount untouched on her bank account, things like that. She even keep one cute box to keep maybe one spoon of his ashes later, for a sweet reminder. I couldn’t be more agree with her, because as dog lovers, it’ll be as devastating moment as if one of your family member passed away. I know she feels this is important because I know how much she loves her dog, and also at the same time realize that burial will be a lot more difficult, the process of letting go. And also simply because there’s no space available to buried the dog at the house. I remember Osho once said, we meet Death everywhere we go. So this one short visit to crematorium indeed remind me of that. Family members, whether a person or a dog, both can create a hole in our heart. By realizing it sooner, kind of preparing our heart to stay strong, to have that power of letting go and move on. As to ourselves, Death is actually standing close to our door, ready to knock at our door anytime. That too, a reminder to be prepared for our own final moment of life.