Today, Renee and I saw something we had never seen before. We had a friend watch the boys for a few hours, while we went to lunch and took a walk around the river. Right in fromt of us, we noticed a fire and some people standing around. We watched it for a few moments, and Renee pointed out that she saw a skeleton. We noticed some fireworks, and that the lady pictured below was wiping away tears. We had stumbled upon a funeral, and the burning of the body.
As we watched the family climb the steps back up to the street, the woman turned and blew a kiss to the remains, and the guys gave a farewell wave. We could not imagine how hard that was, to watch the body of your loved one burn, while you left and resumed your normal life. I have no idea why they choose that method of saying goodbye, but it was very powerful and sad.
We have never seen anything like this in China. They do not embalm the bodies here, so most people are cremated the day (or the day after) they die..but never in public.
People do not get buried here very much, we have heard its because of a lack of space. Next to the deaf school there are some shops that sell engraved tomb markers, so at least a few are still buried, or at least a place is marked as a memorial.
Seeing things like this help us realize again just how much this country needs to hear of our Fathers love, and His hope and plan for us. That He can give us a peace, and give us something to look forward too; that in the end, life is more than just a pile of charred remains.
Every day, it seems we learn more about this amazing country we call home. Its an incredible adventure, one we are honored to be a part of.