Lolo passed away quietly yesterday afternoon at home, as per his wishes. He had a form of cancer and has been deteriorating since Christmas, and bedridden for the last ten days. However, he did not complain of pain, just severe fatigue from anemia.
Like most older Filipinos, he was devoted to "Mama Mary" and he died on one of her feast days so I figure he is in heaven. When I was in medical school, one of our teachers pointed out that few docs were pious or churchy, but most believed in a God and an ultimate purpose of life, because we see so much. So we had the priest come to give him the last rites and another one visited him for confession, and he was getting home communion, so he was ready to "go home".
Here in the Philippines, the body is laid out in the home, and the funeral waits for the overseas relatives to fly here. The wife is supposed to sit and greet everyone, and the house is open for visitors 24 hours a day until the funeral. Often they have music and/or a band to play in the evenings to entertain the visitors/mourners. And the place will be full of flowers. Because of the dogs, and because our house is in the corner of our compound, he will be laid out in our meeting room, closer to the door, not the living room of our home.
I think I will become "too sick" to do this: I have been caring for him (with the help of one of our workers for the last week) and now need a rest myself.
I am a cold hearted American, and my husband didn't want a big funeral, but the cousins are more traditional, and he was their "father" and supported their family after his brother died. I left his son to argue with them in arranging the funeral last night.
To complicate matters, it is "holy week", so airlines will be full of people coming home for the Easter holiday, and the church will be busy with services.