We went to the cemetery to place some flowers at a grave site. In case I forgot I was living in a very different culture, I was reminded at the cemetery. Families were gathered across the grassy knolls, sitting in chairs around a loved one’s grave, telling stories, and having picnics. Almost every headstone had fresh flowers placed at it.
Family is a big part of the way of living here. Family can be extended relatives, it can also be friends and neighbors you consider family. You’ll hear the word “ohana” used frequently to express that feeling. As we placed our flowers and watered them, I noticed the stone of the grave site near us.
She lived to 107. Is a strong ohana the reason for longevity? She had no flowers on her grave and the stone next to hers seemed to be of her son who died in 1965. Was she the last of her lineage to pass? Did her ohana take care of her all those years? I cleaned off the stone as best I could and wished her a peaceful rest.