8 (Wed) September 2010
at Chungnam National University Hospital
with CYM et al.
When a person dies in Korea, here’s how it works, typically: the very same day, the deceased is taken to a funeral parlor, usually in the basement of a large hospital, where the family will hold a nonstop vigil for three days, greeting mourners who arrive at their convenience, individually, and at all hours, until the morning of the third day, when the deceased is interred. Mourners, after paying their respects, are provided food and drinks in an adjacent cafeteria/lounge. The meal is fairly predictable, rice and soup and various sides, with soft drinks or beer or soju.
This morning, the father of one of my best friends, CYM, suddenly passed away. During the vigil, the friends of the deceased’s sons (if any) are expected to stick around, providing moral support, ideally until the final day, when they’ll act as pallbearers. So here I am.