3rd Anniversary (10th June 2009) - Scattering Yvonne's Ashes
The journey of my niece, Yvonne Tan when she was diagnosed with brain cancer had touched many people with her courage and strength. Three years had passed and people were still using her strength to encourage them whenever they were placed in an adverse situation.
My sister, Jessica obviously did not wish to let go for Yvonne was not only her daughter but also her soul mate. It was a difficult decision to make but finally she decided to scatter Yvonne’s ashes into the sea on her 3rd anniversary as she stated in her last wish.
She rang me in Kuala Lumpur and I decided to take my wife and the two children (Yoke Chin, Elle-may and Ricky) to New Zealand for the occasion. An arrangement was made with her friend, Glenn who has a boat to take us out into the waters. However, on 09th June, it was a wet day. the weather forecast was not favorable for the next few days as well. At 2am on 10 June, it was pouring with rain.
We were supposed to meet at the wharf at 8am on the 10th, but at 7:30am it was still raining. Being determined, we did not give up. The group consisted of my sister and her partner Jeffrey, Anna, Rutt, Sachi, Glenn and his parents and me and my family. At 8am, the rain stopped and we got on the boat even though the sea was rough. However, when we gradually moved into the sea, the waters calmed.
We decided to go to Devonport first. As we arrived there, the sun came out. Glenn’s father, Laurie stopped the boat. All of us started to do gongyo and chanted. When we finished our prayers, Yoke Chin passed out the paper boats she made to us. We wrote messages to Yvonne.
Then we scattered half of the ashes into the water. My sister did first. She shouted “Yvonne, be the happiest person in the world.” Flower petals were also scattered. My daughter, Elle-may made some paper stars. She threw them into the water too. Each of us then took turns to scatter some ashes, flower petals, stars, and put our our paper boats in the water. All these floated in a stream-like manner. The reflection of the sun coupled with the flower petals, paper boats, paper stars made it into a beautiful procession. Our hearts opened with joy for Yvonne.
We then traveled to Mission Bay. We did the same thing. The weather was still good for us. Anna, Yvonne’s best friend sang a song as we scattered the ashes. My sister read a passage from the book "Unlocking Mysteries of Life and Death" by Dr Daisaku Ikeda the president of Soka Gakkai International .
After we finished the ceremony, we made breakfast and enjoyed it in the boat. When we were returning to Auckland, the weather started to be cloudy again. Soon, it started to rain again.
This episode had been another proof of the power of daimoku (Nam Myho Renge Kyo) because we had been chanting for good weather even when we were in Kuala Lumpur. We believed that the sunshine was a sign of Yvonne’s eternal life of good fortune, shining above us as we scattered her ashes.
Despite having left us for 3 years, Yvonne Tan, had shown us once again of her fighting spirit motto "My Life Is About Winning" which was very much alive with us on that sunny morning.
Posted By : Roger
The video clip: