01 September 2009

Tribute to our Sisters - You have all lived inspiring & dignified lives


1 September 2009, Tuesday
11.00 pm

Tribute to our Sisters –
You have all lived inspiring & dignified lives

During the past few days, we have seen the Buddhist community in Klang Valley united, as any community must, during our toughest of moments.

The deaths of our three dear sisters, the late Sis GG Tan, Sis Julie Ang and Mdm Lee Ah Yem (aka Mrs Teh), had shaken many in our community to the core. Memories of them drew hundreds to pay our last respects and console their families at their wake and the funeral services.

On the second day of Sis GG Tan’s wake at Nirvana Memorial Center, devotees from Fo Guang Shan and Amitabha Society, bhikkhus from the Buddhist Maha Vihara and Sentul Temple, as well as Tibetan monks came to chant for the deceased. In the evening, the congregation heard inspiring Dhamma talks by Mr Tan Huat Chye and Mr Vijaya Samarawickrama in memory of Sis GG. The Dhamma, with its calming and peaceful qualities, cooled the sorrows and soothen the hearts of many distraught family members and friends.

The Adhikarana Sangha Nayaka of Malaysia Ven. B Sri Saranankara led monks from Sentul Temple to conduct the funeral services for Mrs Teh on 28th August 2009, and again for Sis GG and Sis Julie on 29th August 2009. Joining them at Sis GG’s and Sis Julie’s funeral were Ven. Sing Kan and Ven. Kassapa Maha Thero. Mr Charlie Chia spoke to the congregation on the courage and generosity of the sisters, while Yg. Bhg. Datuk Dr. Victor Wee, representing the entire Malaysian Buddhist community, delivered a touching eulogy to our fallen kin.

The family of the late Sis GG also presented contributions to several organizations in her memory. All attendees celebrated Sis GG’s life and contemplated on death by singing the Buddhist Hymn “Life Never Dies” at the end of the funeral service.

On 30th and 31st August 2009, Nalanda organized two memorial dana for our three dear sisters. More than 100 Nalanda members and friends of the deceased made merits by listening to Dhamma talks and offering alms to the Sangha. Also present on 31st August 2009 were Mr Chooi, the husband of the late Sis GG, and her two sisters. Mr Chooi and the family led the congregation in offering robes and lunch dana during the seventh-day memorial service. We rejoice in the family’s effort in fulfilling their duties to the Buddha-Sasana and to perform meritorious deeds in honour of their kin.

On behalf of the Nalanda Bereavement Support Committee, I would like to take this opportunity to extend my deepest appreciation and gratitude to all Nalandians and friends who have selflessly volunteered to provide support to the family of deceased during this bereavement period. With only a few hours notice and planning, this tragic event indeed tested the commitment, unity and selfless spirit with our limited resources. You have served with honour, dedication and much metta-karuna. Thank you for a deed well performed.

To all friends, thank you for coming to the wake and funeral to honour the late sisters. Your presence at the services was truly appreciated by the family members and Nalanda, too. At times like these, the company of friends is incredibly comforting.

Bereavement is indeed one of the most painful emotions that we have to deal with during our lifetime. The three fallen sisters have served the Buddha-Sasana with fervour and dignity during their short life-spans, evidenced by grateful memories of many people in Malaysia and from all parts of the world. Let us all take leaf from this experience and emulate the sisters’ endearing qualities, and continue their noble services for the welfare and happiness of all beings.

Kindly pray for the well-being of Sis Jennie Cheong, who is still missing a week after the tragedy. Also pray for her family to be strong in this challenging period. Pray too for Sis Reena Lim, who against all odds survived the horrific accident that claimed the lives of her closest friends. She lives, albeit with trauma and grief, but from now onward, with a different perspective, and renewed spirit.

Anicca vata Sankhara! All component things are impermanent.

Santi. May all find Peace.
Signing off
with metta & gratitude,

Sis Buddhini
Nalanda Desk

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