May 5, 2010

The late Anthonia Sunam

BORN : 13 JUNE 1947 DEPARTED : 1 MAY 2010
I am blogging this because my aunt Maggie and mom have been inundated with queries from friends and relatives concerning my late Aunty Toni. Their concerns are very much appreciated but I think both my mom and aunty Maggie are worn out from the events of the past few days. Hence, this is my way of alleviating their burden and also help to give some ‘closure’ to my late Aunty Toni’s friends and our relatives.

5 May 2010

We buried her today at Kampung Takuli burial communal burial ground in Beaufort. She is laid to rest side by side with her parents and brother;she is in good company.

Our convoy, departed from Fook Lu Siew Funeral Parlour(FLS) at Mile 2 1/2 Tuaran Road, Kota Kinabalu for Beaufort at 8am with a police escort up to Putatan. I had to mention the police escort because we appreciate the kind service, not exclusive to us I am sure but still, very much appreciated. FLS provided the transportation.

Aunty Toni’s remain reached St Valentine’s Church in Beaufort at about 10am as planned. Datuk Bishop Cornelius Piong, a relative(my late aunty’s family rank is aunty to him) within our Tanana Clan, had set aside some time from his busy schedule to say mass. I am sure he volunteered because of clan solidarity(we are tight knit) and love for my late aunt but still, on behalf of the Sunam branch of the Tanana Clan, we are thankful for his kind gesture.

After the mass, our convoy left the church compound for Kampung Takuli where the Sunam family has sunk root, call it their home and are accepted by the Kampung folks as one of their own. My late maternal Grandfather, James Sunam, was the de facto Catholic leader in the Kampung.

When we reached the burial ground, I was amazed to see that there were already at least 30 vehicles lined up on both sides of the road shoulders ahead of our convoy waiting for our arrival. 

These were friends and relatives from Kota Kinabalu, Kuala Penyu, Beaufort, Sipitang, other parts of the state and of course, the good folks of Kampung Takuli, who came to honour the memory of my late aunty.   

The good Bishop again presided over the burial ceremony. It was a hot afternoon but a good weather to say good bye to our dear Toni (aunty to me :) ) and inter her back to earth. I was touched that the good Kampung folks helped dug her grave, free of charge mind you and they did it without complaining;a communal activity.

After the burial, we had lunch under the hot sun because some Kampung folks said that it was taboo for us to hold the luncheon at our ‘ancestral’ home which is less than 5 minutes walk away. It was not what we had instructed and caused discomfort amongst the elderlies of our guests but we did not want to belittle or hurt the feelings of our kind Kampung folks.Hence, we obliged to the ‘adat’/taboo.

I also want to add that the luncheon fare was prepared by our Kampung folks albeit expenses reimbursed by our family. Still, we appreciate their contribution.

Worth Mentioning

In Sabah, lives 1Malaysia. Although I was not surprised but still the gesture touched me.
Our Muslim relatives came to pay their respect, that’s normal but to see them observing mass and being inside the four walls of the church and silently observing the mass as it proceeded, it touched me.

The fact that they were relatives of ours still do not diminish my awe. They comforted my aunty Maggie and my mom. They gave the customary both side hug and kiss for both of my mom and aunty Maggie and I was surprised that the latter knew how to respond :). Both sides were in their environment like fish to water.

5 May 2010 – 9:11pm

We just finished praying rosary for my late Aunty Toni. Church members from around our Kampung i.e. Kampung Jimpangah, came to accompany our family to observe the customary seven day vigil. Tonight is considered the 5th night, on the 7th night, according to Dusun belief, my late Aunty Toni will come home and visit us.

Will update you more later.
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