31 August 2010

Could we mourn too much?


Last Sunday, I felt a bit bad to see the mono-tone crowd when I went to Admiralty to run some errands. I was dressed in a bright yellow sundress and felt totally wrong there. I missed the demonstration because I slept till afternoon that day after a night’s out at LKF.

It’s not that I didn’t feel the grief of the Manila hostage victims. I cried for the whole working week because I empathized with people who lost their families out of pure bad luck. I felt angry and frustrated at the incompetent Filipino police as well.

However, I also see the meaning of lowering our flag at half-mast for three days. It means after our deep mourning for three days, we should gather ourselves together, move on and not get our lives wasted. Instead of joining the crowd, I went to my mom’s home, had dinner and some good laughs with her.

It’s not that I’m selfish and care for no one else. It’s that my sorrow for the victims can never be the same as that of the victims’ families. The broader sense of the word “family”, i.e. Hong Kong people, can never compete with the narrower version, i.e. parents and their children, husbands and wives.

When I saw Bow Tie who still went to a series of mourning ceremonies after last Friday and his still watery eyes, I can’t help wondering: do I pay my tax money for officials to mourn endlessly like Hamlet? Hell, no. I pay them to sit in the office, make that powerful phone call like Saito in Inception, and get things done. Shedding tears is comparatively easy.

And don’t blame people who move on after a couple of days, or who ignore any more facebook mourning group invitations. People still need to eat, sleep and mate. Just because grief is invisible doesn’t mean we don’t have it at heart.

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