A Smile from Beyond

Eight months had passed since my father in law had gone over to the other side. We had already cremated the body, and scattered his ashes in the ocean. However, the formal Balinese ceremony had not been performed, so here we were, on a small fishing boat, bobbing up and down on the ocean, trying to summon his soul back, in order to have him present at the ceremony.

We had a priest in the boat with us, who rang his bell  intermittently, and chanted his incantations in to the wind. Just being in the presence of a priest gives me goose bumps, and the thought that he was conversing with my father in law’s soul had my whole body tingling.

The clouds were turning dark, and drops of rain began to fall as the boat rocked in the waves. Was this a sign? The priest turned to us and said

“He will be there”

On the journey home, everyone sat in silence, lost in their own thoughts. As we got closer to home, the sun started to poke its head out from behind the clouds, and arriving in front of our house, we all stared in awe at the double rainbow above us. This was most certainly a sign:

“welcome back bapak”


(bapak means father in Indonesian)

This was written in response to the Sunday photo fiction for 10 May 2015


5 thoughts on “A Smile from Beyond

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