September 30, 2023

One of the practical choices when a loved one dies is to cremate rather than to bury the casket. I learned this when I was made to choose this because of financial constraints. Cremation cost much less than burying. There were no next of kin to wait for since we are migrants, and the sudden death of my cousin was not saved up for. Who saves money for burials, anyway? But when we opted to bring the ashes home for a proper burial on a later date when the travel restrictions are lifted to pray together as a family, our neighbors thought that he died from Covid. Not everyone who is cremated died from Covid, sometimes it is because we are poor. Can the wags be told off?
Merv of Pico, La Trinidad, Benguet

Dear Merv,
Forgive the ignorant. Indeed, cremation is more practical these days. Although the tradition of viewing the dead is still foremost in many minds, in some instances this is not practical, particularly when it costs P6,000 a day at the funeral parlor when no relatives are coming. To stop the gossips will be next to impossible but if they get others to believe them maybe the death certificate can make the situation better. The biggest fear is fear itself, more so, when it is unfounded. Bury the urn and make it official.
Save your irritation,

Dear Manang,
I have a friend who is suddenly irritable and arrogant. In the past, she was already loud and fearless, but it is as if there is no boundary to her noise anymore. She is hurting others’ feelings. I am wondering if these are signs and symptoms of menopause. Are there diseases that have these actuations at the age of 47?
Lily of Green Valley, Baguio City

Dear Lily,
When people are strange, it might be caused by a chemical imbalance of sorts. In the 30 symptoms of menopause according to Google, two symptoms fit your friend’s changes – grumpiness and mental instability, there is also moodiness. There is no problem with this if people around her understand what she is going through. Maybe, it is also time to remind her she might be going through menopause at her age and she has some annoying habits. It is important that she becomes conscious of the imbalances. I dread the thought of her losing all her friends.
Tell her,