What happens at a Thai Funeral

Annie, (in black) helps prepare her grandfather’s body for cremation.

He raised Annie so it was important for her to help with all the aspects of the ceremony.

Notice how tenderly but unsentimentally they take care of the body before carrying him around the temple three times and burning his body in one of the huge outdoor ovens commonly used in Thailand.

6 Comments

  1. Amazing video. Sorry to hear about Annie’s grandad. People in the US could never handle doing something like that with a loved one. I’m not sure I could either. Is that how all Thai’s are taken care of when they die?

    Reply
  2. Hi Tony, I believe that it is the usual way things are done. I imagine it changes a little between the hinterland and the capital and rich and poor though. There was a huge funeral home along the main road near the place we live in Bangkok so perhaps here it is a little less organic than in the villages. I also think that Hi-so Thais are adopting more western customs. Weddings in Thailand are part cultural and part western nowadays I think.

    Reply
  3. Sorry to hear about Annies grandfather.
    I went to the funeral of a friend of mine only a month ago here in pattaya, it was just like the one in the video, the family and close friends like myself all knelt before the monks then we all walked round the temple three times.
    Annie can still look lovely even at a funeral.
    Good luck and best wishes to you and Annie.

    oldlover.

    Reply
  4. David. Please accept my condolences for Annie’s and your loss. Even though I have not me you or Annie yet, I still feel a connection through your posts, writings and the series. It is always sad to lose a loved one but this loss must have been crushing to Annie considering he and his wife raised her. I hope she is at peace with his passing.

    Johnny

    Reply
    • Thanks Johnny,

      It is difficult to tell exactly how Annie felt. Thai people are quite stoic about real emotions. The fake ones they have no problem replicating 555.
      Seriously though, Annie’s dad died a few years ago and now her grandfather. I guess she is unlucky in that. We often get the chance to grow a little older with our parents at least still around. She has dreams about her grandad quite often and I guess that’s her way of remembering and thinking about him. Thai people are taught not to show their grief or anger because they are private things.

      Reply
  5. This is beautiful and touching. We Westerners are so scared of death and here they embrace it, honoring this man for who he was in his life by taking care of cleaning his body and preparing him for his final journey.

    Reply

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