Communal living

In most communal cultures. there is a get together whenever there is something good or bad that happens in a person's life. Usually friends or family will spend a few nights with the person that is going through the event. 

I have often felt that having people around for the bad times is more essential than when things are going good. Though it feels empty to succeed without people to share in the success. 

Today I was talking about this culture with my brother. Over the years, I have gone to countless funerals caused by suicide, pancreatic cancer, diabetes, car accident, plane crash - the list is long. No COVID deaths though. I have also gone to many weddings, house warming, engagement, baby showers or Christening, a startup acquisition sale and graduation. 

But the events that brings people together at a sickness or death feels important to me. Someone going through that type of pain will benefit from having people around. 

As immigrants, a lot of things happen at a time of mourning. You are reminded of how alone you are in a foreign land while at the same time appreciating the culture that reminds you of the communal lifestyle. A lot of people that have lived outside of their native land usually request to be buried back home. But the cost of shipping a body is very expensive. There are usually 2 funeral events in both locations to give everyone a chance to say goodbye. For people in professional work, taking enough time off to do this elaborate funeral process is a difficult task. And then there are those that don't have the necessary paperwork to be able to leave the country and return back. So they miss the burial of their loved ones. 

There is so much that can be said about communal living. But today, I think about this as my friends from my old job got together to surprise and visit me. I had not met a lot of people since COVID and they knew about my health issues. Their gesture reminded me that there are decent people in the world. That such gestures are what we need to remember and cherish when life gets tough.