That Man is a Blessing

Around the anniversary of my father’s death the family gathers to celebrate his death. This is a tradition that is deeply rooted in the Vietnamese culture. The tradition is the family would gather at the graveside with offerings of food or incense made to the spirits of the deceased on the anniversary of their death. This weekend marked the 4th anniversary of my father’s death..."That Man Is a Blessing"

Yen Nguyen
a man who is a blessing and a success
That Man is a Blessing
Who has lived well
laughed often and loved much;
Who has gained the respect
of adults and the love of children;

Who has filled his call
and accomplished his task;
Who leaves the world better
than he found it,

Who never lacked appreciation
of earth's beauties and pleasures
nor failed to express them;

Who looked for the best in others
and gave everyone the best he had.
Anonymous Adapted

On the 1st anniversary of a person’s death the feast is more formal which includes all family and friends (typically, everyone who attended the funeral). Every year following the person’s death it becomes less formal with only family and a few friends.

Graveside offering
prayer at home
This year, after the graveside offering and prayers, we gathered at Mom’s house for a noon prayer followed with a “feast”. As with most Nguyen gathering it begins with the feast and ends with the brothers and Van playing poker.


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