HOUSE 1 #04 Relationship with Death

My father was the only son in a big family. Being the only son, it was the sweetest thing could happen in Korean traditional family. Especially, you are the oldest son in your clan. you will get all the love and respect, don’t bother to know you are the sole heir!. However, my father’s story was never close to the one of the prince stories. He lost most of his closest family members during the Korean War and left out with a traditional obligation to the death that he needed to take care of. In my father’s Korea, the oldest son was responsible for taking care of his parents and parents’ parents, even the ones no more living in the same world anymore. He had never missed his commitment to all the ones who died before his age nine. I remember that many times I and my brother were playing on the graves and seek and hide around tombstones while he was taking care of thirty some graves. I was too young to see the burden that my father carried, but it was the most mysterious places and time fro little boy. His commitment with dead family members often overwhelmed the relationship with living ones he loved most. My father was a good son, good grandchild as well as good nephew to the his childless uncles died during the war. However, at least, for the living ones, he was too busy to get close enough to us until we grew enough to understand him and his family.


I build a monument with my relationship with dead. This memory takes a big part of my childhood. Graves, tombstone and its surrounding were my secret playground.

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