Remembering my grandfather, and seeing family
Kia ora friend,
Before I begin, I just want to thank all those who reached out after hearing about my Grandfather’s passing. Thank you to you all. It’s sad news but in the end, he lived a long and fulfilling life.
This week I have been in Sri Lanka remembering and celebrating my grandfather’s life.
In a previous post, I announced my grandfather’s passing:
Back then the mood was quite sombre, but this week has been filled with positives.
Though my family is in mourning, it was a positive to see my family on my father’s side together.
My uncles and auties on my father’s side all reside in the United States as well as my cousins. The funeral was the first time we were all together in 25 years. The last time was for my aunt’s wedding — I was 5 years old!
Since I don’t have any siblings, my cousins are the closest I get to having brothers and sisters.
We landed in Colombo, Sri Lanka on Monday and had the day to orientate ourselves. Tuesday was a wake. Wednesday was the ceremony including my Grandfather’s cremation.
Witnessing the ceremony, I forgot how rich of a culture that I come from — this fact was emphasised by my cousin.
Also, during both the wake and ceremony, it was incredible to see the variety of people who came to pay their respects.
My Grandfather had an interesting past and present. He had worked as a teacher, then for the United Nations fisheries. If I had to describe my Grandfather, one thought that would come to mind is that he was blunt and didn’t show a lot of emotion, but his love and affection for others came in another way.
He contributed a lot to his surrounding community during his retirement. He was a philanthropist, supporting many causes centring around war victims in Sri Lanka. Those included children who were made orphans as well as women who were made widows. He did this by creating opportunities for education and vocation — supporting tutors for children, and establishing a sewing school as some examples.
In the days following the funeral ceremony, I had a good opportunity to hang out with my cousins where we explored Colombo. We made a pack to not let time slip without seeing each other. What I learnt from my Grandfather's passing is that life is short, and it’s important to make time for things that matter most, like seeing family despite geographic distance.
A Project to Remember My Grandfather
I have had the week off work luckily but I’ve had some spare time to explore some small projects. I’ve been learning Golang, and so I decided to make a small webpage that honours my Grandfather using this technology.
It’s still a work in progress, but there is a basic ‘MVP’; all left is filling the content and minor touch-ups.
The Go code takes markdown files and builds this into HTML as well as copying CSS and image files into a `public/` directory. This could easily be done with just writing HTML directly, but I wanted to use Go somewhere. The content is served via a CDN, both using Github pages as well as Cloudflare. All that is involved is the Go build step, which does the aforementioned.
Getting back into reading
I’ve had a slight slump with reading. I would like to read more, so I purchased some new books. One of these is Into Thin Air by Jon Krakauer, which is Krakauer’s personal account of summiting Mt Everest during the 1996 mountaineering accident. So far, it is an interesting read. Krakauer is a fantastic writer and so far he provides a good historical account of Everest, including past expeditions and the state of Base camp now due to commercialisation.
Once again, thanks for reading this newsletter. I hope it was valuable to you in some way. I will be returning to New Zealand by the end of next week so I wish you a good week ahead.
Stay focused and talk soon,
Kindle Highlight of the Week
"The American trekker, unable to comprehend that this brown-skinned woman of the hills was addressing him in perfectly enunciated King’s English, continued to employ his comical pidgin argot: “Men-u. Good, good. Yes, yes, we like see men-u.”" (Jon Krakauer, Into Thin Air)