Qi Family Funeral


One of the most difficult challenges my granddad faced in his life is the lifting of the coffin of 

the Qi Family, sometime in 1919 ,containing the corpses of a Hanlin scholar. It is an almost 

impossible task to accomplish that a dozen of wedding-and-funeral-service companies had 

gone to look at the coffin and the lay of the land of the Qi Family and all had left hanging their

head although the Qi Family had promised an astonishing fee of five hundred silver dollars.


The Northeast Gaomi Township Wedding and Funeral Service Company where my granddad 

was working had asked for a thousand silver dollars instead. On the day of the interment, the 

bearers were shocked to find that the coffin's as wide as the door and on top there is a bowl

filled to the brim with wine in which they will be penalized a hundred silver dollars for every 

drop of wine they spill during the movement. It was a daunting task; not least the coffin is

filled with quicksilver.


The bearers struggled not for the monetary gains but for the sake of Northeast Gaomi 

Township and that was what I told by my father who was told by his father, my granddad

Yu Zhan'ao.