Last month my mother-in-law departed for heavenly abode. Barring a small pooja and lunch that too on the insistence of a few relatives we did not follow any other rituals. My father-in-law and husband being agnostic and hardly aware of any rituals plus due to the lack of belief in it did not follow any rituals. Since my mother-in-law had wished to donate her body, cremation wasn’t done either. My husband didn’t shave his head nor did any of the rituals like 13th day ceremony or others observed.
But this does not imply that my husband does not love his mother or my father-in-law miss his wife. Its all about beliefs. A small pooja or havan is absolutely fine to remember the departed soul but elaborate ceremonies, sons having to shave their head or eat bland and boiled food for 13 days, sleep on the floor in unstitched garments is something which I totally don’t relate to! Tomorrow when I am no more, I would never want my son to undergo this torture to show his love for me. I would never want him to eat bland food or sleep on the floor to show the world that he loves me!
As long as I am alive, his love and respect is all that I would want! If there is “aatma” after death, then it would never have “shaanti” if my child is in pain. I only believe rituals should be performed if a son or daughter genuinely wants to perform it and not because of any pressure from the relatives or friends.
Parents are irreplaceable, nobody can take their place. They are and will always remain in our hearts whether we perform any ritual or not.
P:S: These are totally my opinion with no intention of hurting anybody’s sentiments..