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May 12, 2018

The unexpected catharsis of an Instagram location page

At some point in your adult life, birthdays become less about cakes and presents, and instead about that time of year when you feel existential dread about getting older. But it’s not often my own birthdays that trigger thoughts about complexities of aging, but the ones that remind me about life itself.

My father was born on May 12th. Today he would have turned 56, had he not passed away in 1996. When I was in college, my family and I would visit our motherland in Bangkok over the summer break in May, and our tradition was to always visit the temple where my dad’s ashes resided. To let him know we’d come home. We would leave a phuang malai (flower garland) by his burial site and try to find the monk who officiated his funeral so we could...

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