Ten years have passed since I heard news of my grandmas passing. I remember that I was at confirmation camp and was sending Cat home and while we were waiting for Cat to enter her house, Cat’s mum comes out and comes to the passenger window and offers her condolences to my dad. I registered the words but could not quite understand them. So I looked to my dad for clarification for surely I was imagining what I heard… but alas, when I looked at my dad, he had tears swimming in his eyes.
He politely thanked Cat’s mum and drove of. At the next turning, he stopped by the side of the road and told me that my grandma had indeed passed away when I was at camp. I sat in silence on the way home. I the last to know of my grandma’s passing. They didn’t want to disrupt my time at camp they said.
I remember reaching my home and seeing the ugly aluminum roof outside my porch. I remember entering my home, which had transformed into a garden of wreaths. I remember the sadness and grief of loss.
When I think of that day, I can’t help but to think of my friend, arwah Azlan. At that point in my life, he was my rock. He was the only one that took the time to listen to me speak out my fears, my frustrations, my guilt and my sadness. And now, he too is gone. I mourn for him still. I miss him terribly and it saddens me to admit that I have forgotten so many details about him. Which side was his dimple? How did he sound like? What did he like to eat? What did he aspire to be? I can’t remember…
And now today… ten years after my paternal grandma passed away and eight years after arwah Azlan passed away… I bid a farewell to my maternal grandma, Dulcie Lazaroo. Her demise was sudden and it shocked us all. Everyone thought that she would get well and that her lungs would clear but they did not. Instead her weak heart could not hold up and collapsed twice.
This time round however, I was not the last to know of my grandma’s passing. Instead, I was the first. I was sitting alone in the ICU waiting area and I had this strange thought and feeling that the doctor would tell me that the worse had indeed happened. The doctor did not come… a nurse did. She brought me to the doctor who told me that my grandma had had a second heart collapse. She paused and I then asked her what that meant… the doctor then replied that she was sorry. I said ‘oh’… and proceeded to follow the doctor to see my late grandma.
She looked like she was asleep and dreaming peacefully… the only thing missing was the rise and fall of her chest and the incessant bleeping of the life support machine (I really wanted to kick the machine or pull out the plug to make it shut up!). I stood by her side for a while… and said a little prayer or two for her. And then I began the arduous task of calling my relatives to inform them of the news.
The calls were difficult to make but necessary and I think that after today, I grew up some. Ten years ago, I was merely a pubescent teen who lost her grandma and who had her first real nasty taste of death. Eight years ago, I was a lovesick teen who had lost her sweetheart, the first boy she kissed… and today, I am almost an adult understanding that sometimes although death is painful and it hurts, it brings a strange kind of peace. I understand that to be the rock of a family means to be strong for everyone at all times.
I also wrote my first obituary today. I hope it is the last that I will write. It is definitely easier that composing a poem or blogging, yet it seems so final and so cold.
My grandma will be laid to rest this Monday the 29 January 2008. Her funeral service will be at Assumption Church, Petaling Jaya 9:30am. She will be buried together with my granddad at the cemetery thereafter. I foresee that Monday will be a long long day as I will also have to go to work as I have an event on Tuesday morning… but I know that everything will be okay. A little sad and emotional, but okay.
May Angels lead you Home.
May you finally be at peace.
You will be dearly missed.