Tuesday, May 26, 2009

The Empty Chair

Today is the 4th day of your passing...so far, I've been quite okay...or at least, I try to tell myself that I am...or maybe I am living in denial...and maybe that is good too...cause I know if I were to share about how I truly feel...it would have revealed my vulnerabilities and I would have succumbed to a mental break-down...

The house feels somewhat empty now that you have left...you weren't a man of many words, but your presence in our family was very much reassuring...it made my picture complete...now it bored a hole...and I am not sure if I should have it filled...or if it could be filled...the emptiness you left behind...it would be unimaginable to think that you could be replaced...

I read from the Internet that people handles grief differently...

Step-grandma has been keeping her hands busy, so to avoid thinking of you...everybody was keeping themselves busy somewhat...I have learned never to underestimate the focus and strength of an elderly woman like her!!...The memorial services ended at about 2am...so we voted that the tables should be cleared the next afternoon to be ready for the funeral service...Step-grandma lifted and stacked all the tables and chairs that very morning...and cleaned the entire house inside out!!...She said she was not able to sleep...

First gran-aunt from Penang threw a fuss when she was informed that they would not be able to drive her down to Ipoh till the 2nd day of the wake...She was shaking from shock at your news...and could not sleep nor eat that night...Your nephew finally agreed to drive her down...being weak, she could not stop her knees from buckling at the sight of your casket...She cried, saying how she would never hear you tease her about modelling in a bikini suit...man, I didn't know you were that cheeky...Dad was there to hold her, before she could collapse entirely...

I could see that your sisters loved you so much...Third gran-aunt cried bucket of tears, when they moved your casket to the living room...First gran-aunt was strong, even with much break-downs...considering that fact that she has lost her own daughter to cancer...and you...in a span of less than 4 months...she was sad, saying that the very 2 people who could make sure that she isn't sent to an old folks home has passed on...that she had nobody else to depend on...I'll see to it that it won't happen...

Haha, your brother Patrick, actually challenged your sister to pay her last respects in a bikini suit...*laughs*...Patrick says that it could just wake you from the dead!!...

Step-great-grandma fainted, when the doctor announced your time of death...she was walking into your hospital room when she heard the flat line of your heart beat...she didn't take your passing well, I am afraid...she would not be consoled...and she kept mumbling that you were always more like a son to her...instead of a son-in-law...she cried saying that there was no one to take her shopping or out for walks anymore...She could not believe that you's leave this world earlier than she did...

Step-grandma seemed to be handling it well...or so I thought...when she came knocking on Steph's door the afternoon after the funeral, burst into her room...and said..."I miss your daddy so much!!!"...and broke down...I guess it was when she woke up from her nap, and routinely turned to your hospital bed...and your favourite antique chair...only to find you gone...

She has mentioned about moving down to KL, selling the house that you've all lived in for 30+ years...as it was all too painful to bear...especially for step-grandma, where her schedule was fixed to accomodate your hospital visits, medicine intakes, baths, feeding...I guess, now that you're gone, she has so much time in her hands, she does not know what to do with it...purposeless...and without a cause...

Dad's been taking much stress too...my youngest brother was just preparing to go to Kampar for his University orientation day...Dad had to see to that, and to the funeral arrangements too...plus handling your hospital fees...well, his pocket isn't doing too good...but I am sure he will manage...as he always have...

Oh, I forgot...Dad had to handle the stress of handling grandma too...can you imagine...she was crying because she was not allowed to give an eulogy during your memorial service??...I scratched my head, thinking...I would not be at all surprised that she wanted to give an eulogy, provided that you and her were still in good terms...But it was obvious to me that she wasn't...and she has always been jealous of us giving you extra attention in our visits to you...and she has never really seen you in good light, as she claims that she had to struggle and work during her marriage to you...well, we all know how she has wanted the 'high' life...

By the way, grandma was telling all her friends that "My old man has left me"...I don't know why she tells untruths...true, you have passed on, but you were not HER old man ('old man' comes to mean 'husband', in Hokkien dialect)...you and her have been legally divorced for almost 3 decades!!...

As for me...I don't know...like I said, I try to refrain from sharing my personal feelings for now...for fear that I may just lose it...Father's Day would be specially empty now...not to forget Chinese New Year...but I think my denial of your passing, is starting to show in other ways...for example, I can't focus when I am driving...and I have just went on a book spree yesterday...purchasing anything that sparks an interest...and peeling out money from my purse without a second thought...that is so unlike me...for now, I can only take things one at a time...I am safe...as long as I do not come upon our family photos...or your coin collection that is now in my possession..or I will just start to bawl!!!...

My eyes might be bright...but my heart cannot lie...There is a part of me that can't stop bleeding...crying; why good men like you would pass so soon...my brain tries to be logical...stringing practical sentences, that fails to reach my heart...I knew how you hated to be nursed...to lose your independance in your sick times...gasping for breath when your body fails you...a knife stabs my heart when I see how skeletal you have become...from a 60+kg to a skinny 38kg on your deathbed...all this in less than one year...I tell myself, that it is a comfort to know you are now in a place where you are healthy...where you are in no suffering, be it mental or emotional...those are for the living...

Step grand-ma is starting to give away all your collectibles...much to my alarm...I can only guess that she is doing this, as she thinks your collectibles will be a benefit to others...and most importantly, there is less things that will remind her of your passing and how much she misses you...but if you'd ask me, I want those collectibles to remain within the family...as those are the only memories that you would leave behind...so yes, it is extremely painful that you would have to leave...but I think it is much more painful...for me, at least...to have nothing to remember you by except for photos, and small remains...

So if you could, could you please drop by her dreams, give her a hug and tell her to leave your collection as it is??...I don't want that part of you to disappear too...

The chair that you sit during the afternoons is empty now...nobody sits on it...I wouldn't want anyone to...that chair has been a family chair for so long...it has a personality...it has a story...If only I could make it talk...I wanna know your thoughts that you've shared with it...the million hours on the phone...the countless sermons you prepared...dreams you dreamed while you napped...the tears you might have shed...your smile as you lovingly stroke its handle...

If only that chair could speak...


It is only when one has learn the pain of another leaving...and how precious life can be...that one can truly live...

1 comment:

Lina26435 said...

i spam you on facebook...that's all i do..and you don't even have the courtesy to spam me back??

*pouts*