In just one week, I attended two wakes.
In times like this, I am often overwhelmed by emotions; relating to the feelings of the surviving family members. I remember vividly the feelings of regret, helplessness and grieve; the desire for someone to truly understand how it felt like. However I have no idea what to say or do for my two friends except try to be there for them, because when I was in the same situation, nothing seemed to ease the pain I felt, no matter what people said or did. All I knew was I wanted to let them know that they can come to me whenever they needed someone to talk to.
Today at the crematorium, when I was watching the cold, unfeeling and automated process of the entire cremation, the gush of emotions I experienced two years back came back to me, as though it was happening all over again. I remember that I came to the realization that life is in fact a very simple journey, it’s exactly like a race; you have your starting point, your hurdles along the way and of course the end. I learnt that life is such a fleeting process and that maybe many things we feel important in our lives are not very important after all. Because no matter how you lived your life, we all meet with the very same ending.
I went to my grandmother’s niche after the ceremony. Looking at the photo she asked me to enlarge for her, looking at the engravings of the day she left, it seriously felt as though everything happened yesterday. I realised that apart from the times I visited my grandmother at Mandai, I lacked the courage to look at her photos. I lacked the courage to relive the memories I had with her. I think I simply miss her a lot.
To both my friends, I know that it’s not easy at all. I know it’s all bullshit when people tell you that your loved one would not bear to see you so sad. I know you just need time to say goodbye. So if there’s anytime you feel you need someone to talk to, please let me know. It takes time, but I know you will recover from it, stronger than before.
To Ah Ma, I hope you are doing well and I hope you’ve heard everything I said to you in front of your niche ever since you left. I love you.
I’m sorry little fish, to use your life to test out what I wanted to know. I wanted to rescue you at that moment, but he was too quick.
I’m really sorry.
But I swear that your sacrifice will not be in vain, for I will never ever do something like that again.
I’m really sorry.
If there is anything I can do to buy back a day spent with you, I would do anything and give up everything to spend as many days with you as possible again.
If it is possible to call you and talk to you, I would do it no matter what the telephone charges are.
If there is really a dream pillow, I would choose to dream of you everyday.
I know, Ah Ma. I know you are trying to tell me you are doing well, but I still woke up missing you a lot. In fact, I was trying not to wake up. At least in the dream, I get to talk to you once again. Something I hoped for everyday.
I want your advice on many things, I want to ask you for your opinion, I want you to share with me stories when you were younger and I want you to hear me complain about everything.
You are the one who will comfort me after hearing me complain and motivate me to carry on. You are the one who knows everything about me. You are also the one who wants to give me the best things you can.
You’ve loved me, unconditionally. But as for me, I feel I could have done so much more things for you.
I miss you, my dearest Ah Ma.
Normally at this time every year on this particular Sunday, everyone at home would be getting ready to go out for dinner at some chinese restaurant for a celebration.
This celebration is where everyone gets to eat the longevity peach and noodles while hearing the familiar birthday song being sung. However this year, some things are not the same anymore.
Gu Gu still remembered the occasion, and called to remind me about it. We are all still getting ready to go out, although not to some chinese restaurant. I don’t smell the familiar hair spray that would fill my room whenever the whole family is going out.
Because this year, we are going to Mandai, not to celebrate anymore, but to commemorate instead.
I Miss You.
I suddenly realised that human beings actually lock away their saddest and most beautiful memories in a small corner of their heart because of the huge amount of sadness that is attached to them.
We move on with our lives with those memories safely locked up, until something or someone unlock those memories unintentionally, bringing about a sudden rush of emotions. All of a sudden, everything comes back to us, including all the sadness and the things we rather not remember.
Ah Ma, I miss you.