Sunday February 10, 2013
To Granny, with love
By KHO AI SIOK
Even when you say goodbye, the memory of the one you love lives on.
I BELIEVE no one is ever ready to say goodbye to their loved ones at any time.
I wasn’t ready at all to say goodbye to my dearest Granny.
When I delivered my baby boy, she was there to hold him. She was so proud to be the Granny. During my confinement month, she was there to keep me company, and to help out, even though we didn’t want to inconvenience her.
Immediately after my 30-day confinement, she decided to go back to her home in another city. We said goodbye to each other. Little did I know that it would be the last conversation we would share.
Soon after, I received a shocking call from my cousin who lives in the same city, telling me that Granny had suddenly blacked out and collapsed. She was admitted to hospital immediately. The doctors said that she would remain in a vegetative state with no hope of recovery.
After weeks of heavy and heated discussions among her 10 children, they came to the conclusion that they would “release” her. We, the younger generation, finally had to give in and compromise.
Shortly thereafter, I broke down and went into depression. I could not stop thinking about her. She was like a mother to the three of us, her favourite grandchildren and she stayed with us for many years. I have memories of her preparing meals for us, getting mad with our mischievous behaviour and sharing laughter as well as sadness. She made a promise to see us through our graduation, which she did. She also managed to attend my brother’s post-graduation ceremony.
As the weeks went by, I found myself unable to perform tasks at home or at work. Family came in and out to help ease the new situation of having a newcomer in the house.
I tried to hide my pain and sadness whenever I looked into my mother’s eyes. All the family members tried to console one another, as we tried to come to terms and grasp the fact that Granny was really gone.
One day, my mother came over to my house and passed me Granny’s sarong. I took the material and folded it nicely before giving it a good long kiss.
I swallowed my pain and tried hard not to make it obvious in front of my already saddened mother.
Until today, I still get a lump in my throat when I glance at the material. At times, I would cradle it in my arms just to remember how it felt having her around.
I recently found out that my younger sister also has a good connection with her, by “talking to her silently in her heart” wherever she may be. As for my brother, he rarely shows it but we know very well that he has his own way of comforting that broken heart.
To all of us, we feel she never really left us and we never really said goodbye to her. She lives on in each of our hearts, and will always be the same sweet Granny we have always known.