Sunday, July 6, 2008

Birth, Aging, Illness, Death- the cycle of life...

A very close friend of mine, Boon Lee, her grandmother passed away yesterday evening. I just got off the phone with her. The last time I saw her grandmother was during Chinese New Year. She looked so energetic, optimistic, alive and well. Young at heart, she was. Never had I to expect to receive this news half a year later. She passed away peacefully at the age of 84.

This event reminded me of the death of my grandmother, which was 18 years ago. I was 6 years old back then. I remembered those days where she would tell me stories as we fold silver papers together. I would go to her room and she would spoil me with sweets and candies. I would tail Grandma around the house, asking lots of whys, experiencing new things each day. She would correct my Hokkien as i speak, and pat me on the head saying: you are getting taller. I didn’t remember much of her stories though. However, there was something I clearly remember.

Grandma used to ask me: What would you do if I die? (in Hokkien). Being six, I was old enough to know that dying means not getting to see someone for a very long time, or rather, forever. Then again, being six, I really didn’t know how to answer the question. Correction, I wouldn’t be able to answer regardless what age I was. I just replied, ‘Grandma, you will never die’….

Sure enough, my prediction was wrong.

One month later, I was standing in front of her coffin. She looked serene and peaceful, the monks chanting at the background, the house packed with serious faces, dressed in blacks and whites. I stood there, wondering whether was this a dream, would Grandma suddenly wake up and surprise me.

I remembered, the night before, I was holding her weak hands by the bed. The IV line and the beeping machine next to her, reassuring me that Grandma would wake up anytime.

‘Grandma will be sleeping for a very long time’ my aunt told me the next morning. I didn’t know a very long time meant forever, until I saw everyone in tears.

Oh, how I missed her.

(p/s: My deepest condolences to Boon Lee and her family... Be strong my friend, for birth, aging, death - is the cycle of life... May God bless you... )

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Author's Note

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of love

Today, i heard a story which was not a story of falling...
of living in the dark end of winter turmoil..
instead, it was a love story..
of a couple who did not live happily ever after...
but they live, loving each other..