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Friday, April 15, 2011

There Are No More Tears In Heaven

The passing of a matriarch.

One of the things I have been discussing of late are my feelings regarding the passing of my late beloved grandmother. During the time of the passing of my grandfather (father's father) I was rather young. The feeling of sadness had more to do with the atmosphere of 'sad' rather than a feeling of personal loss. in short, I was much too young to appreciate the gravity of the situation.

When it was the other grandfather's (mother's father) time to go, I felt sadness as I was close to him for many years while growing up in my family's Taman Tun house - I'll always remember buying filterless Lucky Strikes for him at the sundry shop across the road. And that silly Marlboro joke of his. Fond memories which will live on. However, towards the end of his life, he returned to his and my late grandmother's home at the Rifle Range Flats in Penang. Alzheimer's had ravaged his body and he was virtually bedridden with limited movement. In his absence, sadly, I grew up. His passing was a mercy in my eyes.

Then it was the first grandmother's (my father's mother) time to be called to the Lord. She was old, and by Chinese customs, very very fortunate. I believe she lived to see 5 or 6 generations of the family before she passed - including MY GRAND-NIECE. Yes, I am a chek kong. Before her death, she had a fall which she never really recovered from. After that, she was put in a home as she needed round the clock care. But far from abandonment, my own dad visited her every week until her death. A true matriarch that brought a family divided together. Chinese New Year was not the same at all after that.

Now it comes a time for the Last Matriarch to reach the clearing at the end of her path - Madam Low Kooi Hiang (my mother's mother). This beloved Ah Mah of mine we all hold many fond memories. After all, she & my grandpa did stay with my family for many a year in our TTDI home, and leading up to her death, Ah Mah stayed with us again at our Bandar Utama home. This time though, the feeling of loss of overwhelming. I could not let her go throughout and I still feel as such. Of all the 4 grandparents (actually 5 but that is a story for another day) this time I was somehow involved. Ah Mah was checked into the ICU at Damansara Specialist Hospital (DSH) about 8 days before she passed. That fighter fought her way out of 1 week of ICU before passing in her sleep in the wards - gratefully without all the damned wires and pipes. I visited her almost every day and I cried everytime, seeing her like that.

Admitted in ICU = 27th March 2011;
Transferred to wards = 4th April 2011; and
Passed on = 6th April 2011.

My regret in all this? The last time I saw her on the evening of the 4th. She was sleeping. On the 5th I had a photography assignment in Sunway Hotel right after work so I didn't vist her. In essence, I didn't catch her (conscious) before she went. And I never took her last picture. As a photographer who takes everyone's photo, I did not take my Ah Mah's photo before her death. I didn't want to shoot her in the ICU as all the horrible pipes and wires were all over her. But I missed her in the wards. I took it upon myself to document the funeral and cremation in photos, but somewhere deep in my heart, the emptiness was already there.

Rest In Peace.



For those of you who like statistics:
Vital Stats for April: 3 posts 79 pics
Vital Stats So Far: 62 posts 2,512 pics

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