I have at least 7 books on death, grieving and bereavement. One from my online friend in USA (Zig Ziglar, Confession of a grieving Christian), one from Prof Lucy Lum of UMMC and the rest are bought from Payless used books stores in Ampang Park & Ampang Point. I bought the books from Payless because they cost only RM4.90 each. These are titles which one can never find in our local bookstores. The one from Prof Lucy was bought from Amazon.com. I hardly read the books because I have no more issues in me that needs self-help books. I do not need the books for my own recovery because my very sensible mind had plotted everything and tucked all emotions into their respective corners in my mind.
The book Prof Lucy lended to me is On Death and Dying by Dr. Elisabeth Kubler Ross. I read that because she has taken the trouble to pass me the book. It touches on dealing with terminal patients, geriatic (meaning very old people, the opposite of paediatric) care and explained in details some of the very morbid condition of a dying person. This book was written somewhere in the 60s. God wasn’t featured in Dr Ross’s work. Things are pretty mechanical and technical in this book.
Then, I found On Children and Death in Payless for RM4.90 and bought it, kept it and never bother about it. Until last week when I was down in KL, tucked cosily in a 1,200 sq ft apartment suite. No broadband, no computer, no forum, no blog, no TV, no housework.
So, I took it out and decided to peek through. I notice that Dr Ross’s style of writing has changed. She is now making references to religion. She talks about Christianity and also touches on reincarnation. (Christians believe in resurrection whereby we die and go on living in Heaven. Some other religions believe we die and born again as someone else.) This book is written about 20 years later from the first book. This vast difference of writing style re-inforced my belief that one has to turn to religion somewhere along our life. I don’t know what had changed Dr Ross but I do know that her book now seems more alive.
So much alive that I ended up sobbing at certain chapters. Not so much for my own grief but for the feelings of the children who knew they are dying. Many case studies were featured and all manners of death of children were discussed. It took me a few days to complete reading the book as it can be emotionally draining to go from page to page. Each day, I had to down 3 cups of black coffee to ease the nerves.
It makes me wonder how our medical professionals deal with their work? Especially those who worked with children who have terminal diseases. I wonder if our country has the trained personnels to counsel those parents whose children are dying? I wonder about a 101 things which is actually non of my business. It really is non of my business to care about dying children. I should shut my eyes and pretend that these never happen. I can hide in my cocoon.
But no, I had already put my foot into this matter. I had started writing a bereavement book several months ago. But I had come to a complete standstill because it is really a difficult subject to approach. I want to write a book without touching on religion. The book is meant for Taoist, Buddhists, Muslims, Hindus, Sikhsms, Christians and everyone (these are the faiths of members of my grief support group). I couldn’t find a balance there. I had told my priest (a Catholic) about my intention, I had talked to a psychologist to seek his help and I have the moral supports of Prof Lucy and Dr HK Cheang. Not to mention all the cooperation from the bereaved parents I know. Yet, I have lost that will to carry on this project. I question myself if I am being morbid and enjoy dwelling and wallowing in grief or am I being very courageous to take on this task which could help hundreds and thousands of people? As usual, I like to talk about things I plan to do with the hope that when more people knew that I had boasted about it, I better get it done or else, malu-fied myself. So, I am talking about it and hope it will give me a little push to start writing again. (instead of blabbing on my blog) Morbid or courageous? Courageous or morbid? Tell me please?