Paraquat – Slowly and deadly (Pt 1)

“It is damn salty… I took just a sip. I spit it out.”

That was the SMS message I got, in August two years ago.

I don’t know her and she doesn’t know me either. We were only online acquaintance. I am in Penang, she was from Klang. But somehow, our paths crossed. I ran a support group for parents whom have lost a child due to death. She joined. Normally, I do not prod very deep when we have new members because their emotions are raw and hence, I give them space to talk.

She was very active, often telling us how she missed her daughter. It is only much later, when we had endeared to her very lively mails that we knew her daughter is alive. But was taken away because of her mental health.

She had committed suicide a few times, stayed in Hospital Bahagia for several months and had big problems with her mother. She is a single mother.

We (a few of us mothers from KL and Penang) tried all we can to help her get back on her feet. She was pretty, long hair, educated and her looks had captured many. When we knew her, she is only a shadow of her former self.

I tried arranging for a dentist to help her because she was greatly distressed with her teeth. Then, through divine intervention, a sub-editor from The Star came along. Sub-ed took her for counselling. Any other people would have shunned this woman because she went around with a few bags of stuff, untidy and not ‘normal’. A few of us tried several shelter homes to accomodate her. WAO, Christians shelter homes and finally, I was about to approach the Office of Human Development (run by the Catholic church). We had also made arrangements with Legal Aid to fight the custody of her child.

She badly wanted to ‘get back on her feet’ and work again so that she can qualify to take her daughter back.

She befriended someone when they were in Hospital Bahagia. So, both of them provided each other some sort of support. But he is not able to keep up to her mischiefs. The two of them would often make nuisances with her mother. Hence, the mother was very, very angry with her own daugther and also him.

Just when I thought that I had found a shelter home for her, she decided to take a sip. Being dependent on medications, anything can happen. She lived alone in a rented room far away from him. So, no one is there to supervise whether she takes her meds.

She often get mad at him too. Because she expected something deeper than a normal friendship and he later told me he has no capability to be that person. He was out of work due to his past histories.

On one of her birthday, she sms-ed me to say ‘goodbye’. I was in church at that time and hurriedly sms-ed a few of my bereaved moms group members to wish her Happy Birthday and cheer her up. She was fine after that and even wrote a very long letter to me.

She told me that all our wishes and concerns had stopped her from doing something foolish. That was in April. Later on, in August….

She took that ‘drink’ and sms-ed me.