Paraquat – Slowly and surely (Part 2)

She got very sick and was admitted to the Klang Hospital. She was on ventilator. Paraquat does that. It damages the lungs, gut and practically, all the internal organs. Most people die immediately. Some die painfully. But she was a fighter.

The doctor gave her only 3 days. She sms-ed me the whole time as she can’t talk anymore. My baby was just a few months old then and there was nothing that I can do because he was still relying on my breastmilk. But God must heard my pleas. A few people appeared to help.

She has a daughter whom she loves very, very much. She was 8 years old. She stayed in a Buddhist home.

This lady didn’t want me to tell her daughter. Because it would mean that her mother would know about it. And so would the children shelter home’s monk which she cannot stand. Yeah, she got a very fierce temper (not the monk but her) and very stubborn.

But common sense forced me to phone up the shelter home and tell the home supervisor. They rushed her daugther to see her mom in the hospital. But the lady refused to meet her mom. And her mom, being in her 60s did not want to create any pressure to her dying daughter.

So, the daughter went to visit her mother alone in that few days. Only the child went in. The mother did not. Especially the monk. She told me she was going to pull out all her tubes (self-extubate) if they come close! Each time, I would get some sms about how happy they are. And she dropped the news….

She asked me to take care of her daughter for her. She wants me to take custody. I know she is dying, so I told her not to worry. I wanted her to go in peace. Things will take care of itself later.

That night, a group of people called me up and asked me to go to Klang Hospital to get the paperworks done. They told me that she wants her daughter to be brought up in a Christian home. They even told me that a lawyer will be there.

I did not know what to reply. Early next morning, I rushed to my church and told my priest about it. I told him that this little girl still has a grandma. Though I want to fulfil this dying woman’s wish, I know that the girl is better off with her grandma.

My priest told me to rely on God. Whatever is best, it will be done. And I returned home, plotting something else. I know that only forgiveness will make her die in peace.

After 3 days, she hadn’t die. But she was still very stubborn about not seeing her mom. Somehow or other, a friend staying in Seremban called me and said she is going to Klang Hospital the next morning.

From Seremban, she travelled to Klang. At the hospital, she found the mother at the reception of the ICU, restless. All along, we had known the mother as what she described. All the negative points. But no, it turned out otherwise. The poor old lady was not ready to walk in and make peace with her daughter.

My special friend from Seremban decided to be the middle person. She ‘invited’ the mom to go in with her. And mother and daughter reconciled. With tears. If my friend had not taken that trip to Klang, probably the mother would still hesitate.

That very night itself, she died. The guy friend told me that she died with a smile on her face. I met up with her daughter, mother and the guy last year. She had died for two years. I cannot remember the exact date but I know it is in August.

She had many other things that she wanted to tell the world. But after meeting up with her mother, I know that some things are best left unsaid. Either to her mother or to anyone. There had been too many misunderstandings between her mom and herself.

But I am glad that she died in peace after reconciling with her mom. Her mom had sent her little grand-daughter elsewhere. I do not wish to communicate further because I cannot shoulder their burdens. I can only pray that the little girl will grow up with a loving home one day. Grandma is working for a living and cannot take care of her. Grandma is a strong willed woman who should know what is best for her grand-daughter. Well, I hope. And I pray.

Wherever you are, M, remember to watch over JS. I cannot fulfil that promise, I am sorry. I hope JS’s birthday this year is celebrated in a happy home with a new family. I heard she is now staying with a couple whom are both doctors. I guess your mom knows better. They probably make a better parent than me.

I have faith in Jesus. He will lead JS and watch over her. Rest in peace, girl. Amen.

**To all individuals with mental depression, schizophrenia, bipolar disorder/manic depression and other mental problems, I pray that you have good people to help you along the way. Suicide is not the answer. May you find someone to help you. As for the rest of us, sometimes, a little smile, a warm touch, a hug, a concern email can and will help someone. **

16 thoughts on “Paraquat – Slowly and surely (Part 2)

  1. My secondary school friend’s dad committed suicide using paraquat a few months ago. He drank 2 glass full of it…and died hours later.
    I think sometimes a simple “how are you” will prevent these kind of things from happening.. showing that someone still cares, you’re still being loved and all is important.

  2. I have a friend who constantly cuts herself and has suicidal thoughts and it really pisses me off because she’s not doing it due to stress or anything but because she seeks attention. Peer pressure mostly. A smart girl turning into a dumb one..very sad. We advised her many times but she does not seem to want to understand. It is now up to her whether she wants to drop that attention-seeking habit because if she doesn’t, no one would bother and maybe it’ll be better coz she’ll realise that doing all those nasty suicidal cuts won’t draw any attention to her anymore.

  3. S-Kay, I think your friend needs immediate medical attention before it is too late. The mental disorders mentioned by Lilian are not necessarily caused by stress but due to a certain chemical imbalance in the brain. Schizo does not choose it’s victim. It happens to the brightest and happiest of people. I don’t think she is seeking for attention. She needs support .. especially from the ones dearest to her ….. Ignoring her won’t help ….

  4. Echo what Pompit says. Trying to commit suicide is not attention seeking behaviour. Its a mental disorder, a disorder often misunderstood especially in our culture. When someone has a mental disorder, sometimes its not even due to stress (though stress can make it worse) but rather a chemical imbalance or it could be the person could even be genetically predisposed to such condition, yet it is so misunderstood, the person does not receive the support and understanding of even the people closest to them and is often shunned and avoided making them worse.

    On another note Lilian, perhaps JS has found a better home now. Maybe having the doctor couple look after her is better than the grandma after all. I have a new addition to my family. My bro and sil has just adopted a baby. Though I feel sad that the baby has to be separated from its natural parents for whatever reason. I am happy for my bro and know that the baby will be well taken after by a couple who cannot have babies. So perhaps JS is better off now.

  5. according to a pyshciatrist(?) young people would be attracted to the thought of suicide when they attend a funeral of a friend who died of suicide. they see the expression of love, grief and regret over the dead person and if they are seeking attention, suicide is attractive as they will then be the centre of attention. morbid.

  6. touching story; thanks for sharing.
    suicidality is often a symptom of major depression. although having a lot of love sometimes help, i have to disagree with Kuzco (the implication of saying how are you would? prevent suicide) as that would place a huge burden of guilt on family members of people who have attempted/commmitted suicide. i’ve treated many suicidal patients before, and lemme tell you, more often than not, they come from loving families.
    no one knows what causes depression although it is postulated to be cause by a chemical imbalance. however, this doesn’t stop it from being such a social taboo in Malaysia, that people don’t talk about/seek help for it.
    Having said all that, personality disorders can manifest with self-inflicted injuries, and these people often DO do it for the attention. These people need to really look at the hurt and worrying they put their families through.

  7. sob. we should all learn to look out for good behaviors and compliment it rather than picking on bad ones. it’s hard to do but i think that’s the best way to overcome such terrible attention seeking behaviors.

  8. Glad to see some discussion here. It is true, the patients cannot do much about it because it is something in their brain chemical.

    Until today, M’s mother still have not accept the explanation on illness. I tried explaining to her that M did not meant to hurt her intentionally but her brain screwed up and she can’t make proper judgement and etc.

    Some people commit suicides either because they thought that they are a burden to the family (like what happened to my relative) and some, think that they may ‘enjoy’ the attention their funeral brought. Like Mrs B mentioned. Some think it is a heroic act. Some try to run away from problems.

    But usually, we ostracised them as being cowards, irresponsible etc. Even the suicide victim families are left with lots of anger at the action. It is a very obscure matter and most times, a deep, dark, family secret. My cousin too commited suicide when she was about 17 years and my uncle (my mom’s adopted brother) fell sick and died after a few months.

  9. CAP (Consumer Association of Penang) asking the government to ban paraquat for than 20 years. To date, there is still inaction from the responsible parties.

    Yes, anyone who want to suicide can find anything to kill themself, but paraquat is a poison that can be easily acquire and guarantee gross death. In addition, paraquat sold in less developed country like Malaysia does not come with adequate warning on the herbicide : Only under US government juridisction, strong odour additive is added into paraquat. Unless farmer applying paraquat with full protection coat, they will develop paraquat syndrome due to exposure to paraquat, it is just matter of time.

  10. most often suicide is an attention seeking stunt. I should know.. I’ve attempted suicide before… twice to be exact. Not many ppl understand why a person who is smart, beautiful, successful and etc would stoop so low just for attention. I don’t really know either. But it would be nice if my parents addressed the issue of depression and suicide instead of pretending that it never happened and sweep it under a rug. A depressive person needs not only support to see thru those dark hours… a person might appear to heal from depression but if it’s not treated the person will always lapse back into depression at the merest of provocation. I truly believe that to heal a depressive person anti-depressants play a big role. But professional help and medications are expensive and most ppl cannot afford it

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