fire80 mentioned about lighting a candle for the September 11 victims. It reminded me of something that we (grieving mothers) used to do. Before I gave birth to my toddler and after the death of my Vincent, I used to light candles. I love candles and tea lights. But with toddlerÂ around, it is a fire hazard. Now, I don’t even have matches and lighters at home.
Back then, we used to do so on some deceased children anniversaries or birthdays. It is a comforting to do because out there, in Australia, New Zealand, UK, USA and other countries, we know that someone is actually doing something for us.
But over the years, I have less of those mellow feelings and I guess it is a good sign that I have moved on. However, through my involvement with mothers from overseas, I notice that they are a lot more expressive of their feelings. Some of the mothers who are old enough to be my mothers, who babies died at birth and if they had lived, would be the same age as me, are still talking and doing things for their deceased child. Get it? Mother mourning over a child that would be late 30s who died at birth? I find that a little uncomfortable and that’s why I left all the overseas group and started my own little Malaysian group of 30+ members, consisting of fathers and mothers.
So, seriously, the other day when Steve Irwin died, I was ‘oh, ok’ and did not mention anything. Why? Because I never like his show, his breath-y voice and those ugly khakis and tempurung hairstyle. The phytons look more beautiful. But oh my…..I notice on my MSN and especialy my son’s MSN, tortoises (or are they turtles, wateva) were crawling all over. I mean, seriously? That dramatic? I sniggered at the uproars that old lady Greer created, calling Australians idiots for their dramatic expression of grief.
I did a little check on my trusted grief guru’s site and yeap, it talks about Public Grief:
Public Grief, although thought of as a new phenomenon, is not. From man’s earliest records people gathered together to share a loss in villages and towns throughout recorded history. In modern times, with television, we are able to get to know people we have never met in a way we never thought possible. When that person dies, we feel a personal loss, even though they are not a member of our family or a close friend.
Let me look back…On John Lennon’s death, I was at a student exchange camp when I was in Form Four. We read the news on the papers and I was a bit shaken ‘cos John Lennon’s vinyl records played often in my home (my brother’s). During Princess Diana’s funeral, I did shed some tears looking at her sons. And especially that Elton John’s song of ‘Make me a channel of your peace’ (St. Francis Assisi’s prayers). I remembered how grieved our nation was at our ex-PMs Tun Razak and Tun Hussein Onn’s funeral. I know both PMs have very handsome looking sons. Too bad they are fat and bald now. 🙂
Well, that’s that. I don’t think we Malaysians are going to do much more other than that few tears shed at some touching scenes at funeral. Or are we going to emulate the Western folks in a huge show of public grief? Look, we did not even remember much about those tsunami victims, Genting towers tragedy and so many other major deaths. Do you think we will one day be as expressive as the Western folks by doing candlelight vigil, multi-hues ribbons etc etc? I don’t think so.
It is better this way because frankly, we are bound to die one day. Not a day more, not a day less. It is good for people to remember but an over showing of emotions and dramas can lead many people into depression. Even those bystanders will get themselves into a blue period. Yayayaya, I am one bitter and uncaring person. ‘Cos I saw a rainbow this evening. A beautiful rainbow. But you know what? The one time when I saw a rainbow along the north-south highway four years ago, I thought I was going to find a healthy son waiting for me in UMMC, KL (I was travelling from Penang). But the next night, I brought back his cold, stiff body. So, stuff it – those over showing of public grief. No big deal for me.
Awww…did I just make everyone depressed? Please don’t. ‘Cos I am just testing my skill in being melodramatic. I promise to write about overweight aunties wearing harajuku or wtf you call those anime fashion clothes in Tesco. OMG, the horrors! And aunties putting their bi-focal wtf! spectacles on their heads like a pair of Oakley shades at 11.30 pm in a hypermarket. The world is ending…..Plus, plus old uncles who are almost bald, gel their hair to stand like a punk. Laterz…