Do you remember my post about my visit to my sister’s father-in-law? I made that post, full of adrenalin. It was on May 12th, 2008.
Then on May 15th, my nephew came back with his wife-to-be (they are getting married in June in a neighbouring country) to give grandpa his cup of wedding tea (please scroll to point # 7). A cup of tea to signify that grandpa has been promoted to grandfather-in-law. I cannot be sure but I think this nephew getting married is the first grandchild to get married. So, it is a big occassion. To me, it is also a big leap (account on my faith blog)
I went to visit him the day before yesterday. He was all fine and even tried to tell me something. Yesterday, we went to take a peep but at that time, the nurses were changing him so I didn’t drop by to say hi.
This evening, my niece sms-ed that he has passed on. I replied her sms with : You all want undertaker ah? If you need any help, tell us lah. We don’t want to intrude now.
After that I went out for dinner with my kids and I told them, you know….Your ma has got to be the most morbid person. People tell her someone passed away, she asked, “Want undertaker ah?”
If that is not enough, while having dinner, I sms-ed my niece again. “Eh, careful that there is no conman undertaker ‘cos the nurses will simply call one ‘cos they get commission.” (These undertakers will charge exhorbitantly, hence, it is good to find undertakers we know. The aunt called one from Tapah, Perak )
I didn’t go immediately because I know they need privacy to deal with it. So, I went to my bible course. After that, I thought of asking my niece how’s everything as I thought they had gone to Ipoh. Incidentally, the undertaker just arrived from Tapah. So, I met up with them at the hospital morgue.
I got a final look of grandpa Chow ‘cos the undertaker obligingly opened the steel coffin for me to see. I said my little prayer for him. Come to think of it, I must thank God that I have morphed into this fearless person. A lone woman (my hubby was nearby lah), standing there beside the steel coffin, with a deceased person, wrapped from head to toe (our local hospital method of dealing with dead bodies) and I stood there and mumbled all the prayers I can remember. Otherwise, without God, I will fled the other direction, I tell you.
It is sort of a farewell to this taukey from Ipoh who owns a dimsum restaurant. He gave my kids angpows, yearly when he comes to Penang on Chinese New Years. I gave him an angpow for good health in return. Other than that, I never talked to him because he speaks only Cantonese (which I can’t) and anyway, what do I have in common to chat with him, right?
He passed on in his sleep. His eldest daughter was beside him. According to my sister, he remembers who is who on these last few days. He has lived a marvellous life, 84 years old, left a big legacy through his children and grandchildren.
So, yes, farewell grandpa Chow and so long. Glad that I have somehow touched your life in your last days and you have ‘forced’ me to overcome my fears of old people. If I had not visited you, I wouldn’t have overcome the fears of going near ailing old folks. My parents, my parents-in-laws all did not allow me the chance to find that courage. (I damn freaked out having to ‘put’ both my in-laws in their coffins, I ran to their feet part so that I don’t need to see their faces. When my mom died, I was pregnant and wasn’t allowed near her.) You did. So I shall remember you.
It is funny how things worked out. In Cantonese, ‘charn kah lou yeh, yat lou soon fong’.
P/S : Anyone knows where in Ipoh town I can rent a nice holiday apartment? Need it for Saturday night.