Monday, August 14, 2006

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Hi. Thank you all for your comforting words. The funeral was yesterday.

The passing of my Grandaunty was to me, a very interesting event. I saw (some positive and some negative) facets of people which I had not seen before.

1) The relatives
I was practically adopted by my grandaunt, albeit without any official papers. Born out of wedlock (although my parents married a month later), I was thrust into my grandaunt's arms when I was 2 months' old, and when she was 52. Now, parents out there will know how tough it is to look after a new born when you're in your 20s... this woman was in her 50s!

My grandaunt had a hard life, with all her children passing on before her. Who she had left was her son-in-law (now 78), her 3 grandchildren, her 9 great-grandchildren, and me. In terms of blood ties, I was the furthest one away.

So why was it that it was me and my wife who was taking care of ALL the final details? Or that it was only the 2 of us (together with my children) being at the wake alone for 3 full days? Why was it that the "family" came only on the evening on the 3rd day, only to leave early? In my mind, they behaved more likes guests rather than family members.

Yet when it came time to walk around the casket, they reached out and carressed the casket as though they cared.

It's all BS. It disgusted me. I can't be too bothered to be angry with them. But all this wayang (showmanship) got to me.

Urgh

It's funny... that the 2 people who were REALLY affected were myself and another girl whom my grandaunty looked after as part of her bid to earn more money. This girl who visited her when she was in the nursing home, who tried to hide her sobs, whose company sent a wreathe dedicated to "her grandmother". Somehow, I felt it was enough that the 2 of us were there... not the grandchildren, nor the great grandchildren.....

2) The friends
My friends came for 3 days in a row.. many repeatedly. They came and they hugged me, joked with me, spent time with me, prayed with me. They knew, inside, that I needed them at this time when I was feeling very vulnerable. I did not expect anything.. but got everything.

Thanks guys

3) The colleagues
One of my colleagues visited unannounced. His presence and the look on his face showed me his concern. Another was tasked to deliver the "pek kim", or the contributions from the office. This one was interesting; she hemmed and hawed.. and finally when she did come, she called me on the phone and asked to me to meet her outside because she had just "gone to the temple and therefore cannot go for such things".. why? So she can pass me the pek kim.

I wanted to tell her to go shove it. I didn't need the money. I didn't need for you to come to give me all this lip service. But I didn't want to insult the rest... but this one, she pissed me off really badly.

Another one of my colleagues covered for half a day in a branch because I was away.. the first thing she did? Write me an email... "condolences.. blah blah.. as this is a mutual swop, please cover my duty on blah blah blah date".

Bah.

4) My family
My wife and my daughter were with me almost all the time (my boy is 18 months and it was difficult to bring him to the wake). My girl, who is almost 6, took it upon herself to make sure the peanuts and candy were well stocked. She also hugged me.. and comforted me and she sensed that I was down.

Of course, my wife. She was always there for me. Always.

My in laws? Thanks for the home-cooked meals. The quiet looks of concern.


I love you all..


Sorry guys... had to vent vent vent...

1 Comments:

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