grieving

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writing has always been cathartic for me. it’s been a while since I actually used this blog as a outlet.

I had to write an eulogy for my grandma. It was the hardest thing I ever had to write. It started off easy, I had an idea for the direction of the eulogy. Memories came flooding and the words just flowed. Then I burst into tears, at the realisation that she would really be gone after I read out my eulogy for her.

It’s been a long while since I have had to grieve for a closed one. The last one being my maternal grandfather and even then, I wasn’t close to him cos he wasn’t always around.

This time round, she was someone who had been a big part of my life and she had also gotten to know my kids, well, some of my kids depending on where her memory failed. She definitely remembered Oliver, the rest, probably a little hazy.

It all started on 25th March when she first got admitted for UTI. A week’s staycation, then home for a week, and then back in the hospital for another 2 weeks, home for 2 weeks, and then she left us on 5th May in her home.

There were moments of quiet when I visited her at the hospital and when she was awake enough, she would see me and then smile. I would hold her hand and she would then pat me on the face if I was close enough and made a funny face at her. Those pats, seemed like pats of assurance and her comforting me. It was easy to think that she was already 96 and that she had led a good life. But it was hard to let go.

Listening to the doctor explain her CT scans (thank God I didn’t forget my neuropsych) was painful. Hearing the doctor say that Mama probably had dementia for the past 10 years was a revelation. None of us would have known. She acknowledged us when we visited, never had tantrums (something I would have thought dementia patients would do). Then again, we had no reason to suspect she had dementia, given that we rarely carried a conversation with her cos she was hard of hearing. She was just quietly sitting in her wheelchair and watching us, smiling when she caught us looking at her.

There were tears a plenty. It was a loss after all. The first thought that came to mind as I stood in her room, ‘have fun with Kong Kong, don’t nag him too much.’ Her husband passed away 27 years ago. I wouldn’t be sure I could survive that long without Donald..haha.

Do I have any regrets? Fortunately, no. At least I felt that I spent enough time possible with her since she got admitted. I couldn’t bring the kids along, but it bought me a lot of time with her, coaxing her to drink, to try to eat, make movements and taking a lot of photos with her. I got to celebrate her birthday with her, with a balloon and a slice of cake.

But it doesn’t make the loss any lesser. Oliver wasn’t super tactful when he caught me crying (‘what now..?’roll eyes* haha dammit you brat), and Quentin would come over and stroke my arm when he saw me crying. Sarah would of course whinge when she saw me crying in Donald’s arms (‘MAMA!!’) and tried to pull us apart. The crying took a few days; I..just wasn’t ready to say bye yet. And Donald encouraged it, haha I think he rather knows how I am feeling than to hide it in.

And then you get the random Quentin quirks:

Quentin: mummy, is it cos Chor Chor eat alot that’s why she die?
Me: no..she is very old that’s why she died.
Quentin: *sees me spooning macaroni into my bowl* mummy, i don’t want you to eat. You cannot eat.
Me: why?
Quentin: because if you eat alot, you will grow old fast and then you will die. I love you and I don’t want you to die.
Me: *?* oh Quentin, I still have many years to go..and I need to eat some food so I don’t fall sick too. Okay, how about I eat a little each day so I don’t grow old too fast?
Quentin: *perks up a little* okay! Just a little every day ok? So you dun grow so fast. Only I can grow so fast.
Me: Quentin, I will try n live as long as possible for you. Mummy wants to watch you grow up too.

Then we had a chat about him growing up, how one day he may become a daddy, travel on his own, cook for us and grow old.

It obviously set off the waterworks that afternoon.

I didn’t really like what I was feeling to be honest, the crying coupled with swinging hormones wasn’t a good combo. I kept reading the eulogy I wrote as it had a lot of memories of her and me. I thought if I kept reading it, I would not forget about her. I would end up in tears each time I read it. I was afraid that if I accepted that she was gone, the memories I had of her would somehow vanish, like she wasn’t a part of my life. That her gone, would be a new norm. It took many talks with the hubby before I came to a compromise/understanding. He reminded me that the memories were here to stay, regardless of her gone or not.

She was there in the many photos I have together with her. And they won’t disappear.

It took awhile. But I read the eulogy for the last time, I had another good cry. And then I said a quiet bye. Bye Mama. 

The days are better, but there are moments when I get reminded about something and the tears start welling. Heck, just even watching a video about a girl and her grandma trigger the tears. Poor Donald came in to find his wife sobbing away at her desk and he had to stand there comforting me till I could stop crying.

So super thankful for Donald who was a champ and handled the three kids whilst I attended the wake. He took over once I was done putting Sarah down for a nap. And he put all 3 to bed for a couple of nights! It gave me more time to spend with family and my late grandma. Thankful for the help from my mil who cooked for the kids so that they don’t have to eat junk food nor do I have to worry about meals.

I still miss you terribly. But I do know that you are in a better place, so I will seek comfort in that you are in the arms of my Heavenly Father. 

Category: Special

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