Thursday, September 19, 2013

The Days After My Father's Passing

It was just another Saturday where we would make our regular visit to my parents' place. My husband had just reached Singapore and would be flying off again in a few days' time for another business trip. After repacking his luggage, we sat huddled in our silver family sedan and were on our way to my parents' place.

The afternoon sun was a blazing fireball.  But the intense heat did not dampen our spirits. The children were happy and looking forward to see their doting grandparents. It was then that my mobile phone rang.

"Aileen, come quickly to see Ah Pa", a panicky voice from my sister-in-law greeted me. 

"I don't think Ah P can make it." She continued almost hysterically.

"I am already on my way," I replied as calmly as I could.

I hung up my phone with a sense of impending trouble. Ah Pa had always been in the pink of health. Surely, it must be just some minor ailment.

When we reached there, my sister-in-law told us with her arms flailing that Ah Pa was sent to the hospital with my brother accompanying him. We drove the rest of the family hurriedly to the hospital.

After many agonising hours of waiting, the doctor broke the bad news to us that the team had tried their best but my father could not be revived. We were stupefied and tears rolled down our cheeks. My two brothers raised their shoulders and used their sleeves to wipe off their tears.

"Why not wait just a few hours for me to come." Childishly I asked and sobbed unabashedly.

The first week after my Ah Pa's passing flew away like a whirlwind. My father is the first person close to me who had passed away. There was so much to do to prepare for the funeral.

I was grateful to my relatives who put aside their work and family matters to come to help us. My friends and colleagues who were so kind and showered me with their support and love during this trying time. 

Thank you all for your generous gifts. Your friendship, support and incredible kindness have been a tremendous blessing to us during this difficult time. Words cannot express our gratitude to you. Thank you again.

As for my beloved Ah Pa, we will always love you and your loud, booming voice, the stories you share and the familiar things you say. You will always live in our hearts.

Above: This was my family portrait taken in a photo studio that marked my graduation. It was one of the proudest moments for my father who has toiled tirelessly to provide for the family. We might be poor but we are one happy family.

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