on 14th of January, 2016, my Great Grandmother passed away.
I cannot feel the change because I feel as if she’s still right here with us, but I also do feel the change because no one is smiling around her like they always do around her anymore.
No more of her to give us traditional candies during Chinese New Year. No more of her to be amused when she tries to stuff money in our pockets. No more of her speeches at the grave site of her Husband. No more of her to bring around for celebrations. No more of her home filled with all kinds of visitors. No more of her smile and laughter. no more of her in this world.
She is the reason our huge family stays close together. Her home is the destination for gatherings, celebrations, events that bring us together. Without her, I wonder if it will ever happen again, no more holding of plates to the playground with those of the same generation. no more gossip and laughter surrounding the house from all generations. No more having an excuse to see one another again.
A whole line of kin circles her coffin, some hold their head up to avoid the pain, some peered in to make sure they remember her, some just aren’t emotionally in touch with her to feel the pinch.
I watch as tears streamed down faces of my family; my Grandmother, my Grandfather, my aunties and uncles. many just couldn’t bear to see her in that state ; dead and gone.
I reach The Coffin and I want to look down because I don’t want to forget her. I’m terrified by how different one can look without life in them anymore. There is a familiar face but there isn’t a familiar energy anymore. She’s just motionless and empty and gone, which saddens me even more when I look at her. Her chest no longer moves up and down like the previous days, her wrinkles no longer crease a little more or less, her mouth no longer moves like she’s murmuring prayers and goodbyes.
Just a week before she passed, she held and caressed my hand and gave me the best smile she could give to me. She worries about my Grandmother like she always does and asks me about them as they were in Japan. Like always, she asks me if i had eaten. Her compassionate and usual self, that’s how I want to remember her.
It’s saddening to know that death has cost you one less person you love to be with you and to give you more memories, but death also reminds us to cherish more, cherish what we have while we still can. people unexpectedly go every day, only loving and cherishing them every single day will be safe.
Even though we always say we must cherish, it isn’t an eAsy thing to do. Spending time with others when you have your own life to move forward into, giving up the outside life to stay with your origins, a lot of sacrifice has to be made. I wish I could say I will make the sacrifice but I don’t know yet, I don’t know what will become of me. I have not stepped into the outside world, I am still in my cradle in the family, safe and always near to those I want to cherish. I’m afraid that once I start to drift away from this cradle, i would neglect the importance of time spent with family. I can only hope that I am smart enough to make the right decisions in my life that do not lead me to the pain of regret.