It has been a year since my grandmother’s passing
it still feels so surreal tt if this morning you told me yesterday she passed on, i might have believed it
i dint dream of her for a year, and i never had, except for one i had a few days before her death. I dreamt she died in the hospital (she was staying at home at tt time), there were very few ppl in the hospital and the silence was deafening but resounding throughout the hospital
and whadyouknow, she passed away in a hospital at night after her body lost the battle of major system failure, and in just one day. It was a sunday night and the hospital was understaffed. the wait for the ppl to come and collect her in this big tray like thingy with metal casing felt like the longest half and hour of my life. the urge to just jerk my body forward and cry like a child met with such resistance and strength i never knew i had. it was then i realised i had grown a little.
it was i believe about 3am when her body was carried away by these 2 men into a van which drove away to prepare her for embalming.
the following days tt ppl came to her funeral, of which i would say 90% of them were unfamiliar to me, came down to pay their last respects to her coffin of which her dead body, with pasty makeup, her favourite clothes tt she wore in a genting trip, a hole in her neck caused by the embalming covered up nicely, with her snowy white hair rested in peace. Her spirit, i believe, was near, with eyes tt could see through what was in ppl’s hearts; grief, regret, guilt and sorrow.
she had a heart made of solid gold, platinum and all the other precious elements, pure and lovely. she was the kind of woman tt would thank the cleaner at the local kopitiam with such sincerity you could see the most unsmiling faces begin to beam with warmth. How her grace could be so unfailing i could never imagine, considering the life of hell she had before.
she was a child bride, sold to another family for money. BEing a child bride meant tt the new family’s ppl were now her lords and masters. They could marry her to one of their sons, or work her to the bone, or both.
her childhood was the latter. She had a horrible grandmother tt tortured her to work in the field with the manure and dirt. She woke up the earliest and went to bed the latest. She ate alone after everyone had eaten and did the washing, the sweeping and carrying of logs on her frail back. ppl laughed as manure was dumped on her.
even the day after she gave birth she was put to work again.
these stories were only shared at the funeral, even my mother had never known of them.
my mother’s only inkling of my grandmother’s past was in the last few DAYS of her life when she started having nightmares of her grandmother.
I can’t even begin to imagine the tears that she bore, her pride stripped away, without hope of comfort. yet she spent most of her life just going on and on and on, having been forced to give up everything she had,without complain, smirk or whine. it really makes me wonder how ungrateful so many of us are when we drone on about our family, school, work, time, when we could be living so much better lives by just realizing we’re already unbelievably blessed.
i think we all have so much to learn
to my grandmother, mdm poh tee, an amazing woman
with the utmost respect and admiration, her granddaughter.