29.Dec. This date used to hold only one significant event in my life. Now it holds 2. The birth of my baby brother and the passing of my paternal grandmother. One's a beginning of a life chapter, the other a closing. Both mark the 'last', a sibling and a grandparent.
I was too young to know what was going on when both my paternal and maternal grandfathers passed on. I was first year in uni when my maternal granny passed on. During the wake, Sep 11 2001 happened. And now my paternal granny decided that we should count down with her for 2011.
I realised I look at death of a loved one very differently, at least compared to 10 years back.
"Family and friends, we gather here to grief... and celebrate the death of a great woman. My grandmother. We grief for the loss of her company and the chance to physically love her and hold her. But we are also here to celebrate. Celebrate 86 years of life well spent. My grandmother didn't grow up in the most cushy environment. Having gone through the war, bringing up a hoard load of kids and painstakingly going through the passing of her husband, three sons, one daughter-in-law and a grandchild.
Nevertheless she soldiered on.
I had the priviledge to go through her notes. Notes she made herself. Her innermost thoughts, and her documentation of signigicant events. Events like our weddings, her birthday celebrations and her favourite festival, Chinese New Year. Though her words were short, and simple, I could feel the love that flowed as she wrote the notes down.
What made me tear, she had Qingyou's wedding dates noted in it too. She sat through one, but unfortunately, she will miss the other one.
Her love and care, though sometimes shown as tough love nurtured her children and whom brought up the bunch of grandchildren, whom she is very fond, and proud of. Standing amongst us are teachers, professionals, engineers, financiers and many many more, whom in our own right and established ourselves and in some way or another added value to the people around us.
Isn't this a testimony of 86 years well spent?
So while we grief at the future love and comfort we would have given and received from her, let's at the same time celebrate her past 86 years. A lifetime well spent."
In 1986, my youngest brother was born. But throughout my almost 30 years of life, I had made many many good friends whom I call brothers. So in 2010, 29 Dec, comes the passing of my last Grandparent, I am consoled to know that I will, like the many brothers I made, have the fortune of having and meeting grandparents of life.
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