April 10, 2014

Dealing with the passing on of a family member…

Posted in Uncategorized at 5:35 am by alextrg

I’m still not over with my mums’ passing 4 years ago (still feels like yesterday).

And now dad has decided to go find mum.

Doctor suspected it’s there was a blockage in his intenstinal tract. Apparently because his had his appendiks removed, the surgery may have caused an infection to slowly develop over the years.

On 30th March, received a text message from my sis that she decided to place dad in the hospital as he has been having fever for the past two days and it hasn’t subsided. I didn’t see the message until later at night. I texted back asking how was his condition(I should have called, why didn’t I call?). No reply. Only saw her reply next morning(she messaged back 12am) that dad was still in the hospital and the doctors had taken blood samples for analysis.

Went to work. I don’t know why but I felt a bit uneasy knowing my dad was in the hospital and here I was at work. He is 75 this year. Physically fit, as the doctors tell us, he is physically fit as can be, just his memory is gone.

Around 3pm, got a brief message from sis ‘Come to hospital after work’. My gut feeling went south from then onwards.

Thoughts were running through my head. Did something bad happen? Why did she just text me such a short message? Should I call? Should I just take emergency leave and go over there and then?

I don’t know why, but maybe coz I was afraid of the worst, I decided to do as my sis requested, go over after work.

Reached Hospital Kuala Lumpur just after 7pm. If you have never been to Hospital Kuala Lumpur, please check google map for the layout of the area as it is very big, and somewhat confusing.

When I got to dads’ bed, he was hooked up to a defibrilator, had drips on. Sis was holding on to his hand. It did not look good at all. Her eyes were swollen from crying.

His condition got worse after lunch, when his vitals started to get bad. X-ray showed that he had a black patch of something on his left side near the intenstinal tract. They had put a tube in to drain the fluid, filled up one bag immediately, and then they took that for analysis and place a new bag. When I got there, the fluid had slowed down flowing through the tube. But he was having difficulty breathing, and his heartbeat was at 140+.

Took over sis and held dads’ hand. It was cold. From the IV drip. Sis went and made some phone calls.

It was a first for me, watching someone you love in pain. Did not help because he was already dillusional. He kept mumbling but I couldn’t make out what it was (Later on I found out my sis said she asked him and he said he was talking to Jesus Christ , I will just take her word for it).

When sis came back, I decided to call up a friend whos’ dad was also there in anothe ward. Dropped by and had a brief chat.

Around 10.20pm, me and sis left the hospital. At this time, dads’ breathing was calmer, and his hearbeat was normal, but his blood pressure was a bit on the low side. Plan was sis would sent me home first, and she would go back shower and then come and stay the night at the hospital with dad. On our way home, around 10.50pm, the hospital called, saying dad was critical and would like us to come back. That is a call nobody wants to get. Texted 2nd sis to let her know, she got just back from Australia.

When we arrived at the hospital, dad was no longer breathing.

I didn’t know how to react.

Called up 2nd sis to let her know.

That was it, mom and dad are together now, as any religion would say, and he now remembers everything. Is it true? Nobody knows.

It still lingers bout the time when I held dads’ hands.

It still ingers bout the last time my mum hugged me at the airport and said ‘If I start to become like your dad , let me know’.

How does one deal with this? It some ways, it feels like a link has been severed.

Why didn’t I head straight to the hospital when I got the message. WHY!

Don’t get me wrong, but I honestly despise funeral proceedings… All that singing bout the lord and how the deceased is now in a better place… I really want to believe it in. But I can’t. If there was really a God, then why is it that in hospitals we have patients who are in vegetative state, family members not knowing what to do. Oh yeah, it’s a life challenge to make us stronger. Bullshit!

What’s ironic is that dad passed away on the eve of April Fools day. His wake was on April Fools day. Not going to be easy to forget now is it.

He was cremated the next morning.

We didn’t do this when my mum was cremated, but, this time round, the son is to pick the bone pieces first to put in the urn, followed by eldest sis, and second sis.

If your not aware, cremation process will not make the deceased into ashes, it is usually grinded later.

It felt a bit strange watching the man pound my dads’ bone into ashes. His bones’ indicated a healthy person, said the guy.

We placed dads’ urn in Taiping at Prestavest Memorial(came up to around Rm 3,000) , as his sister proposed that place.

This was on Saturday, April 5th.

I think coz I wasn’t calm inside, I got easily agitated over small matters.

We spent one day in Taiping, and only came back to KL on Sunday.

Monday went to the government office to settle dads’ pension.

Later, sis found out that there is a thing called Bantuan Jenazah for government employees who have retired. And it’s Rm 3,000. Not a small sum. Why didn’t the government staff ask/inform us about this when we informed them dad had passed away, is another Malaysian Mystery.

Dad’s funeral came up to about Rm 8,000 at Gui Yuan Crematorium(Jalan 229) . And that’s the very basic ‘package'(rental for the room for the wake, casket, snacks, embalming).

On April 7th, sis had a dream, apparently dad is not happy where he is now. And then sis spoke to someone, and in some religions, the 7th day is a crucial day.

So, from what I know now, sis will be going back to Taiping tomorrow to take dads’ urn back.

Not sure where she will keep dads’ urn until she gets a sign from dad on what to do with his remains.

So it’s not over yet.

I feel like a complete mess.

Uncle said I’m too emotional, I wanted to lash back at him ‘You think I want to be?’

Yes, I know everyone goes through this, but how does one cope with it?

Even now…

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