Wednesday, August 16, 2006


An old friend of my grandmother's passed away two days ago. We went down to the wake last night and for the first time in 10 years, I wept.

I didn't know what brought that about but I think I do now. It's the same feeling of loss that I felt 10 years ago at my grandmother's funeral. I try hard nowadays to remember her but I can't. It's like trying to grasp at sand that just seems to flow right through your fingers. Her friends do though.

They told me once about the times that my grandmother was there for them. Taking them in when they had nowhere to go. And it touched me to see them remember her for who she was. I felt obligated to continue what she had done before. Visiting them every Chinese New Year and sitting down to talk to them for however long they wanted to talk for. Because it was what she would have done and I wanted to continue that. So that they would not forget. And in a way, so that I wouldn't either.

I failed.

I haven't visited them every Chinese New Year. I haven't seen Kian Hock Soh in over 2 years already. The last time I visited her she gave me an Ang Pow even though I was married and despite my protests, she would not take it back. I felt humbled and shamed. It was supposed to work the other way around because that was what my grandmother would have wanted.

I heard from one of the other friends that Kian Hock Soh was crying at the hospital and I kept thinking that I should have been there in place of my grandmother. To comfort her or just be a presence. But I wasn't. I didn't even know.

Perhaps what really set this off was the fact that the people who knew my grandmother are leaving. And that means that my grandmother's leaving too.

I wish it wasn't so. I wish there was more time. But there isn't.

And I can't do anything about it.


Blogger rook said...

All we can do is to make the most of the time we have.
Don't hold on to the guilt though... allow yourself to mourn, to feel the loss and the remorse, yes. Let it motivate you to do things differently, perhaps. But don't hold on to the guilt.

Wed Aug 16, 01:26:00 pm 2006  
Blogger Packrat said...

Thanks. :)

Thu Aug 17, 10:19:00 am 2006  

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