The last farewell

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Grandpa left us on Sunday at 5 minutes before noon. The whole experience seems so strange & unreal as I stood there staring at Grandpa lying on the hospital bed motionless without any response. I soon realised that he was gone & I was one of the few who didn't have the chance to say goodbye to him. If I hadn't gone back home with Grandma & the rest, we'd be able to be by his side until he drew his last breath. But it's too late to cry over spilled milk.

The next thing was a whirlwind of events as we prepared for the wake which lasted for 2 days. It was an exhausting process - praying & chanting at intervals of 20 minutes or so. Apart from that, we were required to fold paper money which is to be burnt for Grandpa. All these rituals kept us occupied & focused on completing what was necessary instead of sitting at a corner weeping uncontrollably.

Little did we expect that time passed by so quickly. Along came the 3rd day; the last day for us to see his body before we sent him off to the cemetery for burial. Each of us took turns to bid him farewell. As I approached his casket, I could no longer hold back my tears. All I could utter silently that I'll be forever grateful for whatever he did for me all these years & wishing him a safe "journey" to where ever he is heading to. I touched his forehead gently & held there for a few seconds, then left for the next person in line to do his/her deed.

At 10am, we departed to the cemetery with the hearse leading 2 vehicles & a bus I was in with my sister, cousins, close friend & relatives. The burial plot where Grandpa lay to rest overlooks a small hill & the scenery is a picturesque view of a quiet town with peace & tranquility. Hopefully Grandpa loves his new home as this is the best we can provide to show our filial piety & respect.

Dear Grandpa, where ever you are, don't worry as we'll take good care of Grandma. Thanks for being such a great person in our lives. Have a safe "journey" & rest in peace. We'll miss you dearly...

The harsh reality

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

It has been 2 weeks already that Grandpa was being transferred to ICU. His condition became worse after New Year & had to be on a life support machine due to difficulty in breathing. Miraculously, he seemed to be showing signs of improvement 3 days ago as he was able to breathe on his own with minimal assistance from the machine.

The doctor has explained that he will have to remove the machine in order to confirm whether Grandpa is able to breathe independently without any assistance. He would then explain the necessary next steps depending on the situation. If the machine is still required, he will need to perform a surgery by opening a hole near the throat to allow better respiration.

Even though we were doubtful of Grandpa's recovery rate, we saw a glimmer of hope. He was able to breathe on his own without the machine! Unfortunately, he suffered breathing difficulty 2 hours later & the doctor had no choice but to re-attach the life support machine on him. It's a harsh reality, knowing that Grandpa may not survive any longer. What we can only do is hope... =(

The Nutcracker

Sunday, January 13, 2013

It was a pretty last minute decision for me & my sis to purchase tickets for Ballet Festival at Dewan Filharmonik Petronas. The Malaysian Philharmonic Orchestra (MPO) has planned for another ballet inspired performance but this time with a little surprise - a live ballet performance by the Stars of the Moscow Ballet. Prior to the show, I was very intrigued by how the entire dance troupe would be able to perform on stage, with very limited space in the hall. We decided to go for The Nutcracker as we are more well versed with its music.

When we entered the hall, we were surprised that the organiser was able to fit in a backdrop on the stage. The entire orchestra was moved to beneath the stage in order to accommodate the troupe. The performance was divided into 2 parts - Act I & II with an internal of 20 minutes in between. The programme began on time & as soon as the orchestra struck the first few notes, the long forgotten music became all too familiar. It was heartfelt to be able to experience these beautiful melodies I grew up with come to life.

The dancers performed incredibly well even though the size of the stage was indeed a challenge for them to execute their leaps & jumps flawlessly. At one point, the Nutcracker prince nearly fell onto his knees when he was in the midst of his high leaps. The stage was way too small for him, what's more he is a tall man. He covered his mistakes very well which clearly shows a true professional dancer. The protagonist, Marie seemed wobbly at pointe in certain scenes. It could be due to exhaustion from the 2-nights gala performance or just being nervous. She still nailed her performance so we personally had no claims at all.

It was an enlightening experience to able to witness a live ballet performance, what's more from Russian ballet dancers. These performances don't come by often in Malaysia & though pricey, it was worth spending on the tickets. I hope that MPO will consider bringing similar performances to Malaysian shores as more locals are starting to appreciate these art forms. I couldn't help sneaking out my iPhone & managed to snap a  shot of the backdrop in DFP during the interval. Not long after that, I was being warned by a flash of green laser light so I had to keep my phone before it risked being confiscated. Well, one shot is better than nothing... XD

Welcome 2013!

Tuesday, January 01, 2013

Happy New Year! That's the first word I can think of while typing this post. I have survived the end of the world...duh! Do you even believe the world is coming to an end? I, for once, never believed in that prediction from the beginning. 21 Dec was just another last weekday before the much anticipated long Christmas weekend.

So, has 2012 been kind to you? It wasn't for my case. I was left with no choice but to leave a job I enjoyed due to political unrest within the organisation. Then, I was in between jobs for 2 months & experienced slight depression because I was getting weary of not securing one soonest while seeing my savings slowly deplete day by day. Just a week ago, I was feeling devastated hearing news that Grandpa will not survived any longer & was being put on a life support machine in ICU. Can you imagine so many things happening as I blog now?

Now that I've found a stable job that pays decent, I thought I would be a much happier person as the last 6 months had been one hell of a ride. After my last year's resolution was only a simple one - to stay happy & try to be positive. Seems like I failed miserably because I got irritated with everything & everyone around me; the fact that many things didn't turn out the way I expected it to be.

Grandpa has passed the critical stage & he's being moved to HDU, breathing well on his own. He's alert & energetic which I breathed a sigh of relief. I'd must admit he's a great fighter. He has taught me a good lesson - never give up & keep on fighting. Then, you will reap the benefits for all the effort you've contributed. Hence, I've giving myself another chance to fulfill my new year resolutions.
  1. Be optimistic even when times are extremely tough
  2. Spare time to pursue my passions - blogging, culinary & photography
  3. Get WL to slim down by 10kg - difficult but possible XD
Last but not least, cherish your loved ones - be it families or friends. This won't be merely in my 2013 resolution, it's something I'll be doing in years to come so as long as my loved ones are around; alive & healthy. Happy New Year!