Death…is it scary? I am not sure who is more scared – the one facing it or the ones facing the one who is facing it. There was a documentary about death on sat, hosted by Billy Wang. He is one who has cheated the death of cancer and came to know God and love his family in a totally different way. The documentary asked many passersby and those chronically ill if they are scared of death. The overall conclusion is: death is a taboo topic especially in the Chinese traditions. But if you are “prepared”; i.e. you have organized everything and done all you need and want to do; death is nothing to be afraid of.
I found out that death is scary if it takes you by surprise. After watching such a provocative documentary, I can’t help but be reminded when death took me by surprise last May.
We have just finished conducting our great grand-aunt’s funeral in Apr. She passed away due to old age; in her sleep. It was peaceful according to the witnesses.
Less than one month later, we are back at the same void deck; mourning the loss of our beloved Ah Ma (grandmother). It was the same HDB void deck that formed my childhood memories. The place where my brothers, cousins and I played, ran and chased. Ironically, it became a place engulfed in an air of uncontrollable grief, unstoppable tears and inconsolable heartaches.
Ah Ma left us in just less than 1 month after our aged great grand-aunt (lovingly known as our great grandmother because she isn’t married).
Why did death took us by surprise? Because she was healthy one day and the next day, she was hospitalized due to complaints of breathing problems. Thereafter she was diagnosed of lung cancer – uncommon for one who don’t smoke. The day she started on the cancer medicine, she was rushed to the hospital due to the tearing of her stomach linings.
It was a tough decision to make then- conduct an operation to mend the tear (high possibility of her passing on in the operating theatre due to lung failure) or let her be (i.e. watch her get weaker by the toxic in her body and eventually that will cause all her organs to shut down).
Both choices seemed to be not a choice at all! No one could make a decision or rather no one wanted to make the decision. But no decision is a decision by itself.
It was one of the toughest night that we spent in the hospital with her. Holding her hands and praying fiercely for a miracle.
Early next morning, we witnessed her opened her eyes one last time, looked around the room occupied by all who loved her, breathed her last breath on earth and left us with “miss-u-all” tears in her eyes.
Death took us by surprise when we are least prepared for it.
But I know we are all trying to move on and believing that this will bring us even closer. And our loved ones continue to leave fond memories in our heart.
I doubt that one can ever be “fully prepared” for death. But when it arrives at our doorstep, it will be good to say “no regrets”. I have loved and fought a good fight of faith; no regrets.