On the 11th April, I was in school. I received news that she’s almost losing her breath.. I really wanted to go visit her for the last time.. I just wanted to share the gospel before she leaves.. I got people to pray for her, and to God be the glory that during the period of praying, He kept her alive; in fact, very alive until evening.. There’s was definitely enough time for someone to have shared the Good News with her, but I don’t know if she heard the gospel… I heard from relatives that during that period, she even talked to each of her 11 + 2 children (1 passed away, 1 couldn’t be reach) and was even able to tell them accordingly what she wants for her funeral.. It’s true.. And I went to sleep in hall, still praying within my Spirit that she’s ok. It was almost 1 am when I went to bed.
On the 12th April, I was woken up by the alarm at about 9am. Immediately, I went to check my phone. 1 message recevied. ‘laopopo passed away at 1.49am last night..’ I was shocked. Images of time spent with her flashed back.. Fear engulfed me as I thought of the wake.. I was afraid. Afraid that what happened to Mum at grandpa’s wake would happen again. Afraid that I won’t know how to react to the ritual.. Afraid. What made it worse was Aunt saying that she won’t be going back for the wake… “I am more than a conqueror in Christ who gives me strength.” I held on to this promise for the next few days…
On the same day, I dragged myself to the usual place that I study — meeting room. I was supposed to meet EunL but decided not to because I know I wasn’t in the right condition to. I went to the meeting room, in hope that there would be people around so that I won’t have to be alone, but no, there wasn’t. I put down my stuff, and I tried to start studying. I couldn’t. Tears started to flow uncontrollably.. JasC came in so I tried to hide my puffy eyes but still, she saw me crying. Thank God for sending her at that moment, if not, I believe it would have been worse.
On the 14th April, Mum, sis and I took a budget flight to Ipoh, after which we took a cab to Ayer Tawar. The flight was terrible.. The turbulence was so bad, I thought the place would crash any moment. I really kept praying in my heart for journey mercy.. It’s true… At the same time, I trusted my life in God’s hands.
We reached Ayer Tawar at about 5.30pm. The moment we stepped out of the cab, I was lost. Not physically but mentally. It felt like there was alot of things going on.. But there wasn’t really much.. “过来过来，要跪下来爬过去拜老婆婆…” At that moment, I really wanted to cry already.. But I held myself back because I needed to be strong for my mum, whom I know is really upset. I walked to her coffin and saw her lying peacefully inside. My heart broke and thoughts started to flow again as I looked at her.. I really wanted to talk to her for that last time..
We went to change into the clothes that we had to wear for the wake; the white shirt and black pants. And the next moment, the ritual started. It was crazy.. It went on from about 6pm till nearly 12am.. It’s true..
There were alot of thoughts in my head when I went through the ritual with the rest. But one thing I know for sure is that: I follow the ritual not because I believe in what they believe. I do it only because I respect 老婆婆. And I don’t want to create a situation where if I don’t do it, people get stumbled and think that I am not filial and disrespectful. So if you ask me why as a Christian I still did that, that’s what I will tell you.
I went to 五舅公’s house to sleep that night.
On the 15th April, we woke up at about 9am. Hanged around at his place for a little longer till about 12pm before we went to over to the wake again. At 老婆婆’s house in the afternoon, we played mahjong, took photos, ate and chatted till about 5.30pm, and the rituals start again. Again, it ended about 12am. Went to shower, eat supper at 十字路, then went back again to play mahjong through the night. It’s the last night of the wake already and we’ve all decided to stay awake throughout..
On the 16th April, by about 8am, almost everyone was already awake. We were all getting ready for the last ritual before 老婆婆 was buried. Before we moved off, we did some phototaking with 老婆婆 for the last time. We walked the route that 老婆婆 used to love to take; it’s about 2km, before getting on the bus to the cemetery. Everytime the coffin is being lifted, we were to face in the direction away from the coffin. I don’t know why but they said it’s not good to see the coffin being lifted.. Well.. So I just followed to appease them. I really wanted to witness the whole process of the coffin being buried, but we were made to leave in a haste. So we left for 小舅公’s house to put 老婆婆’s 灵位 there. After that, we went back to 老婆婆’s house to eat, clear up, and settle stuff before everyone parted.
Ah chai jiu jiu drove us to KL, and we took a coach from there to Singapore. Reached at about 2am, took a cab home and slept at about 3am.
Well, this doesn’t seem like it’s very interesting to read but it’s really all for memory sake, and who knows? Perhaps next time I can come back to this post to tell my kids about my 老婆婆. (:
In Loving Memory of Dearest 老婆婆…
Passed on: 12th April 2012, 0149hrs
Dates of wake: 12th April to 16th April 2012 (Thurs to Mon)
Place: Sitiawan, Ayer Tawar