Experiencing Grief

The death of someone you know makes you backtrack. All the while hoping that the first step forward will yield a new path. #blonote 20100112

Grief: It is a reaction to a major loss and most often an unhappy and painful emotion.

My paternal grandfather was diagnosed with lung cancer in 2011 and it was probably due to the fact that he had been a smoker for such a  long time, habitually smoking his way through many cigarettes every day. He passed away at the beginning of 2012 and this was the first ever experience I had of a close relative passing away. It has definitely left a deep impact on me.

It was on 10 August 2011 or so when I found out about his illness. We were at an aunt’s home for a National Day gathering of sorts and I was sitting in a conversation my father was having with some of my uncles and aunts about a tumour in my grandfather’s lung. They noticed that something was up recently and brought him for a check-up. As such, they discovered that there was a tumour in his lung. The results were not out yet, though it was probably malignant. Grandfather knew about the tumour but he kinda had this mindset that he was healthy and all that so it was unlikely that he had cancer.

In between then and end-November, his condition was becoming worse. Obviously, he knew that he had lung cancer already. It was stage 4 if I am not wrong. The last few weeks of December were when his condition started to deteriorate even faster. He was in and out of the hospital a few times and I visited him at his home often too. He became bed-bound and his feet had become swollen. It was so heart-wrenching to see my grandfather in such a state.

He was on a one-way road to death and I knew the end was near. I didn’t know how soon, but his time was never up and never again the future would I be able to see him. It suddenly struck me with how life could be so unpredictable. Death was inevitable for him, then, and it hurt to realize that I wouldn’t be able to see him again.

But as hard as it was for me, as a granddaughter, I suppose the pain that people like my father and grandmother felt would be even more so worse. I cannot imagine how they coped with seeing the one you loved slowly inch towards the border between our world and the afterlife, so painfully. Nevertheless, I thought that if it was really his time to go, then perhaps it’d be better than him living yet suffering from this disease. Anyway, death is part and parcel of life I suppose? Eventually, everyone will pass on; no one can live forever, it’s just a matter of time and fate.

He left this world on 2 January 2012. I personally wasn’t present at that time, even though I was at my grandparents’ home around 30 minutes before. An aunt who did nursing before said that it was likely that he was going to pass away on that day or pretty soon and called for an advanced reunion dinner gathering at my grandparents’ home just so that most of his children and grandchildren would be present and visit him. Turned out she was correct.

Dear Ah Gong,

I may have been just another of your grandchildren and not particularly close to you. but you were the only grandfather I ever had. May you rest in peace ♥

Your granddaughter

If anyone is reading this, I also strongly urge you to quit smoking or persuade your loved ones to do so if you or they smoke. My maternal grandfather passed away long time ago from lung cancer cos he smoked opium. Not that it makes any difference, it’s still smoking right? Treasure your loved ones and well, that’s all for now.


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