Thursday, June 15, 2006

may the legacy live on

just to update everyone on events of the last few days...

jin min and i were having coffee with ally, bryan, jackie and alice when jin min's mum called. he walked out of the cafe to talk to her, then came back in and called me over with a grim expression. in that moment... i knew. our grandfather had passed away.

it came as a shock. he had caught pneumonia and stayed in hospital for close to a month, spending two weeks in intensive care unit. i was told it was a touch and go situation. BUT, he recovered and was sent home. only a few days before he passed away, my dad had emailed me.

Ah Kong is well and he is more alert than before.

so naturally everyone believed that all would go back to normal, and 95 yr old ah kong (as we call him) would stay on for a couple more years. he has always been strong and fit except over the last yr when he had a bad fall leading to his inability to walk. but he has always been such a permanent fixture in our lives, it seemed he would live forever.

as per usual the entire song dynasty was gathered for weekly sunday brunch. it has been that way for as long as i can remember. apparently the maid was feeding him yu piu (some fish stomach thing) which he loved, and it went down his windpipe causing him to choke. he went blue, then passed out.

everyone rushed him to pantai hospital, two minutes down the road, and the doctors tried to suck the damn thing out but failed. thus, the sudden death of our beloved grandfather.

such irony.

after the long fight against pneumonia, he chokes on his favourite food.

on the bright side, it happened on a sunday where he managed to see almost the entire family before passing away.

the funeral was not all doom and gloom. in fact, it felt more like a celebration than a funeral though we, of course, had our share of grief and mourning. it was a chinese funeral with all the burning and chanting etc etc. i don't understand half of the rituals and personally don't find that they achieve much at all - apart from the chanting prayers.

they burnt a cardboard mansion with maids and an astro dish, a car with a driver and tons of gold ingots. although, i'm pretty sure he won't be needing any of that.

all in all, it was a fairly peaceful farewell. i think most of us feel that he is happier this way. over the last year, most of his time was spent either dozing in front of the tv, staring into space or being fed. we would like to believe he is now with our beloved grandmother watching over the family.

i can only hope the family will remain intact and continue the family tradition of gathering for sunday brunches. that is the legacy ah kong has built and left for us.


i will be in kl until the 12th of july as patrick's wedding is on the 8th of july.

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