Thursday, January 12, 2012

Al-Fatihah : Allahyarham Atok Yah

A few days ago, my beloved grandmother passed away after a long battle with numerous age-related diseases.

The last photo I took of her, about a week before her death
My mom told me that when I was a baby, I was taken care of by my grandmother for a few months because mom was still a university student in Australia and she needed to focus on her studies and final exams. My dad was just starting to work as an engineer in Seremban, so I was sent to Muar to live with my grandparents for a few months until mom graduates and returns to Malaysia.

I was told that I was not an easy baby to take care of and that I cried all the time. Plus my grandma had to take care of my aunt who was a 2 year-old toddler at that time so she had her hands full not just for my aunt but for my constant needs as well.

When I heard that she was admitted to the ICU, I raced to the hospital immediately after work but by the time I got there, she was almost gone. I was too late. She would never regain consciousness after that.

I wish I had the courage to say what I wanted to say to her then. But I didn't and I couldn't. So let me do it here instead.

Dear Atok Yah, 
I would like to thank you for all the love, care and guidance you have given me over the years while I was a baby, a toddler, a kid, a teenager, and a grown up. I have not been the best grandson to you and I'm sure that in the crowd of almost 60 grandchildren you have, I have not been one to have given much to you. I'm sorry for all the trouble, grief and sorrow I may have caused you from the day I was born till the day you left us. 
The night you went away, I stood next to your hospital bed and saw you lying there unconscious. I could see that your breathing were artificially induced by the life support machine. I held your hand and it was totally cold. Your fingers were blue. At that point I whispered to your ear, trying to tell you that I was there, but I wasn't sure you were able to hear me. 
Kim said you were medically gone, that there was no way you can be revived anymore, and what was little evidence of life left in you were caused by the life support system you were hooked into. At that point, I knew that there is no chance I could ever hear you say my name again, which was the last thing I heard you say when you were alive a little more than 10 days ago. 
They had to pull out the plug and you half an hour later left us forever. You left in the company of your children, they silently watched as you went peacefully and the ECG pulse slowly dampened to a flatline. 
I remember helping to carry the coffin that bears you, it was so light to the point I felt guilty for not suffering the weight of helping to lift you to the vehicle that was to carry you to the cemetery. 
I remember the gravediggers opening your coffin so that everyone can see your face for one last time before they lower you into the ground. 
I remember seeing how peaceful you looked, that your face looked like it was smiling in that coffin, and I immediately turned away so that memory of the last time I saw you will forever be immortalized. So that in the end, the smiling face of my beloved grandmother who had been through so much would be my last visual memory I have of you. 
Goodbye Atok Yah. May Allah bless you in the hereafter. Till we meet again, inshaAllah. 
Your grandson,
12 January 2011
I would like to thank everyone for your kind thoughts, well-wishes and prayers when my grandmother was ill and after she passed away.

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