Wednesday, September 30, 2009
It is not often that strange coincidences occur in one’s life. Just as we were preparing to offer our annual prayers for my brother who demised 35 years ago on 23rd September, my Dad breathed his last on the same day last week.
I had just returned to work after the Hari Raya holidays when the dreaded call came in via my mobile. He had passed away at 8.15 that morning! My wife who got the message first had left her office immediately and was on her way to break the news to me in person as she wasn’t sure as to how I would react. Unfortunately, one of my nephews had called me by then and beat her to it. Although naturally I was a bit startled initially, I kept my composure intact and together with my wife, left on the arduous journey back to Kulim with 52 years of sporadic memories of my Dad flashing past.
I learnt that he had been quite normal that morning when he awoke. After a bath and a shave, he had gone into his room to lie down for a while. And never woke up again. My mum had been beside him when he passed away. I guess that he must have remembered that it was my brother's death anniversary and was probably overwhelmed with grief as I know that both my Mum and Dad never really recovered from the shock of having lost him in spite of the passage of time. In this instance alone I can say with certainty that time failed to heal their wound or lessen their pain.
The pragmatist in me however allowed me to accept the fact that we are mere mortals. And being mortals, we are all destined to meet fate in the end. The solace in this episode is that there was nothing tragic about it. He lived a contended and complete life, blessed with children, grandchildren as well as great grandchildren. Although of late senility reared its head off and on, he was quite independent until his last day, needing only his walking stick to move about. He tended to all his needs himself. Unfortunately time ran out on him. He was 98.
We kept vigil the whole night as relatives and friends arrived. And come they surely did…..in droves at that. Dad had been a very lovable person and they had all come to pay their last respects. The funeral was held on 24-09-09 and his ashes released into the sea off Bagan Ajam on the morning of 25th September 2009.
With that, ends the travails of a great man, one who hailed from Kerala at the tender age of 18 in search of a livelihood in this country that would eventually become his home and where he raised a family of six in the process (now 5) who would forever mourn his loss. May his soul rest in eternal peace.
Posted by aravind at 2:50 AM