Since some of you are complained that you cannot read my Chinese version, I am translating it into English, so that you can help share with others too.
The English version as follows:
“Eunice, in a few days, next Wednesday, Mom will be back to Singapore!” This is my last long distance call with my mom Madam Ng Sheng Kuan, on May 20, 2016.
On May 22 at 8:30 a.m., when my husband Richard was still asleep, he received a long distance call from my eldest cousin here in HK on our landline: “Your mother-in-law suffered from a heart attack last night, and is now receiving treatment in the hospital.” My husband immediately passed the phone to me. “Is it serious?” I asked. My cousin replied: “A bit critical, though the cardiologist Dr will only do the bypass operation for your mom tomorrow morning. It is best that both of you fly back to HK tonight.”
While waiting to board the Cathay Pacific plane, my husband kept on consoling me. “I believe that it is not serious. If the cardiologist can still wait until tomorrow morning to do the operation, it cannot be that serious, right?”
On the plane, I kept on praying to God: “You must save my mom, nothing must happen to her.” Upon arriving Hong Kong, about 8:00 p.m. our domestic helper and her husband the chauffeur went to the airport to pick us up. Upon seeing me, the first sentence she told me is: “No matter what news you hear now, you got to be strong, ok? I think that it is better that you call your cousin.”
I did not say anything and immediately called my cousin, and asked: “How is my mom now?” Unfortunately, he said with a very heavy voice: “Your mom, she already passed away at 4:10 p.m. this afternoon. Myself, my younger brother and our wives are currently in the Ruttonjee Hospital Cardiac Unit ICU. The 2 of you come immediately now.” My husband who was besides me also asked nervously: “What is the situation now?” “Her, my mom, she is already gone!” My husband immediately screamed: “What? How can this have happened?”
We finally arrived Ruttonjee Hospital Cardiac Unit ICU at 9:00 p.m. My cousin communicated with the nurse beforehand; they were very understanding and nice, and allowed myself and my husband to see my mom for the last time. Although at that time she already was totally without any consciousness; she was just like her usual self, sleeping calmly, without anyone to disturb her to wake up. Thanks God, though my mom only lived on this earth for a short 77 years, she just went like that, without suffering from any pain at all. Though the 2 of us, especially me her own biological daughter was reluctant to let her go, but I still sensibly let her depart this world.
Since when my mom was alive, she mentioned a few times that after she is gone, she would like to have a sea burial, thus we must cremate her body. However, in Hong Kong, we need to queue for cremation, thus we had to wait for nearly 1 month, until June 21, to have the funeral for her.
Only upon returning Singapore did I realize that the house became extremely quiet without my mom’s voice. Everything in the house reminded me that she is no longer around anymore; upon seeing everything that belongs to her, including her favourite car seat, these scenes especially broke my heart. My husband also sensed that something was not right with me anymore. With my consistent begging and plea, he eventually brought me to see a Chinese tcm (traditional Chinese medicine) doctor, since I do not like the side effects of Western medicine. The tcm felt my pulse, said that my mom’s sudden demise was really a huge blow to me, that I was nearly sinking into rock bottom; that there seemed to be a heavy piece of rock pressing on my chest, which I could not let go of, and that feeling was really terrible and painful. Luckily, that tcm doctor said that since I consulted him early, he could easily pull me out of the grief shadow; or else the consequences can be disastrous. Thanks be to God!!!!!!! With his help and grace, I know to seek for intervention and godly help in the appropriate moment.
At the beginning, I felt that it is as if the sky was falling upon me, as it all happened too sudden, and I am not well prepared for it. However, now thinking back, the demise of my mom is not really a bad thing. If not coz of her demise, one of my best friends in university in Hong Kong will not have recommended me to see her counsellor Belinda in the Centre of Marriage and Child Guidance (CMCG). Through counselling, I slowly untied the knots that has been troubling me in my hearts, and started to have a more positive view about our life.
Most importantly, forced by circumstances, a lot of things, such as the sea burial for my mom on Oct 13, in Xiamen this year, in terms of how many people were to go onto the yacht and how many people to invite to the meal afterwards, all had to be done and planned alone by me. I had to contact my mom’s best classmates, friends, and distant cousins and their other half etc. In arranging these things, I suddenly felt that I have in a short period of time, grown up and matured a lot. I think I can say that: my mom’s demise is a blessing in disguise!!!!!!!
My cousin in San Francisco, on April 1 this year, her dad my mom’s 2nd brother passed away. She is the only biological daughter of her parents. She also went to attend my mom’s sea burial in mid-October. She got an opportunity to have dinner alone with me. She also commented that: my mom’s demise is not exactly a bad thing, in her eyes, as she saw how I have grown up and matured. My other best friend from Singapore Xiong Min also told me that: My mom’s demise happened at when I turned middle age, at 40 years old; the timing is perfect, as it is not too late for me now to learn how to be independent. Otherwise, if my mom lived another 10 to 20 years before she passed away; by that time, it will be a lot harder for me to accept the brutal reality, to adapt, adjust and to move on.
The Bible also mentioned that: God does not promise that after we became Christians, our life afterwards will be smooth sailing always. God still will at his appropriate timing, through trial and tribulations, test our faith in him. The only thing I know is that: “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose”(Romans 8:28, New International Version).
My mom’s sudden demise made me realize that I have to seize my time now and cherish the present, be it partners our other half, family members or friends; rather than regretting it when we have lost them in the future, as this is the common problem of us human beings.