Tuesday, May 06, 2008

Rest in peace second granduncle

Despite my optimism and faith that he would pull through, somehow, i suppose it was his time to leave. He has led a full life and not many people can claim to have lived to see their 92nd birthday. The doctors had already told us that he had only hours to live and had stopped feeding him since my birthday. Which was about 6 days back. And it was amazing that granduncle held on for 6 days with no food. Of course, he never woke during this time to say anything to us. I wasn't sure whether he understood anything we said to him but we talked to him constantly, hoping that he would wake.
So today, at 4.18pm, he passed away peacefully i would hope. I remember telling him, granduncle, don't worry, we'll settle all that needs to be settled, just go in peace. I guess one of the things he was worried about was that he had no wife, no children and all he really had was us. From the first day he was admitted to hospital last year, he already was prepared that he would not live. And when he stepped into the halls of Dover Park Hospice, he knew he would never step back out! And that was pretty sad for me, coz somehow, when he went in, he was still strong. I remember him being insistent about moving back home and staying on his own. But somehow, the rest of us were not so sure. Who would take care of him when he is ill? Who would know if something happens to him? Plus, his one bedroom place was so small and cramp, and we would all feel better if he was in the care of someone. And so after a lot of convincing, he moved into the hospice.
Each day at the hospice, i saw his condition get worse. I cannot decide now whether it's the environment that he was in. Living among the almost dying that made him stop fighting. But i suppose, all i can say is that it was his time to leave. That he had led a full life in this world. He has seen many things happen and great changes in his time here. He was truly a fighter in every sense of the word, being born in 1916, living through the japanese occupation, seeing Singapore becoming independent, the racial riots etc.
I spent the rest of the afternoon after seeing him for one last time, sourcing for a funeral home, trying to settle the cremation details. It seemed like no one was eager to do so. I suppose everyone was grieving in their own way. Ang mor uncle cried. And he's 70ish. Auntie Linda was there, Uncle Tommy's wife and daughter Connie, myself, dad, and granduncle's younger brother who is 88.
Third granduncle cried just now. And really, my heart went out to him. Honestly, i was clueless as to what to do and how to go about with the planning of the funeral and cremation. But someone had to do it and since no one else volunteered, i did. I suppose it is the last thing i can do for this man that has seen each and everyone of us grow up, who never forgot our faces, our lives and would always keep himself abreast with our lives and activities even until the day he was admitted in the hospice. *Smilez. He even remembered seeing Guardian with me before and asked me only last month when we were going to be married so that he can attend my wedding. I remember telling him that it was over, and he jokingly said, that guy is too short for you =P
Well, i will miss him but i will be strong and arrange all the funeral stuff coz i promised him i would take care of everything and he should go in peace!
Rest in peace second Granduncle!

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