Earlier this year, my dad had a heart attack that got me into thinking the inevitable. Irrespective of my personal preference, my parents’ wishes will be respected, which means having a wake and a funeral even if I hate it. It’s going to be a nightmare that lasts for at least a week (a wake is typically 3-7 days). All that I hated, dreaded and avoided ~ showing my face in public! Showing myself to visitors, expected and unexpected; seeing faces of people, known and unknown; people turning up, with or without appointment. I don’t take comfort in seeing them. Do they know that their presence is making me uncomfortable? Do they know that they are making me sick? Do they know that all I want is to be left alone to grieve in peace and mourn in private? And I’m supposed to be grateful to them for coming to pay their respects? I cannot bring myself to look at them and say “Thank you for coming.” I should probably wear a sign that says, “Do not talk to me!” These are the very last thing I want to do and yet, I might not have a choice. Don’t you realise how wrong this is? My loved ones are dead and here I’m thinking, not about mourning my loss but about the people I have to face. The nightmare isn’t that you’re gone, it’s having visitors around and I cannot be myself as long as they are around. That is what’s killing me.
Dear mum and dad, this is not how I want to remember you. This is not how I want to mourn. This is not how I grief. Nature is the best healer and there is no better place to grieve than in nature. I want to take you on a walk where there is no one else. Remembering the times we spent together: my first cd, my favourite stuffed toy, the Happy Meals we had before school, our holiday trips, our favourite restaurant, the places we’ve been to, the walks we’ve done, your favourite food, the songs you used to sing, the movies we used to watch together, the frown on your face whenever I made you walked too long, the smile on your face when I acted silly, when you said thank you at the departure gate, the coat you left at my place… each step and every breath represents our love. Let my sweat and tears be washed in the rain. As for the bad, the arguments and the things I hated about you, let that be gone with the wind… but you’ll always be my dearest family. These are our shared memories and I don’t want to share that with anyone else.
Just when I thought this is about my parents, I realise it isn’t. I’m projecting what I’d do onto the situation. If I die, there shall be no wake, no visitation, no funeral, no burial. Over my dead body! If I don’t want to see you when I’m alive, I’m not going to want to see you when I’m dead. Those who know me will know where to find me, my dear and lovely King Ben’s Grandma would know where to find me😉 I’ll return to where I belong, I’ll return to nature.
Featured image: Funeral Services Singapore