Everyday I fear that someone close to me will die before me.
Last year, my nephew Dicky passed away unexpectedly. His death was a huge surprise to all of us as he suddenly collapsed at his work place and died.
Upon receiving the news about his passing, Mum and I rushed to SJMC Hospital to see my sister and my brother in law (Abang). My other nephews and niece were there as well. Their eyes were all red.
Abang sobbed when I shook his hands. I couldn’t control my tears when I saw them.
Abang brought me to see Dicky’s body after that. Dicky was dressed in a chequered shirt and he looked normal. Abang said, ‘Dicky’s sleeping’.
On the next day, Dicky’s body was scheduled to be buried. Even after post mortem, we could not determine his cause of death. His body was functioning well. Just that his soul has left his body.
After the prayers, we were invited into the mosque to take a look at Dicky for the last time. We sat around Dicky. He was covered with a white cloth, his face was protruding out from the white cloth. A metal cast covered with a cloth with Arabic words, was next to him.
People were sobbing quietly. One of Dicky’s friends took out his camera phone to take Dicky’s picture and thereafter, Abang and his other son whipped out their camera to take picture of Dicky.
We buried Dicky at a Muslim cemetery at Puchong Batu 13. The burial was quite fast but the prayers and the rest was quite long. By the time Abang, my sister and the rest step into the cemetery, Dicky’s friends were at the midst of pushing the soil into the hole.
I was the only Chinese around. The rest were all Malays.
After the prayers were completed, we sprinkled flowers on to Dicky’s grave. I stood by the side when they were doing so until one lady announced, “Give the flowers to Dicky’s uncle”. Thereafter, I was given a bucket of flowers. I sprinkled it hastily.
Not everyone sprinkled flowers on Dicky’s grave. I think it’s because the same guy who took Dicky’s picture at the mosque was hogging all the flowers!!
After the necessary was done, Abang thanked everyone for coming and sobbed. He also said, “jika anak saya telah berbuat salah terhadap mana-mana daripada awak, saya minta ampun. Jika dia berhutang pada kamu, datanglah kepada saya untuk menyelesaikannya”. (if my son had offended any of you, I apologize. If he owes you anything, please come to me and I will settle it). I was at the verge of tearing.
It rained thereafter. We packed our stuff and left.
When my former classmate passed away, my then teacher gave a useful one-liner – “Life goes on”. Indeed life goes on, but it will never be easy.
Please visit my sister’s blog at http://annateh.blogspot.com/ and give her the necessary support.