Tearful Thursday: Grandma’s Last Journey

Tearful Thursday…. I wonder how did I come up with that. Stupid me. I realised I’m the victim of my own idiocy when I find myself stuck thinking about what to write.

Walked around for the past 30 minutes, got myself a coffee from Starbucks, and sat my ass down to rest. Dead beat. Can this be considered as something tearful? Come on…I’m sobbing already.

Type, delete. Type… delete. This can’t go on. Dear brains, please start working.

Blink! Okay. Here goes.

Couple of years ago, I got the news of my grandma who was falling sick. Most people get sick time to time, so it did not cross my mind that it would be anything major. I asked my mom how was Grandma after her doctor’s appointment, and she said they would have to wait for doctors’ advice. Euphemism to “I don’t know”.

I thought I would visit her when I was free, so I told mom that I would make a trip to her place when time permitted. What I did not consider was my stupidity in planning my schedule, and before I knew it, that next news I got from mom was “Grandma’s hospitalized.”

That news was enough to make me put aside whatever I had, and made a trip to visit her. When I was there, Grandma looked pretty okay, and to be honest, I thought she’d recover. We chatted for a bit, and then I left. That is what I remember about me visiting her at the hospital for the first time.

Few months later, I got to know that Grandma was getting very sick, and since I did not know what was her condition (I did not even know she was suffering from. No thanks to my superstitious mother), I rushed to her home to spend some time with her. What I saw shocked me for a while.

Grandma looked like what we would call a skin bag of bones. She had shrunk to the extend that her face wasn’t recognisable, and I was starting to wonder what could have caused her to be like that. Then she told me this, “I think I need to go for chemotherapy”.

Great. Cancer. And all my mom would say was “I don’t know”.

I realised that I did not have much time left, and I instructed my procrastinating self that I would accept no excuses for not making time for her anymore.

But it was already too late.

The next news I got, which came as early as 1 week after my last visit, was from my mom again, and this time, Grandma was admitted to hospital because of some pain she had on her legs. X-ray was done, and she had her shin fractured. A common case for cancer patients who had the cancer cells spread to their bones. I rushed to the hospital that very evening after my work.

When I was there, all I could see was her sleeping in her skinny and fragile body. I did not bear to wake her up, so I stood by and watched her sleep. She did not know I visited either. After about 15 mins, I left when the nurses reminded me that visiting hours were long over.

She was discharged shortly after, because the doctors did not want to waste a bed on someone who had no chance of survival. Early one morning, the day before I was supposed to visit her, I got a call from my sister, who demanded that I meet with her at Grandma’s place, because “something happened”. I went ahead without asking why.

I reached the door of Grandma’s house hearing sounds of sobbing even from the lift. The door was opened, and my aunts were walking in and out with gloomy look on their faces. I knew what happened when I saw them.

I took off my shoes, and walked in with a heavy heart. Grandpa was sitting on the couch with his hand covering his face, and he did not look up when I entered. His hand that was covering his face was damp. Tears sipped between his fingers, and he was breathing heavily. The way one would in order to control himself from crying out.

My youngest aunt was sobbing loudly in the room where Grandma last rested. I walked in to see Grandma, and I saw her sleeping beautifully in her petite body frame. My aunt leaned her head on my chest as I knelt in front of Grandma. I held her wrinkled hands that were already cold, and I looked at her sleeping without saying a word. That was the last time I saw her. While I was sad beyond words, I did not cry.

The next few days passed fast with everyone busying with the funeral. The last day came, and that was the day I lost myself.

The funeral rites included us sending her off in the way of walking behind her coffin. Every one of us, from uncles to grandsons, were weeping uncontrollably as we walked down the road with her for the last time. As much as I wanted to control myself, I couldn’t make myself the exception of the tribe. My tears rolled when my hands touched her coffin, and when it was time for us to say our last goodbye, I broke down in front of everyone. At last.

I was told later that every younger cousins looked to me as their pillar of support, and when their pillar broke down, they had nothing to hold on to anymore, and so everyone broke down crying together. To think about it now, it was like a crying competition which everyone competed for the loudest cry.

That was the last time I wept, and I pray that I do not have to again. Okay, my eyes are teary now as I write, so I shall end it here. Let’s consider this Teary Thursday story a success.

What’s the saddest thing that ever happened to you?

41c1d-originalAndy Lawson is the average man on the street that you’ll not even trouble yourself looking at him if he passes by you. He’s sensitive to bullshit, and he hates mediocrity in most people. He is the author of his self-published book: Facts and Fiction of Fengshui: Facts that Masters are NOT Telling You. He doesn’t have Facebook or Twitter, because he hates to be associated with people who tend to be passive-aggressive online, but he does have a very limited set of vocabularies, terrible grammar, a twisted mind that makes himself God in his own twisted world and an ability to communicate with people who wish to be his friend.

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