Saying goodbye to very hardy lady – Part I

13 09 2008

From someone who was the princess of her family to becoming totally dependent in her last days in the hospital, that was 82 years in between. I can only say WOW. It wasn’t a sudden departure, I was going around almost feeling as if there’s a time bomb somewhere. Each time she became critically ill and made it through despite the pain from the fractures and bed sores, I could only sense her toughness and determination to live.

It was also kind of surreal and painful for me because she was everything I am learning at work about what a category IV nursing home patient would be like. How fast her sacral sores grew helped me to appreciate why a family was so hang up about how their family member’s sores grew so big and deep over a relatively short period of time. I could also sense the struggles and emotions that my patients’ family members felt as my own family members gathered to talk about care plans.

But anyway.. I’ll always remember her for her toughness.. and cute-ness. She always said my hair’s messy, and always asked if my earrings were too heavy for my ears cos they look rather big to her. And her generosity and love toward me.. in her time of pain and struggle, she always made sure to give me some money every time I visited her.

The last few months were great cos that was the time I built fantastic memories with her.. won’t forget how happy she was when she knew I was going to graduate from Uni. She couldn’t stop smiling and kept saying to her helper that she’s ‘banyak happy’. She had gone through a fair share of pain and loss in her life.. it is a privilege for me to be able to bring her some joy at that point. My relationship evolved fairly well over the years.. and I’m glad to say I’ve grown as a person because of my relationship with her.  When I put away my pride and prejudice, I was given the chance to see her as a human being.. someone with a history, someone with feelings.. someone with reasons for doing certain things etc.

Oh yes, and being an MSW, I can’t help but say that she is one very smart lady with foresight. She had a fair bit of medisave! My brother and I are really impressed with her.

So yea.. to answer Dr Wallace Chan’s question in the BMS seminar, I think and I believe that life is meaningful (and beautiful) despite suffering. The memories and time that I had with my late grandmother can attest to that.

Life is meaningful despite suffering, it really is.

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3 responses

14 09 2008
jane

hello dear ling, once again your simple and heartfelt words have touched me. it’s nice to know that you were there to share some special moments with your grandma during the last few months. hope you are coping well during this period of time. heard from xian you’ve lost bit of weight and that’s always good (haha) but still, you must take care of yourself k? saw your sms and sorry i haven’t been able to call. been busy with school work cos i’m such a slow worker. 😦 boos. but anyways really hope to see you soon k! or a call or sth. make sure you turn up for wen’s bday celebration!

much love.

16 09 2008
Eunice

“Life is meaningful despite suffering, it really is.”
Amen to that 🙂

God bless your Grandma, gal. From your words, I can really imagine the type of person she is.. Someone who smiles through her struggles, whose strength comes from within and allows her joy to overflow to others.

It’s been a long while since we’ve met. Hope you are well, dear friend. Take care and let’s meet up soon! =)

5 10 2008
sharon

Grandma was really one tough lady, her endurance and strength during the times when she was ill struck me too. looking through the old photos brought back so many memories (and phases of our lives we wna erase hahah) and i was really glad for the time during the wake when we got to interact more with one another. it was a pity we were all so caught up with our own lives to keep in touch over the years. maybe we can have a cousins-get-together soon! does a saturday sound good? (:

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