Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Forever in my heart

It's been 2 months since my SIL left us and I can't help but keep thinking about her.
Though it was a time bomb illness, I wasn't prepared for that - - *ding* sudden emptiness in me when I heard the news 2 months ago. And all I can say is "I will definitely remember it coz' it's my wedding anniversary day."
My SIL, whom I've grown closer through the years, was like a sister to me. She was only 5 years older than me and we do exchange SMSes now and then and chat easily when we meet.

Back to the first time I bump into her when I was paktor-ing with my then boyfriend. We bump into her family while walking around Bugis. It was quite funny since she was the first person of his family I met, haven't even met his mom yet. And she was so friendly, I remember the two young boys with her, who's now all grown and (ahem.. taller than me). Then over the next 4 years while we were dating, we drop by her home quite often as she stayed relatively close to me.

When she knew of the horrible C that has struck her breast years back, I tried to be there for her via SMS. I must admit I wasn't there most of the time until last year when her illness got worst. And she confided in me her greatest fear. It pains me to hear that as I'm also a mother myself. The children put up a brave front.

This year's CNY was low-key for us. We didn't do any visitation and we even spent our CNY visiting my SIL in the hospital. We had no idea how many more days she can live as she was getting weaker with each passing day. I was really glad too that I mustered my courage in telling her 'I love her' at the hospital bed, she looked at me and I stroked her head. It's strange isn't it? The three words which I can easily say out to my hubby and kids; I had to find the courage to do it with her.
At her funeral, I was so emotional, I can sit down and suddenly tear when I think of her. It's so weird to see her lying there. She's so beautiful. She is peaceful and no longer suffering. It's good for her but it's not good for the many other hearts she had to break mourning for her. I remember on the morning of the final wake, her hubby, stood by her side and playback a love song on his phone. I cried. A few times I had to walk out of the room, my heart ached and tearducts couldn't stop flowing. I never even cried so much for my FIL.

Che-che would sit down quietly and then suddenly talk about her aunty. She fondly remembers her favourite aunty feeding her and 'making cupcake rice' for her during our family holiday. My dear SIL even helped us take care of her during mealtimes, so that hubby and me can take care of that naughty mei-mei.

And though I felt the pain, I had to make sure that my girl, a 9 yr-old, can handle what is death. Afterall, our family had been dealt with 2 deaths in the family within a span of 8 months. I didn't let the children see her when we went to the parlour, I'm not sure if they would be frightened. Afterall, they didn't see their grandfather whose coffin was all covered up and I think they can't remember their great-grandma's face also. (I remember my mother flipped when I brought my kids to my grandma's funeral and let them see her. I thought it would be fine to see our loved one and mom nagged at me. And when mei-mei had febrile fits after that she thought it was something to do with the nether world and even sought the advice of a medium. Only to be chided by him halfway through her explanation that great grandma wouldn't harm her own great-grandchild.) My che-che was rather timid after FIL's funeral, will blog about that later, scared of ghosts etc.. so she didn't object.
But somehow on the second day, she asked me if she could see her aunty for one last time. She asked me if she's scary like in those movies, I told her her aunty is beautiful (Ps. The embalmer did a really good job.) and I will follow her. But there's no need to hide coz' she looks just like before. She was really brave and looked at her aunty. Somehow I was pleased that she did what she wanted to do coz' there'll be no chance after that and thought what the heck if I get scolding from mom about showing children my SIL face. Then my girl was so curious to ask me what they did to make her look so beautiful and why is there a pearl in her mouth. It was like a biology class explaining to her the process of embalming. Suddenly it dawned upon me that my girl is growing up.

Now I occasionally look at her mobile number, I didn't want to delete it. Next to her name I wrote "Forever in my heart"

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