It has been a very very intense week.
I have learnt so much this week. Life lessons.
I mean, have you always attended funerals of someone not close to you (or maybe a friend’s family member) and stood there wondering how is it to lose someone close to you? Wondering how your friend feel about losing their relative? Wondering what is it like to have a family member gone forever?
I am always standing on the fence, trying to put myself in their shoes but it is hard to really feel and understand what they are going through. I’m there at the wake to be there emotionally for my friend and to say “Hey, I got you :)” besides that, I will never know what they are going through because I have never gone through this. Losing a family member physically forever.
However, this week taught me so much… I’m so overwhelmed. Life is terribly fragile.
Spent my week at the hospital, ICU ward. Bed 2. Where I watch grandpa lying there helplessly. It torn me apart. It breaks my heart and the flood gates gone loose. I hate going to hospitals. It is never a good thing. I avoid doctors even for myself. I am scared of them. It is always to find out something bad and nothing good.
So last Friday night, when I was about to embark on my late night Friday rituals, chilling on the couch, I received a call from my brother about my grandpa having a heart attack and they are trying to save him. I immediately broke down and cry and I was a mess. Without thinking, I left the house. There weren’t any particular thought I had in my mind but my grandpa – is he gonna make it? What happened? Are they saving him now? What are they doing to him now? Is my grandpa gonna see me again?
I just kept crying and crying…. and crying in the car. My heart was exploding. I wanted to teleport to the hospital to know what is going on right now. I was worried sake and worried is an understatement. The thought of losing someone forever… and yet, being helpless ; That kills.
Got to the hospital, my legs were weak. I wanted to lie down because I felt like my body can’t hold itself. I didn’t wanna cry infront of anyone, especially knowing what they are going through so I went to the toilet to prep myself. There wasn’t much to prep but just to cry my fears all out if there is a need to, if not, suck it back in. I sucked it in instead. Saw my family and my grandpa was in the resuscitation room. Then came another biggest fear I found: When the doctor comes out and says “Can we gather all your family members and go inside the room”.
Praise God! It was a miracle that my grandpa got his heartbeat back despite losing it for 15 minutes. Doctor said normally patients who lose their heartbeat more than 10 minutes, only 10% if lucky, will get their heartbeat back. My grandpa was the lucky 10 🙂 But then, going into the room only means telling us another heavy news and to make a decision. So we decided to send him to the ICU.
Days past, news came and go. Weekends were worrying because doctor said his organs were failing. Endless of prayers from my mom’s church friends, relative’s pastor, even my church friends came to pray for grandpa. I was very very appreciative of everyone coming to give support and prayers to my grandpa. He will be very happy to know so many people came and is rooting for him. I had nightmares on many nights about my grandpa… I wake up crying. I go to bed crying. I thought to myself: “Is this how it feels knowing you might lose a loved one forever?”
Losing a loved one – when we were younger. Dating, break-ups, flings.. it felt good then shitty, and we all thought that was the true meaning of losing someone. Terribly wrong. That was NOTHING. That was a waste of emotions deposited. That was just another door open for new beginnings, in a very good way. Whatever my family is going through now, isn’t any new door for new beginnings.
Memories started pouring in, when I bring friends to visit grandpa or whenever I’m alone thinking. Even now.
The times whenever I go visit my grandparents, I always talk to my grandpa like my good friend. The both of us had countless of jokes and teasing. He loves to joke and boast about his English. I remember the good old days when I come, he would listen to the radio which had his English lessons tapes playing. “Lesson 1: *ting!* I am a boy.” and I watched my grandpa recite after the tape, “I am a boy…” and he would ask me in cantonese, “eh vicky, I am a boy… is it me?”
He used to have 2 birds. His favourite was this minor bird. Black bird – Only in recent days where I learnt it was called a Hill Myna. Thanks to the museum. It was my grandpa’s best friend. This bird was special. Not only can it mimic bird sounds, it mimics human voice too. Because my grandpa talks to it everyday, the bird talks like my grandpa now. He laughs, coughs, “hellooo” like my grandpa. The laugh was classic. My grandpa has the most unique laughter ever. I take after him 🙂 After many years, one day, the bird decides to run away from home. Flew out and never came back. My grandpa was devastated and he was so quiet and sad for those weeks. Then came a parrot he caught – but that parrot doesn’t even talk.
My grandpa is a fan of weights too. I have no idea what kind of workout he does, but his room has many weights and he has a strong body. He does some chinese martial arts when he was younger. He is a very independent man. He goes to the market alone, cooks for everyone at home. He is an ideal father ; A man who brings the bread home and not only that, but he toast the bread too.. making sure his children eats the best. I never have a dad I can look up too. But now as I look back, my grandpa is my dad whom I want my future husband to be like.
It’s the 7th day today in ICU. He didn’t open his eyes today, despite me stubbornly stroking his leg and tapping his arm. Calling him “gong gong” a 100th time… and trying to speak broken cantonese to him.
It was a different atmosphere at the ICU ward today. Bed 1 was intense… I have my utmost respect to the family. It was a boy in his 20s and doctor broke the news to the parents… if they want to pull the plug or not. Monks came to pray, everyone crying… I was emotionally drained out, just seeing the distraught in their eyes. The parents looked helpless and drained. I wished I could give them comfort. Or rather, I wished this world could give everyone comfort in return of losing a life of a loved one. It is a terribly tragic thing. What you are left with are memories. Memories are vague, they smoke through your mind but aren’t tangible. You wished you could feel it, yet you can’t.
It has been a very hard week. But since day 1 when I saw my grandpa in the ward, I told myself that I will not let out any other energy but ONLY positive energy. If I’m sad, smile it off 🙂 If I feel like crying, laugh instead. If I feel like I’m giving way and giving in to my weakness, focus. Stare at a point and restart that energy from scratch. It has been working. I told W, I will visit my grandpa everyday and achieve one day without crying anymore. Then I know I have grown stronger. I am very glad I am almost there. I believe if you bring in good strong positive vibes, the patient can feel it too. The hospital don’t have to feel dreadful anymore 🙂 especially for my grandpa since he hates seeing doctor.
Still praying for grandpa everyday. Holding his hands, letting him know that God is with him, so are all of us rooting for him. Oh, and Thank God for a VERY good news! Doctor said he doesn’t need kidney dialysis anymore because his kidney miraculously started functioning again and he is urinating as per normal.
God is real 🙂 He is good.
It’s been long since I updated this space regularly. I feel refreshed and happy writing again. It brings me freedom and a sense of satisfaction.
Now, goodnight. Remember to treasure the time you spend with your loved ones. The words they say, the things they do… All, will come useful to memory 🙂