Friday, June 20, 2014

Uncle Choon

On the last day of my trip in the States, I learnt that my late father's only brother had passed away. The news hit me harder than I imagined it would.

What did not help was the helplessness I felt when I was informed. To be specific, I received that news when I was in a coach on the way from Ames, Iowa to Minneapolis, where we would stay overnight before catching a flight home. I knew two days before that he was hospitalised. I just didn't expect him to leave so suddenly and had made plans to visit him when I got home.  If he could stay alive for another 3 days, I would be able to make it to see him for the last time. To hold his hands and comfort him perhaps. Of course there is no way to know if that would have made any difference to him anyway.

Naturally, his passing gave me a lot to think. I wondered if he had many regrets and if he suffered much physically in the final days. I wondered if in his final moments, he had wished for us to be by side. I wondered if death was a welcoming relief for him or if he would be scared to go.

I prefer to think that now, he no longer had to endure loneliness. He could go on to look for his family, be with Ah Pa and Ah Gong, and maybe also be reunited with his mum and perhaps to "return" to his happier days.

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