Thursday, July 20, 2006

Going on emergency leave

I'm at the airport in Tokyo, waiting to get on a plane so I can go see my grandma for the last time. It'll be a whirlwind trip, by that I mean very quickly we will have the memorial service, and then proceed to bury her on Monday.

Tomorrow, after I touch down, I will go and see her at the funeral home, and in some ways, my feelings are mixed. The feelings are part creeped, part sad, and part anticipatory I'm sure that those of you who have been through the death of a loved one will identify with me.

From talking with my sister last night, it seems like I was the last one to have talked to grandma just before she fully stopped breathing and died. As soon as I told her I loved her and not to worry, I'll see her later, her breathing just stopped. That's grandma, considerate and kind until the very end. I got forwarded some pictures of her taken by my sister on grandma's last birthday, two weeks ago, and I all of a sudden got a a sense of how old and frail grandma looked in these photos. At last, she's getting some rest.

The GF is very sympathetic and wishes that she could be there. I don't exactly have a very understanding family, despite of all the good intentions, so she will sit this one out. I will not have a chance to see her but will finish my assignment in Japan and go back to see her, and stay with grandpa for a while.

I will try to post some photos when I get back, of grandma, Japan, and stuff when I get back, but in the meanwhile, I will try my best to fill you in on things.

Wish me luck and lots of strength, I am going to need them!

Monday, July 17, 2006

A very sad event

I'm so sorry that I've not posted lately, computer unavailability made it really diffucult to post.

The GF has travelled to Japan and we spent a blissful but tired week together. She has gotten so much more stronger and resilient physicall and mentall, and I'm very proud of her!

The sad event that just happened yesterday was the death of my grandmother, who had just turned 90 about two weeks before. She had a stroke, and even though she was rushed to the hospital in time, old body and age still caught up with her in the end. I am and have been so immensely sad that I've not been able to sleep or eat properly. My sister has been very diligent in texting me information about my grandmother's condition. All her kids have also been standing by her bedside when she passed on. I called and spoke to my grandmother, even though by then she was in a coma and probably could not hear me at all. I broke down but told her not to worry about me and my sister,I love her, and that I will see her on the other side when my time comes. Grandmother died about less than an hour after that, as her breathing stopped and heart failed. It's so hard to believe, because part of me, a large part of me thinks that she'll always be there.

I am due to fly back on emergency leave so I can make it to her funeral on Sunday. I heard that it will be an open-casket funeral, for some, it helps because it supposedly would give the survivors closure. I don't really know, I guess I'll find out.

I'm so sad that the mind just gravitates from not believing that her death has happened, to lots of regrets for not having spent enough time with her, or have called her enough.

I know that I'll see her again, even though that knowledge is not really shrouded in any sort of religious context. In some ways that makes death not such a final thing to expect, at least I will know someone there when it's my time to go....I just wonder how long that will be.

I am worried about my grandfather, even though by all accounts that he has been putting on a strong front. My sister will be moving down to live with him for a while. She did not tell my grandmother about her move just so that she could suprise her, no one expected this.

I am sure that my sadness will become lighter in time, I justs don't know when....