The First Loss

This weekend was going to be great. No, it was going to be epic. I was to be packing my stuff right now and heading off to another state for a 3 day camp tomorrow morning with 40 people whom I had the pleasure of calling my friends. They are the reason my university life was so bright and colourful. This camp was to be my final event I would be participating in this club. And as the recently retired President, this would’ve been an amazing closure to this phase of my life. Like a swan song to my position in this club.

But now, I’m sitting here in my room with nothing packed. Today, I had just received news of the passing of my grandmother.

I have been lucky enough to have known all four of my grandparents for 21 years of my life. I used to think that was normal, that everyone has grandparents to visit every now and then especially during the festive seasons. Slowly as I grew older I realised that a lot of my friends lost their grandparents at a young age, some didn’t even get to meet them.

So for 21 years, I got to hang out with my grandparents almost every other month and even every week for the maternal side. I’m not as close to them as you would think because of the language barrier. They’d only speak mostly Cantonese and Mandarin while I get by with the basics of saying hello, asking if they’ve had their meals, asking how they were and answering any usual questions they had for me. But close enough to have known them and their personality.

Today, my paternal grandmother left us. She is the first close family member I’ve ever lost. For the past 21 years, I’ve never had to go through this. I don’t even think I’ve ever attended a funeral of someone I knew personally. Don’t get me wrong, I am so thankful for that. However, I really don’t know what to do, what to feel or what to say.

Feelings right now? Yes, I am sad. The moment I got the news I cried. But it wasn’t like it was a shock to us. We knew her health has been declining. In fact, over two weeks ago she was admitted into the emergency ward and was really weak. She managed to pull through and recover enough to be discharged. Then two days ago, she had difficulty breathing and was again admitted. This time the doctor had told us that she would not be able to make it. The first time she was in the hospital, I had already gone through all those emotions and braced myself for anything. So this time, I guess this time I’m less emotional.

To top all these bad news, I just fell ill with the flu. So any sort of crying will invoke a massive headache and a blubbery mess. For the past week I was so excited for this camp. If it were anything like last year (which it would be because most of them are the same people) it would be filled three days worth of fun, laughter, jokes and memories. Well, if the universe doesn’t want me to have fun with these people, I hope there’s something better in the future.

Nene, May you rest in peace. I hope you’re in a much better place. I love you.

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