I visited my grandmother recently, and she’s in a much worse state than the last time we saw her; her body is literally wasting away. I almost cried when I saw her, and kept thinking about the near future, when she’ll probably be…gone.
I can’t imagine how it’s like to have both your mental and physical faculties slowly fading away. When we visited her that day, she was remarkably fluent in Malay, a throwback to a kampong era where she was young. She had totally forgotten us, and this time, she didn’t remember us when we told her who we were. “I’ve forgotten,” she’ll say in Malay.
Her body was literally skin and bone; I could feel her shoulder blades so starkly when I touched her shoulder.
Strangely, despite my inner grief, some comforting words from Dad and personal thinking led to a kind of catharsis, you could say. I seemed to accept that she was dying, and the thought of her passing away, somehow didn’t seem as strongly depressing as my maternal grandpa’s death, which was more sudden. Her slow ‘fading’, to me, allowed me to mentally prepare for her death, and the thought that she accepted Christ when her mind was still fully functional comforts me greatly, compared to my grandpa who was converted only on his deathbed, when he was slipping away.
I’ll accept it.
When we assisted her in drinking and talked to her, although she’d forgotten us, she constantly praised us, calling us ‘good people’.
I’ll never forget you grandma. Although it was always difficult communicating due to my poor Hokkien, we still were able to show love for each other.
I love you, Ah Ma.