Sunday, October 05, 2008


My uncle passed away on Wednesday (ya, that was the recent Hari Raya holiday). It was a sudden attack of heart seizure while he was at home early in the morning.

When I got the call from my dad, the news took a while to sink in. Though I knew my uncle wasnt in the best of health (he had been hospitalised a couple of times in the last few years, mostly due to heart problems), it still came as a shock that a person barely into his 60s (i think he is exactly 60 this year) could pass on so abruptly.

Not that we've ever been very close, though i still fondly remember him for the candies and toys he used to buy us (that's me and my brother) when we were little and were staying at our Grandma's place most of the time. He had always been a jovial and easy-going fella. And food tasting had been his all-time love.
Or simply put - he just loved to eat. :)

While at his wake, I got to meet up with relatives whom I have not met in more than a year or 2. Even for my cousins, whom i spent much of my childhood life with, it has been what... 2 or 3 years? One of them now has a daughter who's already almost 2 years old and this is the first time I've seen the baby. So yeah.. it's been quite a while.

It feels sad to think that it takes a funeral to bring people who were once close, to take time from our individual busy lives/schedules just to meet up for a brief get-together. But that seems to be the way of life nowadays. (When i brought this up with a couple of my colleagues, they all concured with me that they too felt very much the same way).

Anyway, the wake and the funeral procession (the part where we followed the Singapore Casket vehicle carrying the coffin) almost brought tears to my eyes. Like I mentioned, i hadnt been especially close to this uncle of mine, but I guess it was just the entire atmosphere and there were lots of people weeping all round. My brother and I tried our best to comfort mum - who was visibly distraught and shaken throughout. Sigh...

Last thoughts on the matter?

Seeing all those elderly relatives and their sons & daughters (and for some grandsons and granddaughters) gathered at the wake and the crematorium, a realisation dawned on me then... For someone who does not have any children, who would be there to comfort them when they lose their spouse in old age? It would surely be a even sadder reality then - as the remaining person (whether husband or wife) would then truly be "alone". Distant relatives' presence alone would certainly seem scant comfort.


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