Tuesday, March 13, 2007

More Goodbyes (non-cat related post)

This may sound rather gloomy, but here's what happened:

11 Mar '07:
Sunday morning about 7am - Ger Ger the community cat passed away

Afternoon - on the way home from cat-litter shopping, we saw a dead blue-coloured bird lying in a corner. We went home to drop off our shopping, took our small gardening spade, came downstairs, wrapped the dead bird with newspapers, dug a hole on the grass and buried it.

12 Mar '07:
Evening - got a call from mom that the uncle who was discovered to have cancer passed away sometime during the night.

These recent events reminded me of my thoughts about facing impending death.

While I wasn't close to this uncle, I did visit him during CNY, together with a cousin, his wife and kids. Although unspoken, it was sort of expected that I might not have a chance to see uncle again after that visit. During the visit, uncle's wife kind of had a look of resignation, and uncle had lost a lot of weight. The mood was a bit tense, or contrived, to say the least. I was very concious of what to say and more importantly, what not to say. While I felt concerned and sympathetic, I didn't know how best to comfort uncle. How does one try to comfort another who is in pain, and facing imminent death?

Cousin's wife was chatting with uncle's wife, and at some point, made uncle's wife cry, which kind of dampened the mood for everybody. I felt uneasy, and so did my cousin, I believe. We just don't know what to say. A while later, the SO and I took our leave.

Reflecting on the incident, I told my SO that if I ever contract some sudden, incurable disease, what I would like to do is to accept the inevitable and continue to live as normally as possible. I would want people around me to live their lives as per normal, and not carry on day-to-day with a hang dog face, or with a constant frown or feeling that they should not joke or have a laugh. I would want to do the necessary, tie up the loose ends, and make sure that when I'm gone, things will be in order and lives will carry on smoothly for others. If my friends visit me, I would want them to not feel uneasy around me, and to be able to talk about it with them and to let them know that I've accepted it, and am making the best of the situation. Most of all, I want the one closest to me - the SO - to be able to do the same. I don't want to have that kind of sob-sob atmosphere around me and my loved ones.

After all, other than taxes, death is the other certainty in life.


cat_aunty said...

Oh dear auntie P!! How terrible....Sorry to hear about these

san said...

dear aunty_p.
yes, these thoughts are very dark indeed but as its inevitable, i guess we have to think about it some time. I was telling my mom that when I die, I would have all my organs (whatver that is good enough) donated. She was not pleased I guess because she still thinks that I should die as intact as I possibly can be. I told my friends that they could cry a little :) but after that they should have a party. No need for gloom and doom about it :)Then they should find my cats a home. I realised my family may not be able to keep all of the amigos :(

KXBC said...

I told the Wife that she must use that song "I'll be watching you". Think it's by Meatloaf. Hahaha...creepy song for a funeral if you listen to the lyrics carefully.

And instead of having a static photo placed in front of my coffin, to place a laptop with my various photos morphing in and out. Like that then can see various photos of me mah. Static photos are a little too boring.

And maybe train the kxbc gang to pull my photo frame along in front of the hearse, something like the eldest child carrying the parent's photo, since we have no kids. Hahaha...but I am not joking, maybe only the part about the kxbc gang.

I think most times, it's better to be dead than suffering, ie, stuck in bed needing 24x7 care, with no cure in sight. Most times, your family suffers more than you so it'll be good for them to let go of that emotional burden and get on with their lives once you/we pass on. Morbid? Not for me.

auntie p said...

I agree we should plan the event of death and be prepared, instead of seeing it as a taboo topic.

I also agree with the last para by kxbc...there is no point to prolong life in such a case.

ps: I'll try to check out that song.