Friday, October 5, 2012

I Am A Mother To An Angel

No apologies if I share this before. I had often told to move on. Perhaps they are well meaning, when they tell you to move on, but they do not know this is hurting.

That child I lost, is mine as like all the other surviving children I have. I love as much and  in fact much more than the ones I have now. He never got a chance for me to mother him.

So on this Baby Loss awareness week,  9-15th Oct, don't hush a bereaved mum, let her have this time of reflection. A time if she wants to wish her angel is not an angel. Let her be.

I wrote in my book, My grand pa was in his 70s, he still spoke often about my 4th Uncle who was drown when he was 4. I thank him, Grandpa, he set the precedence that I could talk about my Angel.

Grandpa lived with us when I was a teenager, and he often talked about our late uncle. Every year, he took us to clean the little grave at Bukit Limah. He told us it was important that he took us, so that we had the habit of going, and when he died, we would continue to go.

Before Grandpa died, he got a plot for himself in new cemetery in another part of Sibu. Later, he asked Dad to exhume 4th Uncle's remains to relocate to another grave at the new cemetery. He said it was for the convenient of us so that when he died, we needed only go to one place. Some aunties said he wanted to make sure that we would not forget to go to 4th Uncle's, giving the excuse that it was inconvenient to go to both.

Excerpt Chapter 2:

I thought of two women in my family who lost their children. One was my paternal Grandma Chan. First, my fourth uncle, aged four, drowned swimming in Rejang River in Borneo. We were frequently told how my Grandpa Chan cried aloud.
He lamented, “God, why did you take this favourite son of mine? Why couldn’t you have taken one of the other boys?”
  Even when he was in his seventies, he was telling us his loss and how all the women folk sighed and shook their heads.  He might be a grieving dad, but he shouldn’t have cried to his god to take one of his other sons. He gave him a grand funeral, which was unheard of at that time for a little boy. That little boy had a younger brother to call him, “Ah Ko” which meant big brother, so it was fitting that he had a funeral and be remembered.
Every year, at Ching Ming Festival, Grandpa led all of us to pay respect to his poor son. Forty years later, Grandpa, aged almost eighty, wanted to move Fourth Uncle’s remains to a new cemetery to a new grave next to his, Mum and Dad and Grandpa went to dig some dirt to put in a little box. It was a symbolic gesture to remove his remains. Mum said that Grandpa dug and dug, and there was nothing. It was very hot under the tropical sun, Mum told him to stop, he would find nothing. He refused; eventually he found a sole of a tiny shoe. Mum said that Grand Pa had loved his son very much. He had buried his little son in a pair of leather shoes when most people walked barefoot at that time.

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