April 02, 2010

A Decade Ago from Today...

Was the last time I saw my late grandmother. 

She was my mother's mother. I was so close to her but when I found out she had Alzheimer's, I started to distant myself from her. I don't know why I did that. I was only 16 years old when I heard of the disease and I couldn't bear the thought of her dying. When I think about it now, I think it was my way of trying to handle the inevitable. When I found out she had Alzheimer's, I knew it was just a matter of time before she starts forgetting us, forgets herself and eventually leave us forever. 

I can still remember how she passed away. It was on a Sunday, in the morning and it was at my aunt's home. My grandmother's youngest sister came all the way from Johor with her husband and her other cousins. My grandmother was very close to this sister. By then, it had been a few months since my grandmother was first diagnosed with Alzheimer's. She had completely forgotten our names and her own. She hardly speaks. She will only smile and look straight up into the distance. Most of the time, she would look up and then she would smile. In our hearts, we just knew, her time is coming close.

That morning, after my aunt's housemaid who is also my grandmother's caretaker showered her and put on fresh clothes for her, her sister and family members sat near her and tried quite helplessly to talk to her. Her sister told her many times that she loves my grandmother and my grandmother would sometimes smile. At the same time, the caretaker already prepared breakfast for my grandmother - porridge - and was about to feed her when I heard a commotion. I was in my aunt's room when I heard somebody yelling at the living hall. I went out and I saw my aunt was already lying next to my grandmother, she was crying and holding my grandmother's left hand in hers. My grandmother's sister was reciting the Syahadah at her right ear and she crying as well. I looked at my grandmother and that's when I noticed something peculiar. She was looking up, she was smiling and I saw her breath travel from her stomach, her chest, her throat and then in just a minute, she was gone.

I remembered floating through the whole process of having the neighbors come by, listening to them recite the Yassin and seeing my grandmother being wrapped in white cloth. And the thing I remembered most was when our family members took turn to kiss her forehead one last time before bringing her to the graveyard. Her face looked so serene, as if she was only asleep and dreaming a beautiful dream. Her skin looked so soft and it was soft to the touch too although she was already 67 years old. And there was a tiny smile on her lips. A small sweet smile.

It was raining when the men started the Solat Jenazah. It rained so heavily even though before that the sun was shining so brightly. It continued to rain heavily when they brought her to the graveyard. But once the Talkin was read, the rain slowly stopped and the sun shone brightly again. 

A few ustaz and ulama's said that that was a sign. How can she look so serene and smile when she have already passed away? Why did the rain pour so heavily before she was brought to the graveyard? It was a sign for those who still lives and who was there to witness it - my grandmother was a great woman, a wonderful mother and grandmother and a very sweet teacher. She used to teach children and adults alike to recite the Quran properly. She never raised her voice or her hand, not even to pinch a naughty child like me. She was always there to hold me in her arms when I'm sad, always there to defend me against my mom, always there to protect me when I feel the world was against me. She gave me hope. She taught me that I am worth more than what others are telling me.

When she passed away, I was about to turn 17. My decision to detach myself from her back then once her memory started to fade was so that I could protect myself from heartbreak. Instead, my heart was still broken because since the day she passed away until now, I can't stop regretting my decision. I wished I had been there for her all the time. I wished I was there next to her, from the day she could still remember my name until the day she would only smile whenever she sees anybody. I wish I was the one who bathe her and wash her just the way she did for me when I was a child. I wish, and I wish wholeheartedly, that I could see her smile again. That sweet, sweet smile.

She may be gone for 10 years but she lives in my heart, always.


Razz Momma said...

when it comes to things that are centered on our emotions, our actions are made from that emotions.. it is understandable what u did and tho it hurts u now that u weren't there much for her, but u did that to protect urself.. i am sure she's at a better place now and proud of who u are n what uve become.. pray for her.. pray for urself..

love u doll! :*

Bluecrystaldude said...

Dear Bella,

I am so sorry to hear about your grandmother. It's so irony when I compared your post with my Happy Birthday Grandma. I am sorry if I'm not that sensitive. I totally missed out this post. Once again, I heard about these kind of signs from Ustaz too. I really hope it's true. Semuga rohnya dicucuri rahmat. Amin.

LV said...


everybody makes mistakes in their lives.. its the process of learning.. as long as we take into account the mistakes we've made and not repeat it again, then let's not grieve over the past.. i'm sure she knows you loved her dearly and i'm sure she loved you dearly too. she's at a better place and hopefully one day, you will meet again..

take care beautiful :*

Bella Enveeus said...

Everybody makes mistakes.. Hmm.. Sorry, I was thinking about something else..

But you're right.. I hope she knows.. I hope I can see her again.. Pray that I have enough good deeds so that someday I'll be next to her again..

Thank you deary

Bella Enveeus said...

Oh no Haaziq.. On the contrary, I'm happy to read your post about your grandma.. She's cool and fun and healthy.. Hope you will treasure the time you have with her and make her last memories filled with happiness and love.. Regret is a painful thing and hope you or anybody else will not be in the position that I am in.. Insya'Allah doa you dimakbulkan.. Amin..

Bella Enveeus said...

Thank you sweetie..

I miss her dearly, but I know it's normal to miss someone who are kind, sweet, lovely and generous like her. And to know she loved me unconditionally and never intended any harm onto me is something I can never trade with anything. I hope she is proud of me.. Thank you again dear.. You're a wonderful friend..

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