September 01, 2009
As I fly home, these long few days of grieving seem distant, a slight blip in my memories of grandpa. I can even start to pretend he is still around, as ours is a long distance relationship, there is no familiarity of an everyday closeness. And yet, as his eldest grandchild, I wish to think that we had a special relationship. Grandpa (or ah kong to all of us) had always been a pillar of strength and solidity. He was a person people turned to for advice, an organisor of events, a connector, a village leader, and a very loving (in his own way) husband, father and grandfather. All through my childhood into adulthood, he has always been extraordinarily proud of all my little accomplishments. After any major event in my life, the person that is right after my parents whom I will speak to would be him. Across the distance, he will shout out his pride, his approval and his encouragement. We will miss his annual phonecall on all our birthdays (he learnt the time difference between here n London just so he could call at the right time!), where he will wish us and we will exchange pleasantries. It was not in our personalities nor culture to be expressive about our feelings, but I hope ah kong understood how much he was loved by all his many children and grandchildren. On the day the phone call came through, all of us dropped whatever we were doing to fly back to send him off. It was a going away party he would have been proud of, a huge sending off with friends and family from near and far. We love u ah kong and may you rest in peace.
p.s. thanks so much to my dearest sil P for always being there and taking care of the girls, it was a huge help to V, who would not have been able to cope otherwise as i was gone for almost a week....