Friday, May 28, 2004

Death Be Not Proud

I wanted to blog about this yesterday but I was in such a foul mood that I forgot about it this morning. It was only during lunch when I had time to sit down with my brother, the doctor one, not the one who is upset about his daughter's birthday party, that I remembered.

My eldest aunt is in hospital. She's very very very ill and is in ICU. My mom made me go see her yesterday and I am ashamed to say I was so freaked out by the tubes, the smells, her hysteria, the nurses, the machines and all that I ran all the way to the bathroom and threw up what was actually quite a nice breakfast.

I just couldn't reconcile it. Here was the aunt that we called the Matriarch of the Ng family because she is the eldest of my father's siblings and she always commanded respect from all in the family. Even my dad who can be a total brat at times listened to her and actually held her in some sort of reverence.

When I got married last year, we went to her for advice about what traditions we had to follow and what we could omit. She was meant to sit at the main table with us because she was to represent the head of the Ng family. It would also have been my greatest honour to serve her tea during the tea ceremony.

Unfortunately, she fell sick then and she's been sick since then. Recently, her lungs failed and she's been warded to treat the lung failure. But what has happened is that her other organs have failed too and she seems to be in a none too good state. According to my doctor brother, when he uses the phrase "all the organs are failing", it really means "things look really bleak". And there she was, lying there, small, with tubes and needles all over, a mask over her face and diapers.

It just wasn't the aunt that I knew. The strong, powerful aunt whom everyone revered. In front of me was a small tangled mess, whimpering and wailing because she was beyond uncomfortable, slurring because apparently she's had a minor stroke and hallucinating due to the inability to sleep and the strong medication that she was on.

------Update from 8 June 2004 round about 2000 hrs-----

Aunty Alice just passed away. Apparently she took a turn for the better in the morning but my mom did get to see her. Sad is hardly the word to use right now but I can find no other.

I won't be there for the funeral seeing that I'm 3 continents away but I did shed a tear for the dear aunt and wonderful person that she was and I said a prayer. I also thanked God that she wasn't suffering anymore and for the wonderful life that she led and for impact she had on all of us.

DEATH be not proud, though some have called thee
Mighty and dreadfull, for, thou art not so,
For, those, whom thou think'st, thou dost overthrow,
Die not, poore death, nor yet canst thou kill me.
From rest and sleepe, which but thy pictures bee,
Much pleasure, then from thee, much more must flow,
And soonest our best men with thee doe goe,
Rest of their bones, and soules deliverie.
Thou art slave to Fate, Chance, kings, and desperate men,
And dost with poyson, warre, and sicknesse dwell,
And poppie, or charmes can make us sleepe as well,
And better then thy stroake; why swell'st thou then;
One short sleepe past, wee wake eternally,
And death shall be no more; death, thou shalt die.

So, death be not proud. You didn't win with this one.

Ondine tossed this thought in at 16:06

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