Death is alot easier to accept when you know the person you love had lived a full and meaningful life, without much regrets, and you recognised that it was his time to go.
J and I had this conversation. My 2nd uncle is old. Somehow, we recognised that one day he would be gone. That fear had always been weighting at the back of our minds. Something that we dreaded. But, when it came, it was not as bad as we envisioned it to be. Of course, we are very sad but we find ourselves accepting his death quite naturally. I guess it helped that he didn’t suffer too much and was blessed with all his children and grandchildren by his side.
My uncle will always hold a special heart in our hearts. We are convinced that the bond that was build in our initial childhood years is irreplaceable. He probably changed more diapers for us than our mums ever did. He was the person we turned to for every big and little things when we were staying with him.
My parents loves me very much. I feel it and have never doubt their loves for me. But, somehow, 2nd uncle still have a special place in my heart. He was the only one of my uncles that I felt close to. For J, his bond was even closer. He probably looked upon 2nd uncle as his closest kin. In one of the idle moments, J turned to my nephew who grew up with us and asked,” Do you feel that you are closer to your grandfather as compared to your mum?” My nephew nodded and we gave each other knowing smiles of understanding. This thought came to mind. Someday, if I have my own kids, I hope I can have the option of staying at home to take care of them. At least, for the initial few years.
My 2nd uncle’s youngest grandchild and his eldest one are 21 years apart in age. Looking at the pair of them together, I was somehow touched. The little boy looking up at his eldest cousin in awe, while the young man tenderly ruffled the hair of his youngest cousin and took special care of him. Both of them held a special place in my uncle’s heart. His eldest grandson who he took care of and his youngest grandson who he prayed so hard for.
The realisation that age really mellows a person. Just by looking at all the familiar faces all around.
I feel old. I used to be the youngest grandchild in the family. Now the youngest grandchild is less than 10. Most of my nieces and nephews are 18 to 25. It is hard not to feel old when the 18 to 25s started talking about their little cousins and telling me how old they feel. Different era lah. But, it was quite fun too.
Lots of flashbacks. Images of my uncle in my childhood days. Then, later, images of going to his house for dinners or just spend a day there during school holidays. And yet, later, images of him during family occasions and new years, asking me about my job, urging me to get marry so that he can see me get hitched. Guess this is my one regret. Both dad and 2nd uncle, unable to witness my wedding if I do get married. Was telling J, that uncle gave me a red packet the first time I went overseas. In reply, he told me, “Me too. I got a red packet too the first time I went for a trip.” We lapsed into silence, thinking of our kindly uncle.
During a conversation with my cousin. She was telling my nieces that the 2 kindest men among the family had both left. My 2nd uncle and my dad. “Ah goong is a really good man. So is my uncle(dad). He is also another really good man.” I feel very comforted that there is someone who still remember and appreciates my dad.