Tuesday, December 30, 2008

My dad sent me an message telling me that she had passed away peacefully at 1am last night. She had suffered a bad fall a few weeks back, and I think no one really expected that fall to have been the trigger for a series of unfortunate events. At least, I didn't. So she wasn't as healthy as everyone had thought. She certainly had us fooled -- who would've thought otherwise of her? Impossible.

But my mom told me the scans showed she had two mild strokes previously, so mild that even she herself must've ignored it as a bad headache or just a bad day. Her heart was also weakened, but I'm not sure why.

When I read the message, I had just fallen asleep after returning back from a shoot at 5am. I don't think I quite digested it. I had a dream about it, though, in which I was yelling to someone about the wake arrangements.

It didn't even sink in when I woke up. It was so utterly unexpected that I didn't really know what to do. I was going to go back in March to see her again. My mother had warned me previously, that the doctor had said there was no telling with people her age, but I just shelved that worry aside because, it was her, you know? She had never been ill before this fall, and now this? What the fuck?

I want to write about my last memories of her, because I know I will forget in time to come. My mother and I having tea at Ya Kun in Junction 8. We took some photos with my camera. I want to write about the experience of bringing her to watch 881 in the cinema, and how she kept talking so damn loudly everyone in the front of us kept giggling and laughing. Oh, how she embarrassed us.

But mostly what I feel now is guilt. And anger. I hate guilt, because it is the most self-indulgent of all emotions. But this woman held my hands and told me that she would wait for me, because she wanted the chance to drink wine at my wedding.

I know it was all just rhetoric, just her being naggy and doing her usual get-married-soon routine. It wasn't some kind of serious vow that I should take seriously. But it meant a lot to have heard that, and I haven't forgotten it in the four years since she uttered it, and I haven't forgotten it now. And that's where the anger comes from, that she didn't keep her promise to me. I know she didn't mean it as a promise, but I took it that way.

It's all too late, anyway.