Written by Alden Tan
I wrote this last week when my grandma passed on. I shared it on Facebook first and I figure I’d put it up here now. Hope you guys find some meaning in it.
It is with a tinge of sadness and tons of thoughts on my mind now that I type this to you.
The last couple of emails I sent were regarding my grandma being admitted in the hospital due to a fall she had. After being in a coma for 6 days, she peacefully passed away around midnight on the first day of Lunar New Year.
One could say it was the fall that caused her death. One could say it was the fainting spell she had and hence it was coming because of her old age of 85.
One could say many things. I know I want to. Here are all my thoughts laid out:
. My biggest concern in this period would be for my mom. My heart sank when I saw her speak into my grandma’s ear during the coma, telling her it was time to wake up and go home. My heart broke after my grandma passed on and I saw my mom cry, saying, “You’ve gone” in hokkien.
. But my mom is strong. It’ll be painful, but she is not self-destructive. She has after all, seen my dad go, her own dad go and now her mom. It is unfair if you think about it. It is honestly hence one of my biggest fears that me or my brother dies first before. She does not deserve to see her family go like that systematically.. My mom is so strong. It makes me feel bad for the times I was just annoyed with her for stupid, petty shit.
. I guess we all knew my grandma had to go before us, but one is never prepared for the death of a loved one. No one ever is.
. It is effectively a death sentence for any elderly folk to fall down and hit their head. Please be safe and please take measures to protect your elders in your family.
. The wake will be held at my grandma’s home for the next 4 days, followed by the funeral.
. In Chinese/Buddhist tradition, the wake is held such that some of us guys in the family will be keeping watch, making sure everything is in order and receiving guests. We do this even past midnight to sort of guard the coffin. . This, I honestly enjoy. This is when the boys unite and get together, like men doing their duty. Me and my cousin always stock up booze and drink the night away.
. It’s true what some people say, that death unites people.
. My grandma led a great life. She had 3 kids, 6 grand kids, and 3 great grand kids.
. It’s not like I was very close to her. I couldn’t communicate that well with her as my mandarin and hokkien suck, but I had known her my entire life.
. Randomest point here: After my grandma passed on in the hospital, me and my mom got home at about 230AM. We were greeted by two gigantic piles of dog shit my dog crapped out, one in my toilet, one in hers.
. I honestly cannot help but think, “It’s only February in 2019 now and all of this already happened.” This by the way, is the first time in my entire life that we did not do visitations to my grandma’s place for Lunar New Year. Wow man, just wow. First time, ever.
. Yes, I am overwhelmed somewhat and I fear for my future.
. I did not write about this before, but late last year, I made the decision of wanting to get a job. It was a big decision by me as, since I started the blog, I always felt this was it. I wanted to make a living writing on my own terms. After 6 years, the struggle, lessons, going broke multiple times over and emotional toil has really taken a toll on me. I am very tired. I made the decision last year when I tried to write something and I realized I wasn’t happy anymore. I wasn’t having fun. Everything was annoying me. I have to be honest and say that despite writing about self-help/self-improvement and having the intention of wanting to help my readers, I really wasn’t feeling it anymore. So yes, I am looking for a job. January showed no luck so far, but it’s okay. As said, I am just wary of the future given what is happening now.
. I’ve mad respect for nurses working in hospitals. They must see death like it’s Netflix, not that it’s their favorite show.
. Death is absolute. Really, it is. When my dad died 13 years ago, just when I was going to turn 21, it made me realize how real death is.
. It’s the end game. There’s no going back. It’s permanent and entirely irreversible.
. I distinctly remember how upset I was with myself for wasting my time with toxic assholes. I wondered why I was making myself unhappy with such nonsense.
. This is why I have an absolute point of view when it comes to dealing with people and making the right friendships. I am rather harsh as through going with my gut and own judgement, I don’t give second chances to most people.
. I urge you to do the same. Way too many people make up excuses for assholes.
. I wrote this email with tears in my eyes as I thought about my own mother crying.
It’s moments like this. Truly, it’s moments like this.
No one gets to see me like this.
But this moment, is special to me.
I am writing and I am crying.
. When I turn my neck to the right, I see my dog sleeping on my bed.
. This is who you truly you are. Just because no one sees it doesn’t mean it’s not real. If you’re feeling it deep down in your heart and in every (whatever word you can come up with) in your soul, that means it’s real, important and powerful. Never let anyone take it away from you. All my life, and I bet your life, people have been telling me what is right and what is important, so much so I forget the important moments in my own life. It’s easy to get lost in their messages and forget yours. But you get reminded. Be it through sadness, anger or lustful joy. You remember.
. Never forget who you really are even if it gets lonely at times.
That’s all I have to say in this email.
I hope it finds you well and that you’ll be happy for one thing today, just one thing.
(Ah Gong & Ah Ma, reunited at last.)
P.S. Buy my book here, 100 Days Of No-Bullshit Happiness (http://www.Alden-Tan.com/100-days)
. And this is my last point: Look what I did there? I slotted in a link to my book. It’s only $10. I was thought before to ask for the sale through a powerful story because it makes money. But yet, it makes me uncomfortable, like should be capitalizing on emotions?
. Yet at the same time, if I don’t ask for the sale, I won’t make money and me being a blogger is a joke.
. What a trip huh? It’s the artist in me that made me feel fucked up about making money. Ah well. Check out the book. I wrote it years ago and I feel it can help. I’d appreciate your support. If not, it’s cool too.
P.S.S. Love you Grandma. Rest In Peace, And Power.