You Are In My Life Forever!

mind-death-wedding-funeral-strengthen-relationship-secrets-rebel-dignitaries-daughters-little-girl-extensions-family-platinum-amc-malaysia-khairanyI was okay when I heard the news, even when it came as a shock as soon as I woke up on the morning of Aidil Adha. I was okay when I called other sources to verify the news. I was perplexed as I had never heard of him being sick… but I was still okay when I broke the news to my mother who took the news quite badly. I was okay when I was getting ready and donning my standard funeral garb. I was okay when I went to the house. I was okay when I saw the family. I thought I was okay…

As luck would have it, I was right in front of him in the house. I was okay reciting verses of the Quran quietly while waiting for a suitable time to take my leave. Then the dignitaries came unannounced, to pay their last respects. I could not escape and the veil was lifted… and upon seeing him again, my heart broke and memories of him since I was a little girl till two months ago flooded and my tears started flowing… and I thought I was okay! I had gone through Platinum, why shouldn’t I be? Indeed I was not… I was caught off guard!

It has been nine days ago when he passed and it felt only yesterday when he personally invited my mother and I for his only daughter’s wedding… I went only to the reception as I couldn’t bring myself to attend the akad nikah session. I broke down when his son read out the text he had prepared. His last words, his last speech… It had only been six days since he passed…

It is very unlike me to behave in such a manner but when it comes to my late dad’s friends, I am totally a different individual. My social role would be different towards them— for always and only with them. I would be just like the little girl they knew, sitting, enjoying her food, listening to them and laughing with them. They are the keepers of my secrets of my rebellious years. I knew my late dad confided in them whenever I was quite a handful. They went nuts together when they found out about my ‘disappearing act’ when I was 21!  (Yes, yours truly went backpacking alone to the USA for a month not to explore big cities and tourists’ sites; but the choice was the red neck areas!)

…and they shared all the good news together, too! I am sure they were proud of me too, of every single thing that I had achieved. They continue being supportive and encouraging.That would explain the presents and books I receive occasionally till this very day!

I am blessed that the good relationship that my late dad and his friends had fostered between them continues to this day. They make the effort in ensuring that my family and I are okay even after my dad had passed. They continue to care. They continue to be like they always are and that is enough for me. (Yes, dear Uncles! My mind is set! You guys can do no wrong as I could do no wrong to you!)

I once asked one of them the reason he would always pick up the tab whenever we are at the same restaurant,

“Let Uncle do this, for you. This is the least Uncle can do, now that your dad is no longer here. Uncle sees you as the extension of him.”

That, had left me speechless and both of us silently wiped our tears away… and from then on, I stopped asking. As for me, they are also the extensions of my late dad…

Ask not the reason I always attend funerals. It used to be something that I ‘had to’ or it was ‘expected of me’ but now, it is something that I ‘want to’ as my final mark of respect, gratitude and affection!

 

–Khairany

 

p/s:

Dedicated to all the Uncles, the extensions of my dad…

Thank you for keeping my secrets! Hehehe…

Take great care of your health and…

Here’s Teh Tarik/Kopi C for you, always!

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