“It Is All Right To Let Go.”

Two years ago today.

The phone rang. The melody was familiar. It was the anticipated phone call. Wuan was on the other end of the line. It was just after her lunch break.

“How?s Mummy?”

“Her eyes are closed. She is not responding.”

I looked at that frail figure lying there, unmoving, her back towards me. Her condition had steadily deteriorated since Tuesday evening. Even with routine four hourly turning, the skin on her hip had hints of a bruise, the precursor to a pressure sore. All I could do was to massage the offending spot with some lotion to improve the blood circulation. That was what she had done for me the months that I was bedridden.

“Talk to her,” I told Wuan, hoping she could encourage her to find the strength to fight on.

She had trusted Wuan more than anyone else to care for me after her. Although she had never said it, I knew she was consoled by the fact that Wuan had proven time and again that she was capable of loving me unconditionally as she had. What Wuan had done for her the week that she was here strengthened her conviction. And now Wuan was the best person to instil that spirit in her.

I held the phone to her ear. I knew for sure she could hear. Never mind that she could no longer reciprocate with a respond. I have been whispering to her throughout the day. Although the situation seemed increasingly bleak, I was hoping against hope that through some miracle, she could muster that strength that had always seen her through the direst of situations to wake up from that stupor.

Jenny had told me it was time to let her go. She had already looked after me for so long. It was time to let her go peacefully. She advised me not cling on to her because it would make it even more difficult for her to leave. I had accepted her words, although with some hesitation initially. Still what she said made sense. She is one of those few I trusted unequivocally. After all, she was the physiotherapist who played a major part in my rehabilitation.

“Ma, don?t worry for me. I know how to take care of myself. You are free now. Do what you have to do.”

I wished those were the sincerest words from my heart but they were not. Each time I whispered those into her ear, I had hoped I could tell her otherwise, tell her to be strong and fight on because I believe she had that ability within her to overcome that most difficult period of her life. There were still so many dreams she had for me that I had yet to fulfil. Two more years, two more years were all I need to make some of those a reality. Deep inside, I was screaming for two more years from her and I wished she could hear and allow me that extra time to make her proud.

After what I thought was enough time for Wuan to exhaust all the words of encouragement she could think of, I held the phone back to my ear again.

“What did you tell her?”

I knew she always have a profound view of life. I knew without a doubt that whatever she had said those few minutes were more than I could ever thought of. Still, I was curious.

“I told her I will be going this weekend.” There was tiredness in her voice. “I told her if she could, to wait for me. But if she is suffering too much it is all right to let go. I will look after you. I asked her to please not worry.” I listened in silence, choked with emotions and trying hard to hold back my tears.

Author: Peter Tan

Peter Gabriel Tan. Penangite residing in the Klang Valley. Blissfully married to Wuan. A LaSallian through and through. Slave to three cats. Wheelchair user since 1984. End-stage renal disease since 2017. Principal Facilitator at Peter Tan Training specialising in Disability Equality Training. Former columnist of Breaking Barriers with The Borneo Post. This blog chronicles my life, thoughts and opinions. Connect with me on Twitter and Facebook.

6 thoughts on ““It Is All Right To Let Go.””

  1. Very touching post here Peter. I just dunno what to say…

    You are a very strong person, God bless you for having the strength to soldier on.

  2. Mothers are all like this, they usually have the gut feeling and want to do the best for their children even though they know their time has arrive.
    I know she was worried for you up to the last minutes of her life
    I know your mother will be very happy now as Wuan is
    a great companian and what Wuan had said to her on taking care of you.
    Once again Take Care man.

  3. I can’t even begin to imagine what it’s like to be in your place. I only wished I had half the strength you have. I still have my parents (albeit, they are divorced) but the lingering feeling that they’ll be gone as we all will be is well.. lingering.

  4. adee,
    When the time comes, we have to face it bravely. That was all I did. There were moments when I felt overwhelmed by those grief. Trusting in God and being consoled by the people around me helped a lot. Do not worry too much about when your parents will be gone. Rather, love them as much as you can and try to give them your time. Those are the most precious gifts any child can give to their parents.

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