Two days before Mum passed away, I was prepared to let her go. To see her in such a state hurt me deeply. To see her struggling for every breath, struggling to swallow, and lying there on the bed in such a vegetative state was too much to bear. Even then, I was hoping that she would wake up. Even if she does not recover fully, even if she was bedridden, I was willing to look after her for as long as it takes.
I know right up to the end, Mum was still worried for me. She was not willing to let go but she was too tired to fight anymore, her body ravaged by leukaemia. For most part of her life, she lived only for one purpose ? to look after me. I should have learnt to be independent earlier so that she need not worry so much.
On Tuesday, one day after Mum came back, one of my cousins invited a priest to perform The Sacrament of the Sick on Mum where she was anointed. Although she did not attend Mass regularly, Mum was always a Roman Catholic at heart.
The night before Mum was called back to be with the Lord, the Prayer Group from the Cathedral of the Holy Spirit came to call upon God to ease Mum of her sufferings. At the same time, I was meditating for her to be healed. Towards the end of the prayer session, I had a vision of Mum, smiling and being led by two angels. That was not what I had prayed for!
Late Thursday evening, Yanti came to tell me that Mum had drank all the fortified drink that she fed her. I went to take a look at Mum before calling it a night. I found Mum’s breathing laboured and got Yanti to turn her to her side. When that did not help, I called my cousin Peter who stayed one floor below me.
Peter came and then went back to summon my uncle and his family who had travelled all the way from Melaka to see Mum. They came and started praying for Mum. Mum’s breathing became increasingly slow and weak. I kept telling Mum not to be afraid and that it was all right to let go.
I held Mum as she breathed her last breath, kissed her gently on the cheek and whispered softly into her ear, ?I love you Mum. Thank you for everything. Do not worry for me, I know how to take care of myself. Go in peace. You are with Jesus now.? Those must be the most heartbreaking words I have told Mum, ever.
Mum passed on at 1.45am, surrounded by her loved ones.
A sudden gnawing emptiness filled my heart as I hugged my uncle and cried. Part of me died together with Mum. It was she who gave me life. It was she who nurtured me from a baby to what I am now. It was she who gave me everything. It was she who led me up from the chasm of depression when I became paralysed. It was she who looked after me for eighteen years, and then another eighteen years after I broke my neck. She devoted half of her life looking after me. And now she is gone forever.