The last two weeks have been probably the most heart wrenching time I remember having in my life. You see, my Opah Temoh (grandmother) passed away on July 18th, 2012. What made it more heartbreaking was the fact that this is the first close family funeral my sisters and I attended.
Certainly one expects grandparents to pass away, even when they live a healthy long life. But trust me, nothing prepares you for the time that you must say good-bye. Opah had been ill for quite sometimes. In fact, she became progressively ill right after she received news that her best friend had passed away in Ipoh. That was about three months or so ago. She was at our place then.
She became quite reclusive after that, refusing to eat and even converse. And one day in late May, she fell down in front of the bathroom. It was lucky that my sister was nearby to grab hold of her. From then on, she became bed-bound. In early June, we sent her to my uncle’s place in Shah Alam as my mother, sisters and I went back to visit Opah Kampar (who then wasn’t feeling too good either).
One and half months at my uncle’s place, Opah Temoh seemed to be coping well. Her appetite kinda returned albeit she only ate porridge twice a day and survived on milk on a regular basis. In fact, Wan Chor said that Opah Temoh appetite seemed to be getting better by the day.
Until two weeks ago when her condition deteriorated. She was clearly and seriously ill. She had problems breathing. And we converged at my uncle’s place - us and my other uncle’s family (Ayah Lang). My Bapak and two uncles even took turn sleeping by her bedside.
That was about a week before Opah Temoh’s passing. She was in really bad condition and we took turn reciting Yassin and whispering shahadah into her ears. She slipped in and out of consciousness. What’s sad was that tears streamed down by her cheek – she must be in great pain and she couldn’t talk anymore. Whenever she’s conscious, we also took turn asking for forgiveness.
And Bapak texted my Opah’s nieces and nephews informing them of her health situation. Before long, scores of uncles and aunts (my Bapak’s cousins) came over. My Opah Temoh’s brother and sister in laws also came by all the way from Penang and Ipoh. Even my Opah Kampor and Mak La came over from Kampar on the last Sunday of Opah Temoh’s life.
It’s just that by that weekend, Opah Temoh’s condition improved a little bit. In fact, on Saturday night, my mum said she waved her hand upon seeing mak entering her room and she smiled.
Alas, that was not to be for long. By Wednesday morning, she was already unconscious and by noon, my uncles and Bapak decided that she needed to be hospitalised (despite Opah Temoh’s frequent requests to not send her to the hospitals).
By 5.30pm, we received a call from Bapak from the Klang Hospital asking us to come. The doctor asked all close family members to come over. We rushed through the evening rush hour and reached the hospital around 7.10pm. And we were greeted by the sight of Opah Temoh lying on the bed fighting for her life. It was heart breaking.
And around 8.20pm, Opah Temoh left us. Forever. It was numbing, us watching her breathed her last breath.
What happened next was blur of activities - us rushing back home, readying the house to receive Opah Temoh to spend the night at our place for the last time, the mandi jenazah and kapan and the solat jenazah at the Masjid An Nur, USJ 4, the funeral at the USJ 22 cemetery and a tahlil at my place that evening.
And today, almost a week later, I can’t help wondering if we ever remember to thank you enough for all you have done for us.
Wherever you are now, one thing for sure, you’ll always be remembered. If we have forgotten to show our gratitude enough for all the things you did, we're thanking you now. And we are hoping you knew all along how much you meant to us.
Rest in Peace, Opah Temoh! Al Fatihah!