Our final good-byes to Grandma

The few days that I was in Hong Kong last week have been the most difficult, emotional days I’ve ever experienced. Because grandma had been suffering so much for the past few years, I honestly thought that I would feel comfort and relief for her passing, since it would mean that she has made her way safely to heaven. But, I was wrong. What I felt was a heart-wrenching pain, and a sadness so profound that I would wake up in the middle of the night aching for my loss.

I miss her so much. I miss the way she holds my hand and asks me to have dim sum with her. I miss how she use to pace around my desk while I worked, chatting non stop about everyone and everything. I miss watching her cook delicious home made meals in her kitchen. I miss everything about her.

On the day that I accompanied my mom and uncles to the hospital mortuary to retrieve grandma’s body, I wanted so badly to remain brave, as my mom was already fragile and weak and I wanted to be there to support her. In the end, my sister and I were the ones who completely broke down when grandma was rolled out. We sobbed uncontrollably while our mom and uncles stared at the lifeless body in sadness. It felt so surreal that her body was in front of us in its complete state, but her spirit and soul were gone.

I’ve been to a lot of funerals since I was young, and the most comforting part of such sad, morbid events is always the company of your closest families and friends. Much like weddings, it’s one of the few occasions where you’ll get to see nearly everyone in your extended family. It has been years since I had been in one room with my mom and all her siblings (my uncles), and it felt comforting to be with all of them for 3 consecutive days, as we remembered grandma together.

Today would have been grandma’s 86th birthday. I’m convinced that the heartache of losing someone so near and dear will never go away, but with time, it will evolve into a different kind of heartache…..the kind that brings comfort and smiles to us whenever we think about her. We’ll miss you forever “Siu Yuk”!

Here is the commemorative video I made on the plane ride home from Hong Kong…


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