Tuesday, January 03, 2006

so long 'Appa'...

Yesterday was a sad day for my family. My grandfather (affectionately called 'Appa') passed away at a ripe age of 100 years 119 days and 15.5 hours. He leaves behind his wife (Appachi), 4 daughters, 2 sons (my dad being one of them), 17 grandchildren and 12 great grandchildren (plus 1 more on the way). Sadly he left with only one son, one daughter, 2 grandchildren and 1 great grandchildren by his side. He was a strong man who lived through earning a living in a foreign land (Sri Lanka was his home) away from his parents and siblings, being tortured during the Japanese Occupation, losing his job as an estate manager in his 40s (with 7 mouths to feed not including all the others in the estate who relied on him), marrying off his 4 daughters (not an easy feat with the emphasis on dowries), educating 2 of his sons (overseas), losing his legs to due to infection/diabetes and the worse part of all, watching his family break apart due to greed, money and selfishness.

Its a very sad thing to see my dad's family break apart. What once were a tight knit family with multiple gatherings a year (sharing laughter and memories) to everyone hating the sight of one another as well as picking sides on certain matters. The worse was to see my grandfather lose the love, affection and respect of his children. In the last 5 years of his life, only 2 of them cared for him while the others only visited once a year as a formality. Visiting was one thing but they wouldn't even touch, love or take the time to talk to him. How inhuman can a person be. For all that he has done for his family, to see this happen is something very sad. As I type this I can't help but tear.

One thing for sure is Appa passed away with a smile in his face and a peaceful heart. Actually, I can never recall a time when my grandpa never smiled. No matter what shit he had to endure, he never did put on a sad face. He always was happy and cheerful and very loving to his family. Even in the years his health was deteorating and he lost his legs, he was happy with his life and what he managed to achieve. He wanted to celebrate his 100th birthday and he did. He was able to see 17 grandchildren and 12 great grandchildren grow. He lived passed all his friends and relatives. He had no major illnesses or vices. He also wished that he would pass in the home he built and lived almost half his life and he did. Ever so quietly and peacefully in his bed. I couldn't have wished for a better ending.

Today we cremated his body. We did everything as he asked. No elaborate ceremonies, no fussying over his body, no obituary and no ego boosting bullshit most would come to expect. Tommorrow in the wee hours of the morning, we are going to place his ashes along Sg. Linggi, where he spent his life earning a living and nurturing his children. His last wish.

I write this as a testimonial of sorts for my dear grandpa. He didn't want/have an obituary so I thought why not blog it. Plus I feel he deserved a hellave lot more than what he ended up with. To those that ignored him during the years he needed you most, I hope that what goes around comes around. Don't think 1 day of crying is going to solve it.

I end this post with a picture of my Appa and Appachi taken during his 100th birthday.

I love you Appa. God bless and take care. I'll see you when I get there. =)


Anonymous said...

Deepest condolences bro.



Levin said...

My condolences.

poopie said...

sorry bunnie *hugs* remember him the best way you can.