Sunday, June 07, 2015

saying goodbye to daddy

some days are ok, but i have been muddling around some days. things seem to be a blur. lethargic, anti-social, lost, sad, and a deep ache of missing my daddy that is quite inexplicable and hard to explain. it's difficult to say goodbye to someone you love so dearly, who has been a big part of your entire life in so many ways, shared so many precious moments and memories. some may ask: how are you? how is your mom? ah, we are keeping ourselves busy. it's quite hard to describe what the grief and sense of loss is like.. not sudden, for it has been there, since the day we found out

i don't really want to talk about it or come to terms with it, but i am forcing myself to type this out so i might find some closure through my reflections and note down the things i do not wish to forget. 

God's timing is perfect. this entire journey has shown me so much, moulded us so much.. individually and as a family. there is only that much that can be said of a man when he passes on. but when a man is used by God, there is so much that can be said of him and how God has worked through him. this is the story of my dad. he has run his race and allowed God to work in his family, his company, his service for the Lord, his friendships and relationships with others, his love for children.. and even in his sickness and his battle with cancer. 

during the weeks leading up to his last day, daddy grew weaker and needed more help in going to the hospital for check-ups. in God's perfect timing, PP began his holidays and we were more flexible in being able to help. there were a few occasions when the doctor seemed at a loss for words when he saw how frail and weak my dad was, and how much weight he had lost. "Do you still want to fight?" he asked. "Yes!" my dad said, punching his fist in the air. this was my daddy, a fighter. he was not the type to sit down, give up, and wait for his last days to come. whatever he could do, he wanted to try. 

in those times i sat or stood with daddy, he would look at me, smile when our eyes met, hold my hand. he probably knew my heart was breaking to see him in that state. that was his way of reassuring and comforting me. 

we just celebrated mother's day before daddy was admitted for the last time. daddy has never been good with words and writing and his swollen fingers make it difficult for him to write or type anything of late. i offered to write down what he wanted to say to mummy in a card that my sister had made. as he talked and i wrote, tears flowed down my cheeks. it was nothing fancifully expressed, but i tasted of the love, gratitude and sadness that he felt towards mummy. later, he asked me, "was my letter well-written?". haha. totally trade-mark of my daddy to egg for a compliment :)

the last check-up he had was the only time he succumbed to sitting on a wheelchair from home, to get to the carpark. when the doctor asked him whether he wanted to be admitted, daddy was reluctant. doctor mentioned that everytime daddy was admitted (for drip and protein), he seemed to perk up for awhile. never did we know that it was not to be so. daddy lapsed into a long sleep and did not wake till one and a half days later. we swayed between plans to bring daddy home or to place him in a hospice to alleviate the stress on my mummy. when dad woke, it became clear that he wanted to go home. arrangements were quickly made.. my sister (the planner) quickly bought the equipment and arranged the necessary logistics. brother-in-law planned the medical necessities and ambulance services, brother and PP stayed over on the many nights to accompany my daddy. in that one week, things were uncertain.. but we knew that things were not good. we sat with daddy, sang hymns to him and communicated with him. he clearly understood what we were saying even though he did not say much. and gradually, he responded less and less. 

the night we brought him home as he desired, we tried to have a family worship like we always do every sunday. that night, we sang

  1. "Saviour, more than life to me,
  2. I am clinging, clinging, close to Thee;
    Let Thy precious blood applied,
    Keep me ever, ever near Thy side.
  3. Refrain:
  4. Every day, every hour,
  5. Let me feel Thy cleansing pow’r;
  6. May Thy tender love to me
  7. Bind me closer, closer, Lord to Thee.
  8. Through this changing world below,
    Lead me gently, gently as I go;
    Trusting Thee, I cannot stray,
    I can never, never lose my way.
  9. Let me love Thee more and more,
    Till this fleeting, fleeting life is o’er;
    Till my soul is lost in love,
    In a brighter, brighter world above."
  10. he left in the wee hours of the morning. somehow, mummy found it difficult to sleep and was woken up despite feeling very tired. she sponged his lips, read psalm 23 to him, one hand holding his, the other on his chest.... . "爸爸。你这样好辛苦啊。放下吧。孩子们都在这里, 你就安心吧。” and dad's heart stopped.

looking back, there is no question that God's plans leading to this day is seamless and perfect in every way.. providing for us in every sense of the word.

it's true that we miss our dearest daddy very very much, but with God in the picture, we accept that He truly worked out everything for good. daddy is not in pain anymore, not suffering anymore.  this grief is a better type of grief than the one we had when we first found out about daddy's illness. knowing he is no more suffering, versus knowing he is going to suffer. whatever it is, im thankful that in these two types of grief, we have hope because Christ has triumphed even over death. 

my dear friends... if you happen to be reading this, it is my prayer that you will know of this hope that goes beyond this life. there aren't many things as painful as witnessing someone you love suffering physically. if you can't quite imagine this pain, than you must know that whatever/whoever enabled us to go through this trial is worth knowing.

But I would not have you to be ignorant, brethren, 
concerning them which are asleep, that ye sorrow not, 
even as others which have no hope. 
For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, 
even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with him.
1 Thessalonians 4: 13-14

on a separate note, treasure your loved ones and spend as much quality time as you can with those who matter to you. talk to them, hold their hands, share with them, take pictures, put in effort to celebrate each others' birthdays, and find ways to make one another happy. don't take for granted the time you have with them... 


ah joan said...

esther.. thank you for typing this out.. as someone who hates feeling grief and pain, i don't think i will ever understand how much it is like to go through something like this until the time comes when i lose someone as precious to me.. but truly, our Saviour is more than life to us.. may it give us more desire for a place beyond this earth where joy is temporary and woes abide, for a place where we will be with our Lord forever..

jiayou!! :)

pp said...

thank you for this. not easy to type it out I'm sure.
hoping with you daily.
till we meet daddy at Jesus' feet.