Kel's father passed away on Friday. Sito and I went to the wake on Saturday. I took some time off to go to the funeral service today, and thought of some things on the way back to office after that.
I realised that parents are the least talked about among friends, except when we're complaining. Or at least, that's the case for me. I like to meet my friends' parents - perhaps because I'm always envious of people's relationships with their parents and my closer friends have such nice parents.
Growing up, I saw CY's parents a lot. Such doting parents with gentle voices. Back in those days when people still called the common landline instead of the mobile, I had a long chat - mostly about goldfish - with her father when I called looking for her but she wasn't in. And I'll never forget how auntie convinced Mother to let me go to the class outing after PSLE. We used to visit each other's parents at LNY until ZK came along and it became logistically challenging.
I met Kel's parents in Cambridge when I camped over for his graduation - kind and pleasant folks who fussed over a son who bullied them. I remember chiding him for that. A few years ago, his mother gave me useful advice on preparing for our customary wedding. The last time I saw them together was a few months ago in Vivocity foodcourt, so sweet, out pak tor-ing. Auntie was so warm to us and especially ZK. Uncle was the quieter one but no less smiley.
Sito said the first thing that came to mind when he heard was that we really should spend more time with family. True, we never know when things can change drastically. Kel and I were still chatting rubbish over Whatsapp the day before and the next day, his world suddenly became different.
Weren't we just starting to attend weddings and kids' first month and birthday celebrations? Suddenly, we're also attending another rite of passage - the final one.
Actually, I have not been to a funeral for years, partly because I tend to avoid them especially when I don't know the deceased. But mainly, it was because I missed the funeral of a very important person. And this thought haunts me every now and then, and especially when I know of a funeral. Today, I couldn't stop tearing on the bus back to office cos Grams was in my mind. I saw how Kel's father was sent on his final journey in this world, and thought that Grams must have been sent off with a lot of love as well.
Just told Sito about it over Skype - he's in Hong Kong this week - and started crying again. I realise that I always get emo when I think of my dear Ahmah or talk about her, even if it was just about how kind she was...