A beautiful mess

The vacation in Darwin was fantastic :o) While I honestly wouldn’t recommend Darwin as a choice holiday destination for any keen travelers, I had a wonderful time with my friends.

Who knew traveling with new friends could be such fun? Add that to the serious lack of attractions, shopping and even nightlife and I’d say that we actually managed quite well despite the challenges. The one hilarious thing was that the fly boys were in town and it was a real treat to stumble on the rather impromptu air show and of course, lots of men in uniform. J, my lost friend, I wish you were there with me at that moment…cos you would’ve gone nuts.

The one terribly sad thing about the holiday was the passing of my maternal grandma. She was 89 and certainly lived very full life. The good thing is that she passed peacefully. My maternal grandparents were the ones who raised my sister and I as well as two of my younger cousins and we were all very close.

It was quite a shock to receive a call in Darwin informing me that grandma was ailing and later, when the doctor came, she seemed to be responding to the medicine. I certainly wasn’t expecting to receive a call saying that she passed on later in the night. The family understood enough to know that another cousin and I were away so they didn’t ask us to return. I was lucky…I made it back in time for the funeral.

Funerals in the family are sad, if slightly weird affairs because laughter is mixed within the sadness. It’s a coping measure that helps us all pull through, so there were almost as much tears as there was laughter when the entire family came to pay respects.

While writing the eulogy, we debated on whether we could swear at the service. Yes, oddly enough, one of grandma’s pet phrases while we were growing up was this particular one. And everyone knew it ;o) At the end of the day, I managed to deliver the eulogy without swearing and with a mix of Peranakan and English.

The entire experience; holiday and funeral was pretty overwhelming for me. On one hand, I had such a great time and on the other, someone very dear to me has passed on. The feelings just upped and overwhelmed me at the worst time and it was a terrible time to cope. Right up until I met my cousin. The tears stopped, the smile came on and I just snapped back into business.

There was just too much to do, family to attend to, my brother had to be deferring from doing his national service for two days because of the funeral and people to frown at and scold for being a pain in the ass, etc…

Five days past the funeral and everything is almost back to normal. We’re all on the mend. I guess we all have to slowly pick ourselves up and move on. The great thing is that we have each other. It’s always heartening to have family for support and love.

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Ever prodded a sleeping dragon, only to have it whip up and bite you in the ass? Well, neither have I. But I advocate that you should try everything...once ;P


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