The biggest family reunion in over 20 years. Absent are Auntie Annie and uncle Henry. Premature to say now when the next reunion will occur. I felt really sad to have to tell grandma that I had to leave earlier, and missing out on grandpa’s funeral.
The day of grandpa’s passing at the hospital, the Chee clan were able to smell a heavy scent of candle. Aunt Helen here to guide granddad???? We (dad, uncle Vincent, Auntie Margaret and I) had already left to make funeral arrangemants. Auntie Helen had also apparently visited earlier on. According to the aunties, the unmistakable smell from her funeral. The morning after granddad’s passing, I was called into grandad’s room by the aunties. They asked if I could “smell” the scent of granddad, and you know what, I could. It was the smell of grandad when I was alongside him at the hospital bed for all 3 hours prior to his death. The smell was there for about 5 minutes and then it disappeared. I was also able to smell this same scent twice. Once in the shopping center right after Elaine and I got there, and the other time it was when I got into Christina’s car. I initially thought it was the smell of new leather since she got a new car, but that smell was unmistably granddad’s while at the hospital. I still get goosebumps just thinking about it. Can I say “the smell of ‘death’????”
How I prayed while at the hospital. Auntie Winnie and Auntie Doris cried hysterically. Anyway, the morning of his death, he came home. At 7am, when we were expecting the ambulance to take him home, Auntie Winnie and I prepared the bed and front door. She unlocked the 2 halfs, and later the doors were wide open. Sure it’s the wind, but I also think grandad got himself home after the hospital stuffed up in communication. That’s public health care for you. There were countless other things that went wrong due to poor communications. When dad thought that the ambulance was coming at 7am to take grandad home, he got worried that at 8.30am, nothing had happened. Dad went to admin to inquire and found the horrible truth. No reservation was done, and the night nurse misinterpreted the directions as “ambulance will come 7am” instead of “call for ambulance at 7am”. A reservation was then made for 12noon. As the nurse said, “we were lucky that there actually was a slot available at the last minute”. If this was the US, I could see law suits galore...Grandad was banking on a 7am departure; That’s what he was promised the night before!!!! Everyone kept telling granddad that the ambulance will pick him up at 7. He may not have responded, but I’m sure he heard every single word.
Granddad died at 11.42am. About 2 minutes prior to his death, he was very calm. I’m glad he left peacefully, whereas the 2 days prior he had breathing difficulty, not helped by the amount of phlegm in his throat. About 5 to 10minutes after his death, granddad’s face changed. Even I couldn’t believe it. Where his face was very thin when I arrived (very sunken look), the minutes after, his face filled up. He actually looked so much younger, his skin appeared full and “fresh”. If I had not been there to witness it, I wouldn’t have believed it...It was also very sad that uncle John did not arrive in time to see grandad go. He was about 2 minutes too late. I could see him running from the carpark with Angelica, Tiffany and Kyle in tow.
It was a very hard journey for him. He did mentioned at one stage that he didn’t have the keys to unlock the gates. A few times when they thought he was going to go, they called him back. In the end, the advice was to not call grandad back, and to just let him go. He had suffered enough!!! May granddad rest in peace!!!!!