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Charlotte Elizabeth

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Thursday, July 31, 2014 - 8:57 PM

I give up blogging here in favour of just writing everything in my tumblr, www.forbeingstrange.tumblr.com

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Wednesday, June 18, 2014 - 1:19 AM

Suddenly miss my grandma alot. It's been about two months since she passed away. I don't want to say that I regret taking her for granted. There's no space in life for regrets, but I do, I really do. How I wish I had taken more effort in the months leading up to those fateful events, to call her up more often, to drop by her house. It was always a case of there's always next week, next month, next year. Who would have thought that time would be so cruel and fleeting. And I, prone to my youthful tendencies of self-centredness, wanting only to enjoy life, to with friends, to neglect responsibilities.

She died of a broken heart. I'll never forget the time she cried while on the phone with me. I was so so so worried. Life has been cruel to her. Through the wake I finally learnt the deep histories of the Gan (my grandfather) and Dai (my grandmother) families. My grandmother grew up a princess of a rich rich family, and never had to worry a day of her youth. She was educated, something so few had the chance back in those days. The Dai family was an even richer family, and both owned plots of land in the Pasir Panjang area. One wonders what would have happened if she and him never married. He was a horrible man, who abused her and his sister, and managed to gamble away every last cent of the family's fortune. Tens of millions, to be gambled away - no small feat.

It's been decades since those days. Thirty odd years since my grandfather left the family, though not before leaving his mark. What a joke to find out he's living it up in Batam with a second family, whilst completely laying to waste his family here. I don't think my grandmother ever fully recovered from that. She brought up my mother and my uncle. She loved my uncle, always pampering him and showering him with care, concern, love, unconditionally despite all his faults. And faults he had, frequently serving stints in jail. I haven't even seen him in almost twenty years. He didn't even get to see her breathe her last or attend her wake. In those final years, she took to telling people that she only had one daughter. Who could blame her really. She had everything, and she lost everything. How would she have answered enquiries about what her son did for a living, where he was? In a way, I guess, it was hard for her to face up to the disappointments she had in life.

As her health took turns for the worst, she became increasingly delirious, and we saw her giving up on life. Medically, blood had started to pool in her brain after a fall at home. She started to retreat into a child-like demeanour, and lived in her imagination. Day after day in the hospital, she would imagine that she's at home. She would refuse food, saying she had eaten a feast for breakfast, when in reality she had a bite of bread and threw the rest away. Everytime I tried to feed her, she would repeatedly say "Jia Yi, the doctor said it's not good to eat so much". My dad would often remark that only my uncle could help her. He was the one person she had pinned all her hopes on, but had ultimately let her down like all the others.

Eventually she underwent two brain surgeries to drain the blood which had cause a build up of pressure, decreasing the brain size. It was heartbreaking seeing her after the operation. Her head was shaved, tubes went in and out of her, long stitches ran around her skull and all that was left of her was bones and skin. Every nurse and doctor that took care of her was always so worried about her frail frame. In fact after the cremation, when my parents went to collect her bones and ashes, there were only a few pieces left, the rest had disintegrated, which shouldn't have been the case.

Two weeks after the operation, my grandmother passed away. Initially, our hopes were high for a full recovery after the operation. She was responding well in the ICU. But after being transferred out of the ICU and High Dependency Ward, her condition never improved. In the final two weeks, she never spoke a word, preferring to close her eyes and sleep her days away. It was almost like she didn't want to fight anymore. The battle had gone on for too long. The very last time I saw her, before we left the ward, she gave us her wide big smile, one that I have not seen for months. Four days later, she passed away.

I wish that she was still here for us to dote on and love. I wish that she had decades left to live, so that I could become successful, and give her a worry-free, luxurious life. But these are only my own selfish desires. Losing someone is painful. But I truly believe that passing on from this life has set her free from all the cruelties life has dealt her. She is finally free from all the heartbreaking memories of a man she once loved but betrayed her, of a son who she loved but brought her disappointments, of relics from a carefree and privileged youth that only serves to magnify all the losses she has had to live with. She was a wonderful and brilliant lady whom we all loved. Our love wasn't enough to draw her out of the shell she had retreated into, closing herself off from the world. My mom told us that my grandmother's dad was a loving father who doted on her the most out of his seven children. So was her grandmother. My one and only wish now is that she is finally separate from the pain of this world, and that wherever she is, she is by the side of the two people who loved her the most - her father and grandmother, and that she is happy. I am not religious, but I believe with all my heart that that's where she is, and for that, I am happy for her.

You have blessed us with your love in your living years. Your words, spirit, laughter and smile will forever be etched in our hearts.

给最爱我们的嬷嬷。今晚没给您上香, 希望你能找得到路, 回到最疼您的爸爸和阿嬷的生边。 这生只带给了你失望, 心痛, 伤心。生命如此的残忍, 捉弄人。唯独希望来生是个永恒无悲伤, 无心痛, 充满爱惜你的人。随人一再的亏待你, 但你还是无限的爱护我们。 世上最令人伤心痛苦的事, 无非死别与生离。但明白让你解脱一切的哀愁。 您的笑容, 完美, 爱心, 教导, 永远都刻在我心里。 戴世華, 最亲爱的嬷嬷, 一九三七至二零一四年。 此敬。

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Tuesday, June 10, 2014 - 11:57 PM

What is the life you (I) want? Forever I'll be torn between following my dreams and being the person my loved ones want me to be, so that they will be happy. Maybe that is a form of happiness too? But where is the meaning of life in that?

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