It took me some time to pen this down. Maybe because i was still in denial. But i really do want to document this down, lest i forget what happened.
Although i really doubt so.
So Nadya turned 1 month few weeks back and on the same day, my MIL lost her battle to cancer.
We found out about her Stage 4 Breast Cancer in November 2014, just 1 week after we got back from our KL Trip together.
It all happened so fast and even though we were already mentally prepared for it, i can’t help feeling devastated about it. It has been 3 weeks since she’s passed away and not a single day went by that i did not think of her and somehow or rather, our conversations will gravitate to “Mummy would love this” / “Mummy used to do this”.
On her 7th day of Tahlil, i broke down in the kitchen because i remembered those times when she would come over our place every week for dinner. The place she would sit at the dining table. The way she said “Alhamdulilah” after her meal and her voice when she picks up her home phone and realized it’s me and she’ll go “Hello, Dyan!” in that unique rhythm reserved for me.
I miss her. I really really do. I’m quite fortunate i’m close to my in-laws. Not the kind of “close for the sake of being close because she’s my husband mum” but really close that we have to meet every week else we’ll miss each other kind of close. Maybe partly cos Rusly is her favourite child and also maybe because she is so easy to get along with.
During her funeral, people keep telling me how i’m such a good daughter-in-law, taking her in to our place while i was heavily pregnant and then during my confinement. What they never realize is how she has always been so so nice to me. She is such a selfless person. Even while she was sick, all she could think about was how tired it must have been for me, having to take care of her in my last trimester. She kept reminding Rusly to focus his attention to me instead of her. Each time Rusly sorta bully me, she’ll come to my rescue. While pregnant, i just have to mention in passing what i wanna eat and she make sure i’ll get it.
Few times she apologised to me for falling sick while i was heavily pregnant. I remembered the day after her 1st chemo, she held my hand, cried and said “Sorry dyan.. Mummy menyusahkan. You’re pregnant.. and you need all the attention and yet i’m taking it away from you” I still cry when i think of her face when she said that to me. 😦
2 weeks before she passed away, she refused treatment. Refused to go for additional ultrasound scan, refused to see her Doctor for consultation. We had the intention of stopping her chemo and let her continue with oral medications instead. We kept promising her that we won’t allow her to go thru chemo anymore and then one morning, my FIL knocked on my bedroom door at close to 9.30am with his eyes brimming with tears saying that mummy can’t breathe. True enough, she was gasping for air. Told her i’m calling the ambulance but she refused. I had to coax her to take the ambulance because i can’t carry her to the hospital on my own. She finally agreed and told me “Please call all my children. I want them with me.” So i called the ambulance and then called all her 3 children including Rusly to hurry up and meet at NUH A&E. I packed Nadya’s stuff, sent her to my mum’s place and head over to NUH A&E.
It was there when the doctor told us her organs are failing, like a domino, they are falling apart one by one.
They placed her in a special room in the A&E, gave us a special pass with “End of Life Program” written on it and told us they would not do any procedure on her. Instead, they want us to stay by her side and say some prayers because at that point, her chance of surviving the day seems very slim. We all cried together in that room. It was so hard for all of us to see her in that condition.
We managed to get her a room, informed all her relatives & friends and everyone came down to see her. Prior to this, she refused visitors. No one was allowed to visit her except for her children. Although a few of her friends actually knew of her condition, she refused to let them visit her. So it came as a shock when they see her for the 1st time. The weight she has lost, the hair she has lost and that cheerful disposition she had.
We requested for a terminal discharge from the hospital to fulfill her final wish – to pass away peacefully at our place.
So we arranged for an ambulance service to take her back to Bukit Panjang, called up some vendors to rent an Oxygen concentrator and arranged for private nurses to come in every day to see her condition. We were also briefed by the nurses on what to look out for, how to inject morphine in her if she’s in pain etc.
The night before she passed away, she was wheezing when she breathe. Even with 15 litres of oxygen support, she could hardly breathe. She was no longer responding when we talked to her. When i held her hand, i noticed tears at the corner of her eyes. I don’t know why but i somehow knew the day is near. That night, we all knew. My FIL requested us to stay by her side and baca Yassin for her before we go to sleep.
At 2.00am, Nadya cried for milk and while feeding her, i remembered thinking if i should wake Rusly up to look at his mom and see how she’s doing. But Rusly looked so tired and was in deep sleep so i dismissed it. What i didn’t know was barely few minutes after i slept after feeding Nadya, his father woke Rusly up because mummy took a long pause each time she breathes. When both of them came back to the room, mummy took her very last breath and passed away peacefully. Rusly’s sister, who slept over that night, woke me up, crying. At that moment, i knew, mummy is gone.
Even though we kind of expected it already, that final moment we had with her was very intense. We called for a doctor to certify the death at 2.55am, went to get the Death Cert done, called all our relatives & friends and arranged for the funeral.
10.00am came and people start streaming in. So did the people arranging the funeral. I asked the kakak in charge if it’s ok fo me to mandikan mayat as well, since i’m still on pantang and ada darah nifas. She said it’s ok. But some of the aunties were telling me not to. Takut i badi.
But really, i think that is the last thing i can do for mummy and i was glad i was part of it. Although i cried half the time and kept kissing her forehead.
Once mayat dah dimandikan and laid on the floor for her closed ones to kiss her and say their last goodbye, i searched for Rusly.
He was crying so hard and i can totally understand why. When it was his turn to kiss his mom, he broke down and kept crying and at one point, stood up to leave because he don’t think he can do it. I had to console him and tell him it is his last chance to kiss his mom and he have to brace himself for this.
By 12.00 noon, we left for the cemetery. Again, the entire family broke down. Especially when i saw her lowered down to the ground with Rusly & his brother down there receiving her coffin. When they started to bury the coffin with more sand till we lost sight of the coffin, we broke down again. I think it really made us realize that we’ll never see her again, or be able to touch her again.
Our only way of grieving right now is to see pictures & the plentiful of videos of her. Somehow, it fills the void of our hearts. But i truly miss her still.
Rusly have been having dreams of her. Once, he woke up crying really hard cos the dream was so real and she seemed so sad. Then few days after, he told me about another dream he had. This time he was happy about it because in that dream, mummy was wearing one of her favourite dress and dancing away.
She will always live in our memories. I will always remember her for her kindness, her need to be prim & proper and her passion for the things she love. Nadya might not be able to grow up knowing her nenek. But she’ll grow knowing how much we love her.
We promised to always tell her stories about her nenek, the wonderful times we had and the amazing person she is.