Wednesday, August 19, 2009

My Grandmother, Lum Chung [1922-2009]

14 August 2009

The night before, I stayed up late after hearing from Aunt that Grandma is in unstable condition. I eventually retired for the night.

I woke up early and decided to head to the hospital, and then to school. I didn't manage to go to school.

When I reached Grandma's ward at Changi General Hospital, I can feel the staleness in the air. My Uncles and Aunts were already at the Hospital.

Grandma was gasping hard for air through the oxygen mask. She was unconscious with a low heartbeat rate. It was not a good sight and I had not expected that. Soon, she was transferred to a single-bed ward.

We were clueless what the beeping machines were and what the numbers represented. Hence, I asked the nurse. She said that the healthy heartbeat rate would be in the range of 90 beats per minute, but Grandma's averaged 30.

It was odd to see Grandma lying silently on the bed. Since Grandma had difficulties in mobility, she would always whine in pain. If not for the ongoing conversations, the room would be in dead silence.

Soon, Mother came from her office. Cousins also rushed to the ward.

Slightly before noon, a nurse that came in passed a comment. She said that perhaps Grandma was waiting for someone to come before she leaves. I thought that was Father. The passing of Father had not been communicated to Grandma.

Some of us went to the lounge after noon. We were suddenly called to enter the ward. According to my Uncles and Aunts, Grandma opened her eyes and took a look around the room before closing her eyes slowly. They said this so that she could see that she's not alone when she leaves.

Grandma's heartbeat rate slowly declined. Her gasping slowly ceased.

Grandma left behind 5 generations of descendants. I felt a deep sense of loss since Grandma took care of me for 20 years since I was born. I recall pushing her on the wheelchair in the park and promised her that I would drive her in my car and buy a big house where we could live together in the future.

Grandma and Father had been my inspiration and motivation for my life up to this moment. Guess I would have to discover for myself how the vacuum could be filled...


  1. My greatest condolences YK. I can understand how hard it is to lose your loved one. Fortunately my grandma left me when she was diagnosed with dementia.

    My uncle too passed away recently at home and was noticed only 2 days later. His body turned black and was foaming and spurting blood at the mouth when the paramedics lift him onto the stretcher. It wasn't easy to accept the fact that someone who seems so healthy could end up in this way.

    Life is so unpredictable... take care my friend.

  2. yeh you said very right. that was very awful condition for us when some one leave us.

  3. I really feel sorry for u after reading this article.May ur loved ones REST IN PEACE.

  4. i know how it feels when our loved ones pass away.i lost my uncle last year..may he REST IN PEACE!

  5. Very Nice Post , i really like your idea. Why don't you come to visit me?


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