Tonight, I had the honour to witness the end of a beautiful love story that spanned over 50 years that taught me what true love is. True love is not about earth shattering kisses, little surprises, endless love sonnets or romantic holidays. True love is not giving up on the one you love, especially in sickness and tough times.
Tonight, I had the honour to be reminded of what marriage is all about – “for better, for worse, for richer or poorer, in sickness and in health, to love and to cherish, till death us do part”.
Tonight, I wept for a man whose heart is utterly shattered as death claimed the love of his life. I wept for his children who were like my own siblings and loved their mom so dearly. I wept for his grandchildren as I know the pain of losing a grandparent.
Tonight, I am reminded how fortunate I am to have had the privilege to have known this vivacious, loving, generous and kind lady who is my “accidental” godma. She taught me something that I carry with me to this day. She taught me to remember my self-worth as a woman and not to let any man disrespect me.
Goodbye, Aunty Judy. I will forever remember your kindness towards our family and me. Thank you for your love and care. May you be well and happy wherever you are.
You would have turned 94 today. I still miss you very much, Mama. I never thought the day would come when we have to part from this lifetime. But the reality in life where nothing is permanent, the day came on 18 July this year. While my heart bled for losing you but part of me was glad that you are no longer suffering in your old, weary and sickly body. You and grandpa left a gaping hole on my heart but am very thankful to have had both of you as my grandparents in this short life time. The both of you stood in as both parents and grandparents and in a sense, am truly fortunate to have had a childhood filled with love and wonderful memories.
Mama, I inherited more of you that I could ever imagine. I realised this even more as I looked at your photo that was placed in front of your coffin. I have your smile, high forehead and chin. And I also hope I will have your thick wavy hair that is a nice shade of silver grey in my twilight years. I know that I have inherited your love for flowers, sense of unconventional thinking and stubborn nature.
What I hope and pray for is that I have inherited your resilience, perseverance and faith that would carry me far in my spiritual path. While we both chose different spiritual paths, am thankful that you provided me with a solid foundation of what is good and what is bad. Your unwavering faith in your chosen path serves as an inspiration to me in my journey towards my final destination.
In the early years when you embraced Christianity, it was really rough for you and grandpa. I felt so helpless not being able to help you much but I am so glad that I was at your baptism to witness your rebirth into the kingdom of God. It was such a beautiful ceremony that moved me. To be able to see you and grandpa commit yourselves to your God was precious. Years later when I took my refuge vows to commit myself to Buddhism, I wished you could be there with me but I knew that it would have be really tough for you to travel so far.
During your eulogy, I mentioned that one of the things that I will remember you and grandpa is your faith in Jesus and how this has and will continue to inspire me in my own spiritual journey. Although in the earlier part of your journey as a Christian was a huge challenge, you did not give up and chose to rely completely on God. Your faith not only sustained you right till the end, but it deepened and your complete love for Jesus is something not many have. I hope that I have that same faith, commitment and endurance in my own spiritual practice. Just as how you have relied your God to carry you through your darkest times, I too, will rely on my Guru and Protector to carry me through all my challenges in life.
You may have left a huge hole in my heart but you have also left me with a valuable teaching on the importance of spiritual practice and how unwavering faith, is crucial right at the most important part of your life… at the time of death. Your peaceful and serene face was a testament of what a good death should be – free of fear and any attachments.
Happy birthday, Mama! May you be well and happy wherever you are.