Days of Grace

Before Its Too Late

An aunt (wife of my father’s brother) passed away recently (early August) in Sungei Petani, I was there for the wake service and funeral the next day.  The passing of my aunt was sudden and quick, we thank God for that for she was already hemorrhaging in the head or brain (we are not sure) and fell into coma.  I met many lost friends at the evening wake, most I have not seen nor heard from for many years.  For more than 20 years now, I’d lost touch with them since I left my hometown Penang.

My aunt was the reason I left Penang.  In such a hurry that I didn’t even say my goodbyes to most and left no forwarding address and phone numbers.  Handphones were unheard of then.  Two close friends however did manage to meet me when I went back occasionally to visit my parents who were still living in Penang then.  During the first few months in Kuala Lumpur, my aunt repeatedly told my mom to ask me to go back to Penang as I was all alone in a foreign ‘land’, I was barely 19. My parents and siblings are now staying in Petaling Jaya.

Since I left, I have buried the hurt and even forgotten the reason why I left, never brought it up until just before my aunt’s passing away. I may have visited her now and then whenever I went back to Penang but not since she moved to Sungei Petani about 5-6 years ago. I visited her for the first time in Sungei Petani two years ago when my uncle was killed tragically in a road accident.

I was chatting online with a dear friend, we were talking about ‘puppy love’ and was asked about mine, which was like donkey’s years ago.  After our chat, the buried emotions were unearthed and the supposedly forgotten reason resurfaced.  That day was an emotional day and for the next few days.  I was thinking how did I suppressed this hurt so well that I just have no recollections until now.

My handphone rang a few mornings later, my parents calling ( I recognized by the ringtone) to convey the news of my aunt’s demise.  I was shocked.  The last few days I have been thinking about her in relation to my leaving Penang and now she is gone.

I drove up to Sungei Petani with my dad and uncle from Ipoh.  My mind was working overtime while driving and lots of memories just flashbacked.  Memories that have been buried in the deepest recesses of my mind were washed ashore with each wave.  I know I was very hurt when I left but was I bitter?  I was trying to figure that out.  She is dead and gone now, have I forgiven her?  I will need to if I was bitter.  But I am too late now.  I would have time to do that a few days ago when the thoughts first came back.  I can’t help thinking now that God was indicating something then.

I was still searching my heart as she was being cremated.  Drove back to Kuala Lumpur with a massive headache, lack of sleep and still thinking, still searching.  I can only tell God, that I am so sorry that I missed the opportunity to forgive and forget if I was supposed to have done that. I could see the link clearly now right from the chat with the friend, my emotional few days, her death, the wake service and eulogy, long lost friends (we exchanged phone numbers that night and promised to keep in touch), her cremation (I was very glad to be by my cousin’s side and holding her when her mom was being cremated) and finally the long drive back.

This statement has been made over and over again and I can understand so perfectly now that we can never overemphasize it, “If we have something to say to someone, please say to them before its too late, don’t wait till the wake service or funeral service.  It wil benefit no one then.”


19 September, 2008 - Posted by | Thoughts |


  1. …saying words of encouragement, ‘I love you’ to a loved one (tho it’s a very ‘unasian’ thing to do) and asking for forgiveness…can be very very very difficult for me. But God continues to give the chance to speak instead of keeping silent to others even when i missed the opportunity to do so.
    …telling God I’m sorry’is best for He does not hold it against us for He knows our hearts of hearts! Amazing God!

    nancy said: Amazing grace so undeserved.

    Comment by blossom | 19 September, 2008 | Reply

  2. I was hoping for more about the puppy love 🙂 Sorry to hear of your aunty passing away.

    nancy said: Thank you Adino.
    Ahhh…the puppy love…perhaps in another post!? 😛

    Comment by Adino | 19 September, 2008 | Reply

  3. It is true that once we lose someone, the words that were left unsaid becomes disturbing and sometimes we blame ourselves. Likewise, its difficult for me to truly express the “I love you” to a loved one. But day by day I learn and by His grace, we can never turn back time but as life goes on we learn and though we made mistakes in the past, God still loves us!

    nancy said: Yes, I have learnt my lesson, I cried terribly typing this post knowing He forgives. I was actually apprehensive about posting this because I feel so vulnerable…but if this can serve as a reminder to anyone at all then its worth it.

    Comment by Alexandra | 19 September, 2008 | Reply

  4. Nancy, Thank you for your open heartness in your reflection. Your conclusion is so true. Many missed the opportunity of finding “closures” in life. We need to talk, we need time to listen to one another, hurts and fear often paralyze us from doing what is right.

    To be able to talk about is a victory won. I ma very proud of you.

    Pastor Lim

    nancy said: Hi Ps Lim, Welcome to my blog!
    Thank you so much for your comment and kind encouraging words. I appreciate your thoughts too 🙂

    Comment by LYC | 19 September, 2008 | Reply

  5. thanks for sharing this post.. you must have gathered an amount of courage to actually post this up… i’m sorry for what has happened… i hope u’re ok now..

    but this post certainly served a great reminder to all.. we never know what will happen tomorrow… life is fragile.. thanks again for sharing.

    nancy said: Hi Siew Lee! I definitely hesitated but hey…if the post serves its purpose that is all that matters right!? Indeed life is fragile…if tomorrow never comes…

    Comment by ensl | 19 September, 2008 | Reply

  6. Thanks for the post, its definitely a reminder to me.

    nancy said: Welcome dear! I am very glad 🙂

    Comment by meiyen1990 | 20 September, 2008 | Reply

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