Sunday, January 04, 2004


My late grandma’s brother, Tok Ngah, passed away in peace this morning. He was the last ‘Tok’ that I had on my mother’s side, and now there’s nobody on that side for us to call ‘Tok’ anymore. Tok Ngah looked so peaceful as I looked at him for the last time, as if he was just taking a nap like he usually did in the afternoons. Although he was already 80-something, he didn’t have any of the afflictions usually associated with the old, except for the fact that age has taken its toll on his body (he’s been bedridden for the last couple of years). Bro and sister-in-law visited him last night, and Bro said he could still talk at that time. According to his daughter, he even had breakfast as usual at around 7 a.m. It was just his time to go, ajal, as in the Islamic faith.

The last time I visited him was during the first week of Hari Raya, during which he asked for a pen. Of course he didn’t really have the co-ordination to actually write anything, but we obliged and gave him a piece of paper to write on his lap. He managed a few squiggles before giving up, and I remembered the dejected look he had on his face. The family gathered and told stories about Tok Ngah, tears were shed of course, but we consoled ourselves with the memories of the good times and the fact that he was taken care of the best that we could during his last years. We reminisced about the pen incident, and joked that probably he wanted to write a will or his last words or something like that…

And that adds to another in the list ushered in by 2004 for me.


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