Last night, when I was having a quiet dinner with my family, my father in law sent me a text message saying that he almost got involved in a car accident that could have taken his life away. He was on his way to Genting Highlands and the car he ride almost fell off the slope or something-or so I heard. I was shocked and could have sworn that my heart skipped a beat. I felt sick to my stomach. I thought to myself that if the car that my father in law was in really did fell off the slope and he did die, what was I to do? If he really did die in a car accident or something, I would really be at loss. I called him immediately after receiving the message, and was completely relieved that he managed to cheat death and unharmed.
My father in law may be not my biological father, but I am quite fond of him. My feelings for him is no less than my own father. A kind of feeling that I don’t even have for my mother in law or anyone else in the family. Among all of my in laws, he’s probably the only one I could talk to and relate to with ease. I learn a lot through him, and though he made many mistakes that many people would condemn him to hell in the past, he showed me the real meaning of unconditional love and taught me to cherish family members. I learn a lot of valuable lessons from him.
I was definitely not a good candidate as one of his daughter in laws, but he accepted me as who I am, and even treated me like his own daughter, and for that, I am forever indebted to him. He may have not liked me before and even gave a huge protest when I just started to date my other half, but once he come to accept me into the HUGE family, he did his part as a father and protected me from the others who are hypocrite, big mouthed and have their own agenda. The family (in laws) is just like a huge clan. In fact, historically, THEY ARE A CLAN.
The story of the family’s ancestors are actually inside the history books, and students in China still learn about the family’s ancestors to this very day. It’s a huge, huge family. There are many extended family members, and when you are in this sort of family, there bound to be politics, badmouthing, backstabbing and whatnot. Unconditional love is hard to come by, and family members gossip about each other and sabotage one another without even feeling guilty.
They had no genuine feelings for one another as they have nothing in common besides same bloodline and ancestors. My father in law did his best to protect me from all these people, and if I were to loose him to death, I’ll probably be one of those people who cry her head off for days, mourning for him. I probably be crying far worst than his sons or daughter. Loosing him would be a great loss to me, as I would be loosing not just a father in law, but a father. Each time I heard about death in the family, I would secretly thank heavens for not taking him away yet, because I am definitely not ready to say goodbye to him. Just like I am not ready to say goodbye to my father, my grandfather and my husband. I think I would never be able to say goodbye to them. All of these men have a special place in my heart. Saying goodbye would be the hardest thing to do.
Death has always been quite a trauma for the old man, considering that he had a major surgery where he removed his kidney and just lost his younger brother last year. After his brother’s sudden demise, he kept thinking about death, much to my chagrin. It displease me that he have a rather negative outlook on life.I truly hoped that he could live long and make the rest of his life the best of his life instead of planning for his funeral and stuff. I chastise him quite often when he talked about leaving the world. Many people would have want him dead, for he’s quite a rich man with many properties to pass down, but I would give up anything so that he could stay alive til at least all his grandchildren are married and have family of their own. Even then, accepting his death would be hard.
And speaking of his younger brother…or should I say, my late uncle in law. His death was quite sudden, and his family members were definitely not ready to say goodbye to him. His widow is still in grief until this very day, and I assume that they shared a very strong bond as husband and wife.
People assumed that she managed to move on, but each time I look at her, her eyes seems void of something. Something is not right. She seems to be still missing her late husband, even after her children seems to move on in their life. I could not imagine what hell she have been through. She had to pretend to be strong in front of the family and for her children’s sake. I caught her reading motivational books on how to deal with loss and death of family members and spouse. If I am not mistaken, one of her books were entitled ‘Saying goodbye when you are not ready’. I am not sure what is the content of her books, but it seems that she is not dealing with her husband’s death properly or as the book dictate, as no books would advice people to make abrupt changes in life just after their spouse’s death.
I was extremely shocked to find out that within months of her husband’s death, she moved into a new place that is completely foreign to her after being persuaded by nosy family members whom I assumed have their own agenda in asking her to move into a new place that she’s not even familiar with. If one is sincere enough to help her deal with the demise of her husband, they would not encourage her to make abrupt changes in her life just after her spouse’s death. Psychologically, it would be a big blow! A double blow, in fact.
I think it is not good to make abrupt changes in life after your spouse death-like moving into a new house, quit your job, sell off your properties etc. You would really feel the loss if you truly love your spouse if you force yourself to start a new life when you’re still not ready to accept that your spouse is already gone. Frankly speaking, I think one could accept and deal with death better if they resume their life as usual and try to slowly get used to not having that person around. Would that not be more natural and less painful?
If I am one of the elders, I would have chastise the person who persuade her to move into a new place just so that she could leave the memories of her husband behind and forget him. It is impossible to forget your spouse just after you loose him or her to Death if you truly love them, because they would forever be in your memory. People do not say ‘ In loving memories’ for nothing. People who passed on are alive as long as you remember them.
I just don’t understand why people wants to interfere with other people’s memory of their spouse? It is a cruel and unfair thing to do, because there are ways to continue loving someone, even after death. To deal with death does not necessarily put the past behind and forget everything about the person who left you behind, isn’t it?
Maybe it’s not my place to give advice to people on how to deal with death, but if one is not ready to say goodbye yet, then don’t say goodbye, and don’t start a completely new life until you are truly ready to do so. Just continue your life as usual so that the pain and anguish will not be as great.
What I have jotted down are just my thoughts…feel free to share with me your experience if you have lost someone dear to you and how you dealt with it. I am sure I have much to learn from your experience, and many will benefit from your words.
Cleffairy: I will never ever be ready to say goodbye…