Breaking the Silence

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It has been a long time since I wrote, and many events have occurred since my last post.

Back in July, I tendered from my role as a Marketing & Communications Executive with an interior design firm. The resignation was a leap of faith, to scour for better opportunities and wade out of stagnant waters. For at least a month, I was straggling along, trying to find graphic design work to do and I almost gave up.

Little did I know, my unemployment turned out to be a silver lining; in August, my dad got diagnosed with Stage 4 Colorectal Cancer. Doctors told us that he only had six months to a year left, and the news was rather devastating for the family. However, we did not tell him this, for we wanted him to have the will to fight on. The family also collectively agreed that he should not go for chemotherapy, for fear that it would worsen his condition as opposed to prolonging his life. The free time that I had was spent on visits to the hospital ward, accompanying him for appointments and ensuring he took his medications after he was discharged.

In September, I decided to rejoin a café that I once helped to very dear friends start up. I requested to work as a Marketing, Advertising & Develoment Consultant on a contractual basis. Bless their kind souls; for they welcomed me with open arms, understood the position I was in and gave me the flexibility of time whenever I needed to be with dad.

Shortly after, another dearest friend of mine, who was my boss at another café, passed on due to cancer. It was a double whammy for me. Back when I was working with him, we would always tease each other. It was not all fun and jokes, for he was a great mentor and adviser as well; he would always remind us to be good to others. Sarong, I miss you a lot.

The video I made, in memory of him. Days passed by and my dad’s condition began to worsen; his stoma began to swell and prolapse, apart from having a loss of appetite.

As a result, he had to be hospitalised for the second time.

Right after he was discharged, he became frail. He was unable to move on his own, requiring support whenever he needed the toilet. He also suffered from shortness of breath.

On the 25th of October, around 3 in the morning, he was calling out to me, as his diaper was full and leaking. I had no idea why the previous night, after I got home from work, I went into my room, shut the door and went to sleep. I did not hear his calls, neither did I hear the phone calls from my mum, eldest sister and brother-in-law. They rushed down at 6 in the morning after seeing the CCTV at home, to attend to him.

I then brought him to the A&E, as we realised his breathlessness was getting out of hand, and his legs was swollen. At the observation ward, the doctor pulled me aside to inform that they are unable to do much, and could only afford to provide palliative care. This meant that there will be no more invasive procedures done to him, including resuscitation, and that whatever they do from then on was just to provide comfort. To add on to the distress, they mentioned that his kidney and liver had failed.

Right after they told me that, I gathered strength to compose myself, put on a snile and told dad that I was heading home to collect a few items. I broke down when I reached home, for I felt his time was near.

The next day at 6.50 am, he passed.

This was the last smile we caught on CCTV, 24 hours before he passed.

I have been trying to keep my spirits up, the past couple of weeks and my friends have been rather supportive as well. Although, when I am alone, the sadness would sometimes loom over me.

The past couple of days, I felt like 2016 is a year of losses for me. However, when I thought it through, I realised that I have been blessed with a lot of things; just that as humans, we tend to magnify and exaggerate the negative occurrences. As a result, we forget to be grateful for all the positive things that has happened more in our life.

I however, have managed to let go, and am thankful that the people I love need not suffer from their illnesses anymore.

To all my friends who have given me support throughout the trying period, thank you. I appreciate all of you.

I am grateful. I am thankful. I am blessed.

2016 is not the year of losses. It definitely is not. It iss a year of many blessings, with some disguised as lessons.


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