And Then My Grandmother Had A Massive Stroke

On Sunday night, I found a stack of old photos in my grand dad’s study and was looking through it in my grand mum’s room. My grand mother, her sister and myself were staying in that room for that night.

I asked her sister(my grand aunty) if my great grand mother approved of my grand father after looking at a particular picture in which my grand dad was quite cool looking next to a very docile grandmother of mine. Grand ma shook her head. We smiled abit and my grand mother just looked at me with her usual sad expression.

She told my grand aunty, “I want to sell off everything in this house, buy a nice big suitcase and travel the world,”.

My grand aunty had abit of a cough and she turned around and screamed, “Maggie!! Maggie!!”(Maggie being my grandmother’s name).

My grandmother was panting and blowing into her pillow, her right arm trashing. She was on her side and her eyes were closed shut and her tongue twisted out in a grosteque manner.

My grand aunty Peggy who was an ex-nurse, grabbed a hold of her and slapped her on the face repeatedly shouting, “Mag, Mag, wake up, Mag..!” I screamed, “DADDDYYY..MAMA HAS FITS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!”

It was a horrible horrible sight.

My Grand Aunty Peg took out the bottom dentures and I remember she wears an upper one as well so I stuck my hand in to pry that one out. I held on to both her legs because they were trashing. Her right arm was continuously slapping against her thighs and then it slapped against the wall. It then twitched against her head and she broke out in a cold sweat. She couldn’t even control her bladder.

Dad asked in a calm voice, “So what should I do..?”

OBVIOUSLY HE WAS NOT CALM. WE NEEDED AN AMBULANCE.

The damn ambulance came like 30 minutes later and she was ferried off to SJMC.

I was crying my eyes out because she looked really bad and I didn’t want to lose another grandparent too soon. My Aunty Adelin and Uncle Eric came all the way from USJ6 to keep us company and we all slept downstairs, unable to sleep. Waking up to cry somemore.

The rest of the family returned from the hospital and said that my grand mother had a stroke and was in the ICU. So my grandmother slipped into a comma.

She has not been eating her pills for three days because she ran out of it and how do you know?  Her sugar levels and her high blood pressure decided to shoot sky high. Then there was a blood clot in her brain.

We had to keep this from my cousin sister Shevie who was sitting for her PMR the following day. It was so difficult because just before she arrived at my grandparents’ home in USJ3, we were crying again and we had to put on a smile and ask her how’s her paper. We didn’t want to tell my Aunty Judy who is from UK yet because she was on her way back for my grand father’s funeral. We had to let her digest grand dad’s death first before breaking it to her about grandma’s condition. My Aunty Judy took it quite well when my father gently broke it to her.

We were too busy with grand dad’s funeral so we didn’t get to visit her much but other relatives and family friends helped us by going to her and reporting back to us about her condition.

Keeping it from Shevie was very tough. My Aunty Susie told her that my grand mother was sent to the hospital because she was really tired and needed to be put under observation. Shevie was a little puzzled but did not question the family’s decision to do so. She felt it was abit strange though.

On the day of my grand father’s cremation, the doctor called my family up and my Aunty Judy who is a nurse and would be familiar with the terms used, talked to the doctor. They did a CT scan and there is no activity in the brain. She was on the ventilator and they would remove it in a few days to see if she can breathe on her own.

At that very moment when we received the phone call, my grand father’s coffin was being carried out to be put into the hearse. You know that part is one of the sadder parts of the funeral right? Plus the fact that we were so worried about my grandmother made all of us cry uncontrollably while doing that walking-around-the-coffin-with-joss sticks thing.

My grandfather’s cremation was really bad. They opened the incinerator and let us see the fire engulfing his coffin. My Aunty Susie was wailing, calling out for her father. Dad was chanting very fiercely and his grip on me tightened. It was really scary because he could not control the tone of his voice when he was chanting. He was going to go out of control. I thought I was the bravest because I did not start crying. Then I remember the way he used to ask me to eat the apples that he has bought for me and I just started wailing uncontrollably. Plus the fact that I know my grandmother will never be the same person that she once was even if she does survive.

At about 10pm, the doctor called my dad up and said that things were not looking good. Her brains were swelling and the moment it presses against her nerve, her heart will stop functioning. Even if she does survive, she will become a vegetable because there is no activity in her brain. We tried our very best not to start crying because we know once we start, we can’t stop.

We had to tell Shevie already because it would not be fair to us. But she took it very well. All of us took turns to go and see her in the ICU and talked to her and kissed her as well.

Things are not looking great. After collecting grand dad’s bones from the crematorium this morning, we went to see grand mother at SJMC. We’ll be taking turns to be with her.

Everytime the phone rings, we’ll be clutching our hearts because they beat faster and we’ll feel nauseous trying to gauge the facial expressions of those who receive the calls. You can’t even eat your food.

We know that she will be very depressed after his death. If this is what she wants, this is what she wants.
This is the worst week of my life.

At the praying table in front of grand dad’s lot, there were plates of oranges and apples. I took one of each because I still remember him telling me to eat the apples that he has brought for me.

Every now and then, I can still remember the way they call my name very clearly in my head. And it saddens me so. Something so familiar, you know?


Thanks for all the encouraging comments and condolences. I’m just not up to replying to every single one but it touched me that you guys cared to drop a line in the previous post.