tok wan

I remember it quite clearly. I was, at the time, a Winning Eleven/Pro Evo addict and I was playing a match and had just scored a nifty freekick that I was replaying over and over. I remember thinking how much of a shame it was that my brother was asleep behind me (the PS2 and TV were in his room and I was playing accompanied by only a nightlight) and decided to save the replay of the goal. Downstairs my mother had been on and off the phone throughout the night. Apparently my grandfather was sick.

Occasionally I did get a bad feeling in my stomach about that but I continued playing, hoping that it really was nothing and that everything would be alright. But just before I managed to save the replay I heard my mother half-scream half-cry and I knew that something was up. I heard her come up the stairs and she came into the room and told me

“Tok wan dah takde.”

I remember taking a shower, I remember changing my clothes, I remember setting off in the car, all four of us trying to be cheerful and upbeat, I remember stopping at the Dengkil R&R on the North-South highway for sahur, I remember seeing my mother and my aunts cry, I remember feeling guilty for smiling when I saw my cousins, I remember seeing faces I knew and faces I barely knew and faces I didn’t know at all grieving, but I don’t remember how I felt.

Not after my mother said those four words. Not in the car. Not when I arrived at my grandfather’s house. Not when I saw all the grieving faces. Not when the reality sank in that, yes, he was gone.

In fact, I’m not sure if I felt anything. Not happiness, not sadness, just nothing.

Blankness. Yeah. That’s the word.

I woke up on Saturday to a text from a friend of mine that said “atuk dah xde.”. I didn’t know what to say. I don’t know if she’s ok. Hasn’t replied any of my text messages. I hope she is. If you’re reading this, somehow, then, yeah, I hope you’re ok.

It reminded me of the passing of my grandfather on my mother’s side (my grandfather on my father’s side passed away before I was born) and how I felt (or didn’t feel) about it. Memories, basically. I wasn’t very close to him, no. Maybe that “helped”. But I find myself thinking about him lately. The memories, the feelings, the person.

My cousins and I used to play ‘football’ in the main hall of his house, and we’d often have to stop to let him pass (he had suffered a stroke in his earlier years, he walked very slowly). Won’t happen again. Sure, we don’t even play anymore, but if we did he still wouldn’t be there, we still wouldn’t have to stop momentarily to let him pass. He’s not here anymore, and nothing will change that.

Shit, I really don’t know what I’m saying.

I can’t (and won’t) imagine how it must have been for my mother, my aunts and uncles, my grandmother, and I certainly can’t imagine how it must feel for that friend of mine.

I know loss, but I can’t say I truly know the sadness that comes with it.

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