It was a sunny spring morning here in Toronto back about 7 months ago when I got the news.
The snow was melting. I was sitting in front of the computer clicking away at the keyboard, preparing the material for a workshop I was going to give in 2 days.
And just 2 weeks prior, I dreamt of my mum passing away in her sleep via a stroke. I simply could not shake off this dream. I even cried upon waking up from the dream the next day, and shared this dream with my husband. We were both disturbed. Then I called my mother and told her I loved her, and that was the last time we spoke with each other.
So 2 weeks after that dream, it so happened that my husband accidentally brought my cell phone to his office. He’s never done this before.
I got a call from hubby. He was slow and deliberate.
He took a deep breath and said, “I have something to tell you, my love. Your brother messaged over Whatsapp and said your mother is passing away.”
My mind was digesting this news as I heard my my husband’s next words, “I’m coming home now so we can make all the arrangements for you or us both to fly back to Singapore.”
It was still surreal for me even though I’d dreamt of mum passing away.
Immediately, I tried to reach my father and brother. No answer. So I prepared other things for the urgent flight back to Singapore.
While waiting for my husband to come home, amongst other things, I quickly sent an email out to all who’d registered for the workshop and apologized for the last-minute cancellation. It was absolutely touching to receive the warm, supporting responses especially given I’d never met some of them before.
When my husband got home, finally we were able to get through to my brother. My brother put me on Whatsapp video so I could see my mother for the last time.
Mum was propped up on the ICU hospital bed, with tubes inserted for her to breathe. Her eyes were closed. Her head hanging to one side. Totally limp and unresponsive. I was sad to see her in this vegetative state. (Tears rolling down my eyes as I write this.)
My brother said she’s already unconscious, and has been like this for a few hours, and the doctors said she’s going “any time.”
There was a part of me that was very sad… in grief… however there was another part of me that felt relieved that she was not going to be a living vegetable – in which case (which was my worst fear), the suffering upon her could have been far, far worse.
However, my brother said, the doctors said she can still hear. So I mustered all my energy to speak my last words to her. I tried hard not to cry as I spoke so that mum would not in her last moments hear a tearing daughter. I have no doubt she loved me very, very much, probably more than she could ever express (maybe it’s an old Asian thing). I wanted her to leave in complete peace. I wanted her to feel Love. That’s all I ever, ever wanted for her to know, especially since she got a stroke over 3 years ago.
I didn’t know what I was going to say even the very second before I opened my mouth. I don’t know if one can ever ever be fully prepared for such a moment with our parents and loved ones.
I simply trusted that my heart would guide me, by me centering in my heart in this precious moment.
The words came quickly…
“Ma, I’m flying home tonight, taking the first flight out. But please don’t wait for me to come. If you feel it’s better for you to go, just go… we’re always connected in Spirit. In Love.
“Please forgive me for anything wrong I’ve done to you… I am truly sorry. Thank you so much for everything you’ve done and given to me. From the bottom of my heart, I love you.
“You’re a good mother. A good grandma.
“Go in peace Ma…
“Go in Love…
“Be the Love that you are Ma…”
Those were my last words of bidding farewell to her …
My brother and I then stopped the Whatsapp video call. Click. That was it. I allowed the tears that I held back during the call to stream down my face.
When my husband and I arrived into Singapore and got to the memorial venue, I overheard my brother sharing with my aunt about mum’s last moments.
My brother said, “My mum couldn’t talk. She was unconscious. Her vital signals were going down. But she could hear. She was totally unresponsive. But after I put my sis on Whatsapp and she spoke with mum, she cried. And shortly after, she passed away.
My aunt said, “Really??”
In my head, I too, was going, “Really?”
I had no idea prior to that whether mum heard me. All I did was to follow my heart in speaking what I felt to be important and true and supportive of a peaceful transition for mum as much as possible.
It has helped me immensely to write this out and share with you and myself. My heartfelt love to infinity to you all who have supported me on this journey.