By Yohanna Abdullah

It is a blessed day today indeed as Bapak is now back home from the hospital. He is dizzy but otherwise, he’s fine.  A good friend of mine told me how she coped with her father’s death – she said she started grieving for her father while he was still alive.

I could not understand what that means except that maybe treating each precious moments with him as if it is the last. Missing him even as he is present in my life? Maybe that is what she meant.

I don’t want to grieve, I want to celebrate him as much as I can, spend those early morning talks which I haven’t had for a long time since I haven’t been waking up early. Giving him a modest ang pow for his birthday, taking him out for meals occasionally and pampering him in whatever way I can such as putting cream on his legs and making him coffee. Little gestures like these help and I also tell him frequently that I love him.

My best friend who grew up with me, we frequently hanged out at each other’s homes, said of my father – “Your dad in my eyes, is one of the first gentle mannered men I know -l among the best in his gentle manners that I’ve ever known.”

He is struggling and giving his best on the last lap of his life yet still cherishing his days. He even wanted to renovate the toilets and kitchen and he loves his food and will travel far for it. He buys durians at three for $110 and my mum chides him for being so gullible but he always wants the best for his loved ones.

I pray I have many more good days with him and I can be a source of pleasure and peace and comfort for him in his golden years.  Ameen.

Yohanna Abdullah is a writer and editor for Club HEAL. She has published four books for Club HEAL. She enjoys creative expression and she looks at life with wonder and love. She is a passionate mental health advocate. She is also a loving mother of two.

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