Friday, December 16, 2005

Way too soon

My father passed away early yesterday morning, 15 December 2005. Today he would have celebrated his 65th birthday.

Initially the doctors thought he had obstructive jaundice but an ultrasound scan showed that there wasn't any obstruction in the bile duct. To be very sure, they wanted to do an ERCP, a procedure that involved inserting an endoscope into his body to take a "picture" of the bile ducts. On the scheduled day, Friday 9 December, his blood pressure plunged down and he became semi-conscious. A few days prior to that his liver function test results came back with bad reading and he was confirmed to have Hepatitis B. His liver was badly damaged.

On Tuesday, 13 December, he lapsed into a coma. The doctors told us to be prepared. We discharged him from the hospital and engaged a private nurse to tend to him. On Wednesday night, the nurse warned us that his condition had deteriorated. At about four-something on Thursday morning, my phone rang. My niece said to come over immediately. I "flew" to mum's. My sister greeted me at the door. "It's too late. None of us saw him go. By the time the nurse woke us up, Pa was already gone. He breathed his last at four-ten."

My father is gone. It was way too soon. I'd always thought he'd be around for a long time. I worried about his Parkinson Disease. It was diagnozed in September 2004 and I'd been taking him to UMMC for treatment. But the PD was the "red herring," the liver disease was the real killer.

I regret not being more proactive when my father first fell sick about a month ago. We should have checked him into the hospital earlier. The doctors said even if he had gone in earlier, it would have still had been too late because the liver condition was already chronic.

If only we'd known earlier. Ignorance is NOT bliss. Ignorance is DANGER when it comes to health.

My father has departed from this world. Way too soon. From now on when I pass by a red and white taxi, I will remember him and visualize him behind the wheel of his beloved taxi.

46 comments:

Anonymous said...

dont you understand that you can die in any moment, in any time? You are still guess-playing like "he could have lived 2 years more, 3 years more if we acted earlier, blah blah"? Do you have a guarantee you will work by the next day? sure not to experience a suddent accident, etc.?
I respectfully warn you not to take this life this lightly.
You have a long way to go.
Concentrate on the only one real thing is life: Death.

atenah said...

my condolences

Lydia Teh said...

I'd wanted to delete your comment as soon as I read it but on second thoughts decided not to. I shall leave it for others to see how crass anonymous blog readers can be, hiding your rudeness and insensitivity behind a cloak of anonymity. Please take your respectful warning away with you. I understand what you're saying, but I don't need you to rub it in my face in my time of grief. Please don't ever visit my blog again.

Lydia Teh said...

By the way, Anon, adding the word "respectfully" to a sentence doesn't mean respect is automatically conferred. Your comment if anything, is disrespectful.

Maya said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Maya said...

Dear Lydia,

My deepest condolence. I understand only too well how we tend to blame ourselves for the 'negligence'. I still do although it has been almost 10 years. My dad was the most special dad I have ever known. You know how we discuss dads among friends and relatives …comparing their qualities and holding them against the morning light? I did that and so it is on good authority that I say he is one of the best, if not the best. Alas! how were we to know that they will leave us so soon. Aren't dads meant to be around to see major events in our lives unfolding, like when our children get married? Or when we ourselves become grandparents?

I wrote this a couple of years after my dad passed way, after he succumbed to prostate cancer.

"The day my father died was the day I felt most helpless in my entire life. That very moment when his life ended right before my eyes I couldn't help feeling hollow and desperate like I just let slip something invaluable to me; something so precious and so very much a part of me that I felt totally destroyed. The feeling that he won't ever be there for me was devastating. I am not exaggerating when I say that something in me died that very instant.

Time heals. Its years now but when I revisit that moment in time the impact of his loss is no less. I grief that my kids are not touched by his presence. He was soft and kind, loving and upright. He taught me to love by knowing people not by judging them. My kids could do with someone like him in their lives.

The pain is distanced with the passage of time but that memory is still the saddest."

You will get over it my dear. You know how I consoled myself? I prayed that in another life I will be his daughter and he my father once again AND that this time around I will never ever be negligent. I know I will be granted this wish because I feel loved by Him and know that He will oblige.

I don't know if my words helped Lydia. Hugs and warm regards. Maya

yoonli said...

I'm so sorry to hear about your dad Lydia...

My dad is still around and healthy and I try not to think of the day the same thing will happen to us. Your sharing has made me determined to treasure the time we still have together... I pray that God will grant you His peace at this time.

Ignore that 'Anon'. Some people live just to try to make other people's life miserable. I remember someone told me "if you do not have anything nice to say, just don't say anything..."

yoonli said...

I am sorry about your dad Lydia...

My father is still healthy and around and I try hard not to think of the day the same thing that will happen to me. Your sharing reminds me to treasure all the time we have left together.

I pray that God will give you peace at this time.

Ignore the Anon. Some people just like to make other people's life more miserable. I am reminded of these words - If you do not have anything nice to say, just shut up.

yoonli said...

Lydia, help me delete one of my comments. I did not realise it was entered twice. Thanks.

LiTtLeWoMaN said...

I'm really sorry to hear about your dad, Lydia. My deepest condolence to you and your family.

I truly understand your feeling since my dad left me when I was still young. Now it's already 16 years and I know I have to stand strong no matter what. He always been within me, looking after me all the time. I do miss him a lot, but nothing is in my control.

May your dad's soul rest in peace. GOD bless you and your family!

Peace with you,
Vani...

Anonymous said...

Hi Ms. Lydia Teh this is Lyka Chang from Manila, remember? I was sitting beside you and the one who is cheering for Malaysia during the badminton game.. I was searching your name in the net and found out about your blog.. I'm so sorry to hear about your dad.. I hope you are ok now.. I would like to thank you and all the Malaysian people for being so nice to us here in Manila.. It was a great opportunity to meet people like you.. I will not forget all of you.. I miss your cheering squad.. I hope that we could cheer, shout, and dance again. Malaysia Boleh!!!!!!!!! take care

Anonymous said...

Hi Lydia,

My deepest condolence to you and the rest of the family.

May the Lord bless his Soul and help you overcome his deparure.

I lost my dear dad when it was only 18 years old and he was only 51. So Lydia life will go on...we are only passing through.

Take care and God bless yo and your family.

Nic

anasalwa said...

Lydia,
I'm sorry to hear about your dad. Please accept my deepest condolence.

MA said...

Please accept my deepest condolences.

Dads are special people.

eyeris said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
eyeris said...

Sorry to hear about your loss.

Kak Teh said...

lydia, lydia - am sorry - i got to know abt this too late! My condolence to you and family. I have indeed been thinking abt you and had sent you sms and email. But i knew you'd be too busy to reply. Take care. He is not in pain any more.

KK said...

Lydia,
I am sorry about your dad ... My deepest condolence to you and your family.

Anonymous said...

Lydia,
Condolence to you and your family. Be tough.

rgds
max

Ordinary Superhero said...

Deepest condolence to you and your family. May God give you and your family the strength.

Ayah said...

condolence ...

dannie choOng said...

Hi Lydia, sorry to hear abut your dad. My condolence to you and your family. Your blog have remind me once again that I should not take "these" for granted and to spend more time with my parents now. There are many things we can choose in our life but parents and siblings are not one of them. Those of us who still have our parents around, let's appreciate them while we can.

You take care Lydia and be strong. Lean on GOD whatever the situation may be and trust the Lord to take you through...

Meow In The City said...

Hi Lydia, my condolence to you.

My mom passed away two years ago of cancer and i know exactly how u feels.

The last line you wrote about seeing the red and white taxi.. i almost cried.

bergen said...

Our time will come too.

Lydia Teh said...

Dear all, thank you very much for sharing your own experiences and your condolences. I appreciate your thoughtfulness . We should treasure our loved ones because they may leave us unexpectedly, leaving us no opportunity for amends. My family and I are coping well. Our father's passing has in fact, brought us closer together. Thank you again.

Anonymous said...

Sorry to hear about your father...take care...Syidar

Wiley Chin said...

Lydia, my condolence to you and your family.

Anonymous said...

Lydia,

So sad to read about your father. My heartfelt condolences.

I lost my father 2 years ago and know exactly what you mean about the regrets. We must take comfort in the fact that they are in a much better place now.

May God hold you and your family in his loving arms in this time of grief.

Hugs,

Flora from Sabah

aneeta said...

Hi Lydia,

You have my deepest condolences. Please, if there is anything i can do to help, do let me know.

aneeta

Anonymous said...

Dear Lydia, my deepest condolences to you and your family over the recent bereavement of your late father. Life's like that. You just never know it when the time's up for any one of us in this world.

Darlene

Jane Sunshine said...

Dear Lydia, my deepest condolence. May he rest in peace.

Queen Of The House said...

Lydia, I am so sorry to hear of your dad's passing. My condolences. I hope you and the rest of the family are coping well. I never know what to say at times like this, but it helps to believe he is in a better place without his worldly pain.

AuntyN said...

Lydia, I hope it is still not too late to offer condolences. Be strong, for sure, we will feel sad, I know how it felt, My dad passed away last year. Anyway, be strong.

ailin...in aalborg said...

Hi Lydia, though we have never met, I would like to offer you my sincerest condolences.

bibliobibuli said...

sorry i was so slow to drop by and find out ...

i really am very sorry about your loss ...

Lydia Teh said...

You're all so sweet. Thank you for your kind words.

Megat A M Shahair said...

Hi Lydia,

I hope it is still not to late to offer my deepest condolence to you and the rest of the family.

Be strong, ait!

pu1pu3 said...

Hi Lydia,
The day I decided to read your blog, I read about your father's passing. My condolences to you and family. Incidentally, I too wrote something about a friend's mum passing away and how that reminded me of my father's death. And now yours. It all bring back sad memories for me. As I told my friend, words fail me in times like this. So Lydia, may our wish & prayers keep you strong & well.
Take care.

Anonymous said...

hi lydia
there are never enough words to convey the sympathy but I feel for you, because a dear friend of mine passed away recently. Too soon, way too soon. Let us remember and cherish the memories of the ones we love and keep them in our hearts. And remember, for every crass, ignorant fool who blabs without thinking, there are many others who care and speak thoughtfully. There will always be that one bad apple. +maya k.+

Razlin said...

Dear Lydia,

Please accept my condolences.
Your comment on the red and white taxi reminded me of the time when i was travelling back on the lrt in 2003.

My grandfather passed away in 2002. At that point i didn't feel sad but more of relieved as he was suffering from Alheizmers. However a year later, on the lrt i saw this old man who reminded me of my granddad.. then it hit me that he wasn't around.. and the floodgates opened.. *sigh* i miss him now.

Allyfeel said...

My deepest condolences to you and family. Take care!

NONI said...

Hi Lydia,

My heartfelt condolence to you and your family.

I have just lost my father too a few days b4 Hari Raya and I still need a lot of getting used to. My father had a stroke 11 years ago which left him aphasic and immobilized. During those 11 yrs he became the 'baby' between me, my mother and one elder sister. A 'baby' whose needs and comfort were top-most priority. In my own way, I was trying to make up for some of the hurt that my father had had to endure in his life, to let him know that I care even if not many others do. I have no regrets when my father died but I still do miss him. If the sight of the red and white taxi cabs reminds you of your father, the sight of tan school buses reminds me of mine.

BTW, I am an editor and part of your 10% royalty came from me... yes, I purchased 'Life's Like That', that I intended to send to my sister in the US. You see, when I was a little girl my sister was my official ear-digger that she did with those black bobby pins. Your book is to remind her of all things 'home'.

At any rate, keep on writing, I wish you all the best and God bless.

Lydia Teh said...

I so appreciate all the comments made here.

Maya (Pg), it's wonderful for you to have that sort of relationship with your dad. Thanks for the sharing.
Lyka (Manila), hi! I remember you all right. Thanks for dropping by.
Aneeta, thanks for the offer.
Yoonli, Maya K, don't worry. Though that first remark stung, I've swatted it like a fly already.
Razlin, I understand how you feel.
Noni, thanks for sharing about your dad. And for buying my book. In the past I used those black hairpins too, but it doesn't do as good a job as the ear-digger.
Everyone else : ribuan terima kasih.

nazrah said...

oh my...my deepest condolences lydia..i ahve been too engrossed with work i have not been blog hopping.

i hope that u r coping okay?

Kentuckianasian said...

Hello Lydia,

I'm a stranger in a strange land. I've just finished my blog and was browsing around and as luck would have it, I found your blog. Your blog about your dad really touched my heart. I'm deeply sorry for the passing of your beloved dad. I know exactly how you feel since I lost my beloved dad in 2003 of severe pneumonia. We didn't have a great bond towards the last few months of his life but I remember him as a loving father who would constantly take the bull by the horns for the sake of his children. I was his next of kin. He was in a coma for several days before he decided that it wasn't worth the battle. He said something about giving up prior to being put on a life support system. But I thought it was merely tongue-in-cheek because dad always made jokes about everything. When the hospital called, they never informed me about dad who had already quit breathing. I was devastated, I really thought he could make it.

I decided to move on with my life by moving to the States to be with my sister, I figured it would be much easier to cope with my grief. I know I would be having a meltdown had I encountered the places dad and I had been to and all. Plus my sister needed me more than anything; it was tougher for her for not having to see dad for the last time, let alone be present for his funeral. She was heavily pregnant and was due any day then.

My sister, my nephew and I were 10 days away to visit our family in Malaysia on December 2004 until we had an unexpected call from our brother informing us of our beloved mom's sudden death. We thought, "Oh no! Another grief!". It never rained but it sure poured. By the time we landed, mom was already laid to rest. 2003 and 2004 were a total catastrophe but on the bright side, I've met my wonderful husband. It sure helps to alleviate the angst and grief.

Having said that, I wish you all the luck in the world. I'm certain you're much stronger than you know. Dealing with death, let alone involving our dear beloved ones is daunting but it will make us appreciate what life has to offer and be blessed with our other surviving family members. I know I have.

Godspeed!

Leena Lopez Pry from US

Lydia Teh said...

Nazrah, thanks. I'm ok now. Hadn't got time to bloghop either.

Leena, thank you for that wonderful post. I'm sorry about your double blow. It must be very hard for you and your family to lose your folks within a year of each other and not to have a last look at them before they were laid to rest. Yes, we must all look at the brighter side of things. My family and I have grown closer as a result of my father's passing. Take care.