Monday, May 30, 2005

Bye Bye Ah Keong

My cell phone rang incessantly during a conference that I was attending on Friday. When I could finally call back, I was told about the death of my cousin Ah Keong.... Harsh intake of breath. I was speechless.....

I am...was related to Ah Keong as he was my stepmum's eldest nephew. He was a really pleasant boy (when I first knew him.. we were teens) who would talk to me everytime I went over to the family house for Chinese New Year and other festive periods. Of course he and I got along as he spoke English well owing to the fact that he studied in England and we were about the same age. We would always sit next to each other at the dinner table or restaurant table chatting away about our experiences in campus, work, life! I had to sit on his left as he was hard of hearing on his right ear and I on my left. If we were seated on the wrong side of each other, you would hear us almost yelling to catch what each other had to say.

He was on his way to work (he stayed in Seremban on weekends and in Gemas on weekdays). Apparently, he was speeding and must be switching lanes and crashed into the back of a lorry. He died on the spot. The family was too distraught to talk about it so I did not learn more about the accident.

When I peered into his coffin (in a funeral parlour in Jalan Temiang, Seremban), I could see the injuries on the side of his head. A wave of sadness came over me. Here was a young man at the start of his adult life and then life is snuffed out in just a split second. He was going to propose to his girlfriend this weekend. He even bought her the diamond ring.

Ah Keong was well loved by everyone. A kind, considerate and well mannered person. Being the eldest grandson to a Chinese family meant a great deal. But with the passing of Ah Keong, the title goes to another cousin who is in Russia now. Stepgrandma was melancholic. It must be terrible to see a child two generations after you die before you do. Ah Keong's parents were in a daze.. it must be absolutely horrible to lose your child. I think that it must be worse than losing your parents.

But I am not sure.. since I do not have any children out of my own womb.

Having lost my mum in the tender years of my life, I definitely have to say that it was traumatic. I had asked God why she had to be taken. But there was never a perfect answer. But I had found peace instead. And yet at Ah Keong's death, I asked the same question.

Frankly I don't see how taking away Ah Keong (or even my own mum) at this time is something good. Surely not for his girlfriend or parents. Surely not for any reason. But that's just it. My evaluation is based on what my eyes can see. And what my mind can comprehend. And I have lived almost long enough to trust neither.So I have to trust in God. I have no other choice.

In the long run, God will be no man's debtor. Even Job (someone who suffered a lot in the bible) had a foretaste of this truth (Job 42: 10-17).In the long run, there is only wholeness and completeness (Revelation 21,22).
In the long run, everything will make sense.
In the meantime there is pain and confusion.In the meantime there is the absence of rhyme and reason.And so I wait upon the Lord and press on, confident that the last line of Ah Keong's life, and mine, has not yet been written. I press on.

And I continue to press on....

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