1. In the morning, Iznan, Fazdlee and I went to PWTC to set up and man the ArdentEdu booth for the 1Malaysia Expo. Please come and visit our booth! I don’t remember the booth number, but the exhibition hall is not that big, so you won’t miss us. We have stacks of Ardent Edukit(TM) products on our desks. Our booth is situated at the very back.
Do come and visit us on Saturday and Sunday, if you have time. Fazdlee and Iznan will be there. I might join Sunday afternoon.
2. At about 12.30pm I went to Shah Alam to attend Friday prayer and then to Kolej Cemara UiTM to conduct the IMO 2010 Training Camp which takes place from today (Friday) until Monday.
3. During Friday prayer, my sister sent me a text message, informing me that my grandmother had just passed away. She died at around 1pm, in her house in Taman Greenwood, which is about 2km from my house in Taman Melewar.
4. I excused myself for the IMO camp today (thanks Dr Daud, Tham Ying Hong, and Aqil who agreed to sit in for me). I rushed to my house (it was an hour trip), but the body was already shrouded by the time I arrived so I couldn’t see my grandmother. I last saw her at the hospital a few days back. She was dismissed from Hospital Selayang yesterday. My family insisted that the body get proper burial ASAP. I only arrived home at about 5pm, when the body was on its way to Masjid Taman Koperasi Polis for the funeral prayer. At the masjid I saw familiar faces, among them ex-Senator / ex-Pesuruhjaya PAS Selangor Ustaz Hassan Shukri and famous political writer Subky Latif. Thanks to the community for staying back until about 5.30 to perform the funeral prayer. (It was not a long wait, since Asar congregation usually ends at 5.15 or so, but still, many thanks to everyone present).
5. Carried the body from masjid into the funeral van (kereta mayat — Hi Hamka!) and also from the van to the burial spot at Taman Desa, Gombak. It was a short drive away, and on the way I was worried that it will rain, making the burial much more unpleasant. Imam read the talqin, and we managed to finish everything before it rains (actually it did not rain; but the sky were dark and there were lightnings).
6. Body all aching from carrying the keranda (it looks easy in the masjid because the are like 20 people holding it at waist height, but try carrying a keranda at shoulder height with just three other people. My grandmother is quite thickset, and the fact that the keranda is made of solid steel doesn’t help at all). Job I needn’t bother applying for: pallbearer.
7. Spent the rest of the day calling family members, and also deleting all those takziah SMSes. Quite relieved when my father said no kenduri tonight. My back is already aching from lugging all those booth equipment at PWTC this morning, and from carrying the keranda. Went straight home to take a hot bath, and a short nap.
8. As of now at 9pm, I am writing this, and still waiting for dinner to be ready. Sorry can’t entertain all those guests downstairs, I’m too tired. Tonight I’m going back to Shah Alam for IMO Camp (probably arrive at midnight) because tomorrow session will start at 8am. It is not necessary for me to be present in the kenduri arwah, since my father has called a caterer to manage the foods and canopies. It’d be better for me to do my job at Shah Alam.
9. I admire my father who is extremely efficient in handling her mother’s death. He was at her deathbed (she died at about 1am), and then went to Sembahyang Jumaat, informed the AJK masjid, called the neighbors, called the caterer, oversaw the cleansing and shrouding, went to ATM, called the funeral vans, entertained the guests and neighbors and well-wishers, did all the reporting (hospital, police, burial permit, even her bank accounts and JPA pensions), called the orang-orang masjid, and managed to get my grandma buried by 6pm. He did all these without a single drop of tears or unnecessary sentimentalism. He even rebuked all those female relatives who are sobbing around my dead grandma, to please bemoan from afar, and don’t get in the way of him doing his job quickly. He didn’t even wait for me to see my grandmother for the last time (paying last respect is unnecessary — timely burial is more important). He got my grandma all shrouded up before I arrived. Here I have to mention that I am the only grandson of the deceased. And even I don’t get the “privilege” of paying my last respect. My father was adamant that burial is done as quickly as possible. This, for me, is truly respect for the dead.
10. I wish I’d be half as efficient as my father when his turn comes (assuming I don’t go first). Today I am thankful for being a Muslim. Our funeral is cheap, easy and simple. No elaborate wake and flowers and morticians and caskets and eulogies and wreaths and “paying last respects” and requiem and wearing black.
Died at 1pm, six feet under at 6pm. Habis cerita. Life goes on. And to my grandmother: take a rest, you suffered enough.