Bell’s Blog

I will try again tomorrow

sad news

I haven’t posted anything in the longest time. Simply been lazy or preoccupied. But today something has prompted me to write again. Lots of things have been accumulating to make thing possibly one of my worst days ever. These past few days I’ve been feeling increasingly homesick though I’ve said nothing about it… it was simply a niggling feeling that I really wanted to go home. Looking back it may have been nothing at all but after today I wonder if perhaps I’d felt it coming like some sort of sixth sense? Doesn’t matter now.

Today however started relatively well. I woke with a startled panic thinking I hadn’t set my alarm, and when it actually went off, I thought for some reason that I’d pressed the snooze button and that it was already 10 minutes after the set time @_@ I got up and ready and went to work all fine and dandy except that the day seemed to totally crawl by in slow motion. Late morning I found out that I’d forgotten the date and was unprepared for my monthly visit from the “prehistoric monster”. Around about 1:30 my cellphone rang in the middle of lunch service, which was embarrassing,  and I had to turn it off after a stern look from my boss, but not before seeing the call was from my family back in NZ. About 1 hour later the flow of customers lightened and I got a chance to check my  phone, and saw I’d gotten 3 calls from my family and then an sms message informing that my grandfather has just passed away.

I’ll be honest and say that I was never really very close to my grandpa. We didn’t see him as often as we should when I was very little and even less when my family moved to NZ, since I only got to fly home to Malaysia once every 2 – 3 years or so. I was saddened but he was old and the news didn’t come as a complete shock. I didn’t tell anyone at work, and decided I could keep working until my shift ended, after all I only had another hour and a half before going home. But it all went downhill from there… Even though the news was not a shock for me… I suppose death affects each person differently and while I tried to act normal, my mind was all muddled up inside.

My heart was racing and my hands were trembling slightly. I found it odd my eyes would water slightly for no reason… well there WAS a reason wasn’t there? I blinked them away and drank lots of water to avoid more watery eyes. I started getting orders mixed up and dropping little bits of food. I forgot things almost as soon as I’d heard them. When I broke an entire stack of plates boss jokingly chided me… “Annabel what do you think you’re doing?!” and even though I knew he was kidding cos this stuff happens all the time and he said it gently too… I couldn’t stop the tears filling my eyes. But why? Even though I was not close to my grandpa… why do I cry… and worse… why do I cry at work and in front of my colleagues? OK I wasn’t exactly bawling my eyes out but my tears wouldn’t stop as I picked up the broken pieces… as if those plates represented my resolve to keep working and plodding on until I had time to deal with the news properly on the phone with my family after work…. and when they broke… so did I.

I was taken aside where I explained the phone call that I missed and the situation and I apologised. I was then told that I was stupid not to have said anything right from the start. They were sorry for being insensitive and suggested that I should go home. So I left work in a bit of a daze. I waited for my bus without looking more carefully at the time and got on a different bus than the one I thought I was taking. It was the right one just a different time. So when I got to the station to catch my connecting train home I stood at the wrong platform… wondering why it’s been over 15 mins and my train hadn’t arrived. Then I realised I’d missed my train, it left from the platform across the track from me. I had a lot of time to sit by myself and wait for the next one. I finally arrive in Bern and walking from the station to catch my tram home I suddenly felt drained and at a loss as to what to do… and I had to sit for a few minutes before walking the final 3 minutes just in time to get on the tram home.

It’s only mid afternoon here but it’s too late in Malaysia and NZ for me to call my families. I’m home alone… and I needed to let this stuff out. I need to talk. I need to write. Probably no one will see this until next week at the earliest… I don’t know how often how many people read this especially since I haven’t updated in so long. But it doesn’t matter… this isn’t about who is or isn’t reading, not like I want to announce to the whole world that my grandpa passed just as I was having a lousy day. It’s not about sympathy, and it’s not about self pity. I’m just not very happy and I’m tired of trying to keep up the pretense that I can remain unaffected by the death of a family member even if we weren’t close. I need to remain busy… busy hands… busy minds.

The funeral will be on Friday and it saddens me further that I may not be able to make it due to work commitments, time differences and financial restraints. We’re short staffed and it will take an expensive overnight (approximately 13 hours) last minute flight to get home and I may not even make it in time… And after that ordeal I’d have to come straight back here to work.

I have so much to think about…………..

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6 Responses to “sad news”

  1. mei

    well… someone is reading. The sadness and the tears I guess summaries your final goodbye. It wasn’t just anyone’s grandpa, it was yours, and someone you knew, even if not very well. There is not much you can do now, but perhaps talk about or recall your memories with your grandpa and say goodbye your own way. chin up. 🙂

  2. mei

    And condolences to you and your family.

  3. Bell

    Thanks Mei, Really appreciate that you continue to re-visit my blog even if I haven’t updated anything in such a long time. Sorry it had to be to read this though… I’m doing alright. Spoke to my family in both NZ and also in Kuching, everyone’s holding up well.

  4. i am so sorry to hear that. leon

  5. To find out that you’ve lost a close family member while you’re thousands of miles away from home is definitely a painful experience. I am so very sorry to hear your loss and I hope you are feeling much much better now.

    I also had a very tough time when my grandpa passed away back in early 2003 just a few months after I started my first job. It was during the SARS period so flights and hospital visits were very restricted. Growing up I was very close to him and my grandma, they are the most caring and affectionate grandparents. In a way, they have been closer to me than my parents. Being in NZ at the time it also meant that I didn’t have enough time to make it to his funeral. I was lucky to have visited him just a few months before he passed away, it was also the last time we waved each other goodbye.

    I try to put in my best effort to go home and visit my family whenever possible, but it ain’t easy….like you said, in order to get home, we all have to battle with work commitments, time differences and financial restraints. Ah.. c’est la vie.

    Anyway, I hope both you & Dan are well. Enjoy your weekend : )


  6. Bell

    Leon & Bella, many many thanks for your kind thoughts. I am feeling much better. I will hopefully be returning to Malaysia for a few weeks in February, then I will have a chance to visit him.

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