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Had been staying overnight in a relatives’ house. Oh how I missed home. There are still mosquitoes to kill, but at least the number never exceed three a day.

First, I had trouble finding an edge to begin writing with. Too many things, too many possible prefaces and prologues, too much hesitation. A lot of things happened and as usual I had always brooded long enough before I could churn out any words into the page. This is one of the reason I re-began to blog. It was all about overcoming the irrational fear of posting something personal into the Internet, I had tried telling myself, to very little avail, and I wouldn’t be typing this at all in the first place if I hadn’t taken a look at my sister’s blog.

I should start with the one of the many things happened that had made me Googled out of my sister’s blog in the first place. Who knew she still maintain a blog? I thought she had left the world of blogging like me. Turns out she’s bit more resilient. I’ll grant her that.

That day, I forgot which in particular, my grandmother left us. It was a morning, and I was waking up, snoozing on the bed updating myself with Whatsapp group chat messages that had went on during the wee hours when I was deep in slumber. Dad was going to snooze, then he suddenly sprang up to pick up a call. I didn’t hear any ringing, so I supposed the phone was in silent mode. That was the call.

These things usually happen on one fine moment when everything seemed to be all right. There had been signs though – she had some sort of stroke symptoms over the weeks or something, couldn’t eat or drink (only taking in sips of water or porridge stuff a little at a time through syringe) and had a whole lot of other complications. Something about inflamed back from sitting too much. It all happened when I was terribly sick, so I hadn’t really kept up with the news. But knowing all that I sort of knew the time is coming, so during Chinese New Year when I visited her I gave her a proper, thorough look. I had a bad memory when it comes to peoples, so all I could remember about her was that she had told me her experience during the World War Two and Japanese Occupation of Malaya three times. The first time I asked her myself, the latter two she had probably forgotten she was repeating the story again. I was thinking I should have asked her more about the history when she still could. When she had been older and spoke more Hokkien than Mandarin (my skills with Hokkien was well-nigh non-existent) she had stayed in our home for some time, which had also gave me the experience of having maids in the house. (Didn’t have a very happy outcome. Nobody could get used to foreign maids in the house.)

She was the matron of the big family, in a way, I think. Strong-willed and no-nonsense kind of woman (from what my Dad said about her), it wasn’t just easy to live up to an age of near hundred. She loved talking, even tried to wheeze out something when Dad came to see her during Chinese New Year.

I think this would be a proper remembrance for my grandmother. Today she was sent for burial. My mum cried though I didn’t. There was just some sort of peaceful silence of condolence for someone who had lived a good life and passed away naturally in her sleep.

Talk about inappropriate moments, but it was during one of the funeral prayers or ceremony I talked to my sister about my sort-of-fear on posting any personal into the Internet. (I confess it was a little disrespectful, but I could believe that grandmother gave me the idea to talk to my sister. We are close enough but we just don’t talk enough). Facebook, blog, Twitter, whatever. As long as it’s in the Internet I had trouble expressing myself (which even in real life, I am pretty much reserved when it comes to a discussion on a certain issue). I mean, I don’t see my sister actually shying away from social media as I do; hell I don’t even put up my real face on Facebook profile picture, unless persuaded with much coercion. This fear can be quite detrimental to someone who actually wants to see her books being published. Yeah it was a funny fantasy, but a girl can dream.

So I know my sister maintains a blog, though I didn’t know she is still blogging until then. Who better than her to ask about my troublesome issue? According to her, Facebook is different from blog. In Facebook what you post shows up in the news feed, inadvertently forcing other peoples to read your blabbering trap (that’s what I always think when I felt the urge to update my Facebook status. I never did click the button in the end). When you write in blog, peoples choose to read your blog based on search results and tags. It kind of made sense. It gave me a reason to not to fear blogging too much.

But there is still one thing. Maybe it was really just me being afraid of writing too badly my perfectionist inclination starts to creep in. Being unable to accept mistakes, I confess, is one of my faults, and I am worse at accepting critiques when I understand exactly the critique being given. I couldn’t help but thinking “Yes I damn well know that but why I just couldn’t make it right when I know that damned concept?” Maybe I will have to just shut my mouth and gulp that eel down my throat.

That was how I ended up Googling my sister’s blog. It wasn’t even that hard to search. I typed her name (her name was quite unique to begin with, none of the John and Joe average spelling), added a keyword “blog” and then hit search. Her friend’s blog showed up in the first, and from there I rooted out the blog’s link. You know good friends put up links to their friends’ blog, and I relied on that good will of her friend. 😀

Her blog post on our grandmother made me felt compelled to write one myself. In fact, I think she knew more of our grandmother than I did. She didn’t cry during the funeral either, but she said something in the end:

Then I realized, shouldn’t I be feeling sad despite it’s a relief that she’s finally freed from all the sufferings?
After all we’ve lost someone close to us….
Then I realize, I don’t actually feel sad for anything.
I’m just feelingless.
Call me heartless.
I didn’t feel sad either, not in a way I thought should be sad. I know sad – I’m an irrational crybaby when it comes to deep, touching movies and TV shows. The feelings and emotions from the screen can jack me up real good. I do feel the loss, that I would never see the face in the flesh again, that suddenly I had only two grandparents left. But sad? On the verge of tears? No, not unless you allow me to spur some writer’s creativity to tell tales of a certain great matron of the house, and with a little luck I might ease out a tear.
But real life isn’t that dramatic most of the time. There is no magical showdown of fireworks, light and tears. No heart wrenching blockbuster one-to-one moment where men spill their heart out bare for women to weep. It had been slow, the sort of slow that makes a writer itch to put any action or Chekov’s gun to get it going, something like a writer’s block settling in. There was only an aunt weeping quietly at a side, and the split-second stone-hard expression on one of my uncle’s face. It was a peaceful passing, so it’s peace I shall offer, and it isn’t heartless.

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