March 1, 2013
Earlier during the morning, I was up at Singapore High Commission. Once I got back, dad broke a bad news.
"Your second eldest uncle has just passed away."
"How come? How he died?" Dumbfounded, I can't believe someone has left my family.
Dad answered, "He committed suicide."
I didn't pursue how my uncle died, but instead turned my question on the time when the news was delivered to my father.
"I didn't want to affect your mood of seeing the High Commissioner of Singapore earlier today, that's why I have kept the news from you until now. I heard of it yesterday."
He further continued, "I'll have to consult with your mother about it," knowing full well that my zodiac (snake) rendered me unsuitable to attend funerals in this lunar year.
All of us waited till my mom returned home from work.
Mom decided that I could burn joss sticks to pay my respect to uncle but I'll be forbidden to look at his body in the coffin.
The whole family left for Titi, Jelebu.
We headed straight for uncle's house. What I was going to see left me dumbfounded further.
I have not visited uncle's house in a residential area adjacent to a Chinese village.
"Is this uncle's house?" I looked up at the house with fumigated walls, resulting from soot released from a great fire. An air conditioner outdoor unit, heavily sooted, its chassis melted and two of its fan blades missing, presented itself imposingly to me. The interior of the house was however untouched.
"Yes, this is uncle's house," mom answered.
A neighbouring house, belonging to a sister of a Negeri Sembilan State Assemblywoman, has its car porch ceiling heavily fumigated with thick black soot. Not one inch of the ceiling was spared.
After I paid my respects, I heard about the last moments of my uncle's death.
So, this is how he died, to my horror:
I knew he had been plagued by depression for a few years, ever since his wife found out about his extra-marital affair, the whole family fell apart. My father and other siblings tried to help him cope, brought him to the psychiatrist, had medication, .......
On the other hand, I swear I have not seen my cousins (his two daughters) for 10 years at least ever since I heard about his family falling apart. Things changed for a sudden, I didn't get to see my cousins during festive seasons anymore.
Since tragedy has happened, there is no use pointing fingers at anyone now.
Taking care of a living person is better than grieving for his death. I can only sigh at all that had happened.
Related news articles:
China Press 患忧鬱症多年 男子疑车內自焚
Nanyang.com 患忧郁症精神病 退休工程师车内自焚