this morning, my next-door malay neighbour came knocking on our door, crying, to inform us that her younger son had passed away very suddenly last night. he had been only 17, on ite school vacation, and had recently taken up a holiday job somewhere. he had returned late that night and was watching tv on the couch at home, when he suddenly called out to his dad. he then lost consciousness, his lips turning blue very quickly, and by the time the ambulance arrived, he was gone.
my dad woke us up just now to break the news to us. the sad news really came as a shock. the neighbours have an elder son, maybe about 20. the younger son, when they'd first moved in, was studying in the pap kindergarten downstairs, i think. as neighbours, we'd never been particularly close or anything - just friendly and polite neighbours, offering goodies and angpows/green packets during each other's new years; we talked occasionally and smiled when we passed them, the children would greet the adults. still, as kids, we'd grown up side by side, literally. for the adults, i guess they'd watched us kids grow up.
it's really sad to see her cry so heartwrenchingly. how will life be for their family, henceforth? it must be so horrible - a child you brought into the world, so young, so full of life, full of hope, yours for the last 17 years, so very much part of your life and heart and soul, even if every once in a while you quarrel and argue and you try to whack some sense into his thick head - you probably wish it had been you in his place. i don't know, i've never been a parent, my guess can be only such a small proportion of the sorrow as parents they really experience. and how does the elder son feel, the brother he'd always shared the room with, so very suddenly gone and never returning. it seems so surreal. that one family, their lives as they had always known, impacted and changed forever, and the rest of the world spins on, your personal tragedy, in other people's minds, quickly forgotten, as everyone moves on with their own concerns.
every once in a while, you read in the news of young people, with a long road ahead of them and dreams and aspirations of their own, having life suddenly come to an end like this for seemingly no reason or rhyme - was it some malicious virus, a heart attack, what - but at the end of it, it's afterall just in the news, and you feel so distant from it (at least for me). and now it has struck so close to home. literally. you can't help but think about yourself, your own family - what if it happens here as well, what if it strikes at home?
yeah. i guess. life is so unpredictable. so transient. cliche as it sounds. what shall we do with ours?