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By March 12, 2015

If you've been following my blog for a while (or if we are friends in flesh and blood) you may have known that my grandmother passed away back in November 2013. It was a tremendously difficult time for me, because unlike most grandmothers who live in elderly care facilities or maintain their own households, my grandma lived with my family for more than 10 years, up until the day she was admitted in ICU. Moreover, her death was sudden and out of the blue.

It was a traumatic event for me and it took me more than a year to have the courage to write and examine my emotions, ever since I penned down my feelings a few days after her passing. The event was even more traumatic for me because I had wanted to call her a few days before she was admitted to the hospital... but I didn't.

Young and naive, I had just started a new role in my job, the 45 minutes daily commute, the three hours' time difference all took a toll on me so I had put off calling my grandma for a few weeks, even though I spoke with my parents once a week. The next thing I knew she was admitted in Intensive Care for septic shock. Naturally, giving her a call was out of the question. Before the week was over I was on the plane back to Malaysia, hoping to see her for the last time (I did not make it in time).

My grandma has always been camera-shy. My only recent picture with her was from 2012.

I will forever live in the regret and guilt that I did not make more effort that day to pick up my phone and call my grandma. Me taking life and love for granted made me miss the last chance to hear her voice. Never again would someone wait for me at the door eagerly when I go home; I will never get to hear her soft reminder every dinner time for me to eat more vegetable; nor will I get to see her wobble from her room, reach into her pocket and hand me a red packet during Chinese New Year.

But we humans are a resilient lot. We grieve, but we rise up against the sadness and we continue living. When I look back at my pictures, I categorise it to "Pre-Grandma's Passing" and "Post-Grandma's passing". While she has only been gone for a bit more than a year, it felt like we have all aged a decade. Not just physically, but mentally, a bit of us is gone.. But we may have learnt something.

From this experience, I have learnt that it is so important to cherish my family. Nowadays, when I think about my parents, I give them a call right away - because I don't want to miss out on anything. Occasionally, I still slip back to my old habits, but my grandma's kind smile in my mind is the best reminder I need to pick up my slack.

So, if you love someone, be it your parents, your grandparents, or just a special someone, tell them right now that you love them. Don't live with a regret :)

I thought it would be easy to write this post... but right now I am just a heap of tears and snot. Kind of regret sharing this story now, but I really hope that with my limited power I can inspire someone to call their loved ones today. Sorry this post is a bit of a downer. I promise something more uplifting in my next post! 

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