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Thursday, May 05, 2011

Death in the family

It was Labour Day and I was at my mom's house in Bera, Pahang. Although Monday was also a holiday, we decided to go back to KL on Sunday to do laundry and grocery shopping. We planned to start the journey at around 3, in order to catch Liverpool game at 7. But the kids were still playing outside the house, refused to come in and change their clothes. Then my SIL made some fried kway teow for her friends who were coming over. Then when the friends came, my hubby decided to join them for kway teow hi-tea. It was almost 4pm when everybody was finally ready to go back to KL. All our bags were lined up in front of the main door and hubby started carrying some of the wet towels into the car. Then I felt like going to the toilet, so I went.

I was inside the toilet when my SIL received a phone call. She was shouting my name, I thought it was my friend. Then I heard she passed the phone to my brother and I heard him speaking in English. Suddenly, it felt weird. Which of my friend couldn't speak BM? A few minutes later, I emerged from the toilet and my SIL broke the sad news. My eldest brother who lived in Kota Kinabalu had passed on. I didn't know how to react or what to feel at that moment. My mom and I were discussing about him the night before. I was asking my mom whether my eldest brother will be back for my nephew's wedding next month. We were hoping that he'll be able to get flight tickets and join us for the khenduri.

Allahyarham Zulkiflie Sulaiman
9/7/1957-1/5/2011
All of us sat in silence for a few minutes then started discussing on how to make the necessary arrangements. My brothers started calling their friends, tried to find who could be contacted in KK and who else might be able to help. We never faced this kind of situation. We've dealt with deaths of immediate family members before, but both of them (my late father and grandma) were not across the ocean. The next few hours everybody was calling everybody. Decisions must be made fast. We had to wait for my third brother who was in Jerantut when we managed to contact him. It was already quarter past 6 when everyone of us was finally at my mom's house and we got everything finalized. Two of my brothers were flying to KK that night, the rest would stay at home to make preparations just in case the body could be flown back.

My hubby drove us to KLIA. It was raining cats and dogs from Bera to Nilai. Thank god Zarif and Shawqi were sound asleep throughout the nervewrecking 2.5 hours drive. When we reached Nilai, it was a quarter past 9pm. The last MAS flight to KK was at 10.10pm. When we entered MAS ticketing office, it was already 9.40pm. I insisted for two tickets although the check-in counter was closing. Luckily the ticket girl understood our urgency. We got two tickets and almost ran to Departure level.

My brothers were just in time for the flight. We went back, had dinner and I checked my late brother's FB page. Many of his friends wrote their good bye notes. There was an announcement by UMNO Bahagian Sipanggar on the arrangements made for burial on the next day. Alhamdulillah, everything has been taken care of. I'm sure my late brother had many close friends in KK. They've been like his family since he stayed there.


One of the last pictures of my late brother (i downloaded this from his FB)


My late brother in his Temerloh United t-shirt
My late brother's body was brought to Masjid Kg Likas from Queen Elizabeth Hospital on Monday afternoon and he was buried in Tanah Perkuburan Islam Kg Likas. My two brothers stayed for another day in KK to file the death report at JPN. They came back on Tuesday night. When we went to fetch them at the airport, I saw a big luggage and a smaller bag they brought from KK. Those must be my late brother's belongings. We went through some of his documents that night. My 4th brother showed me the death certificate and I think that was the moment when I suddenly felt really sad. We are so used to seeing birth certificates of newborns, and felt so excited about it. But when I saw the death cert, that was when reality really sunk in. My eldest brother was gone from this world and he's not coming back. I saw his clothes in the bag and I wept.

.......to be continued. I think the younger generation of our family and his friends deserve to know more about him. Let me compile a few things first and publish a few entries dedicated to my late brother some time next week.  

3 comments:

Jade said...

Kakak, find solace in the fact that so many people love him and have only good things to say about him. Hugs.

ps: I don't know your brother, but comments on his FB made me come to this conclusion.

Looking forward to those entries!

mummy Darin said...

Kak Dayang.. Takziah.. semoga arwah tenang di sana.. amin..
Al-Fatihah

lina said...

Assalamualaikum dayang - your strength, courage and faith are already so strong. I WILL continue to pray for those things for you,as well as for your comfort, peace and each and every moment, as they are all so precious.
Yes, only God knows His plans for us and these are lessons we can all learn from.. to savor each moment every day.

Al - Fatihah to your late brother. Amin..amin.