Farewell my beloved Mummy, until we meet again …

Posted: September 29, 2018 in Family, Mum, My Mother’s Eulogy, Personal
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<< Flashback 15th Dec 2017 …

Mum was waiting in the hotel room at MTREE Hotel in Kuala Lumpur (KL). She looked radiant with her beautiful smile. We joked. We laughed. We prayed. We cried (of joy). We reminisced. We chuckled. We laughed out loud. Mum looked so happy surrounded by her 6 broods.

It was not Christmas, but we were in a Christmas mood albeit being barefaced with our pyjamas on et al. THAT was perfectly imperfect!

The following day, 16th Dec, was a BIG day for one of my 6 nephews. My oldest nephew got married. The first of Mum’s grandchildren to tie the knot and the reason why all 6 siblings made it to the wedding in KL. The few days spent with Mum were beyond words.

Mum was the proudest mum that day seeing her child #1 embracing a new addition to the family.

Mum shed a tear seeing her children pulling through the wedding service completely unrehearsed. All done extempore with virtuosity – the A Capella choir (children #s 2, 3, 5 and 6), the church organist (child #5), the church reader (child #6) and the church lector (child #4).

Was a child being left out? Never!

That’s how Mum raised us, as One!

The last I saw Mum …

27th Dec 2017 was the day I left KL and the last I saw Mum smiling at me. I gave her a blouse and a pashmina which she wore the same day to the airport. She looked glowingly radiant. That was the last and absolutely special moment I will cherish my beautiful, most gorgeous Mum in my heart.

>> Fastfoward …

The days, weeks, months after ..

We all knew Mum had not been well, with her joint pains here and there. Well, isn’t that the package one gets when one gets older? We did not think anything out of the ordinary with those silent pains that Mum endured, because Mum never complained the pains she went though. Life went on.

My older son felt blessed to have met his Ah Ma in January after completing his 5th semester at Southwestern University Of Finance and Economics in Chengdu, China. While his University mates travelled to Vietnam to chillax, my son chose to visit his grandma for 3 blissful weeks. Good on you, son!

Soon after my son left Kuching for Belgium, I received news from my sisters and a brother who are based in Kuching that Mum’s health went downhill all of a sudden. Foods she liked before were rejected. She had not been out of the house since…

My Mother’s Eulogy

(By: Child #4 shared on Wednesday 27th June, 2018 @ 9 am at St. Joseph’s Cathedral, Kuching, Sarawak )

“When my sisters in Kuching private messaged me to put a eulogy together for Mum, I’m not going to lie. This is not at all an easy task. I was trying to figure out how possibly I could put into words everything in a few minutes when I’ve known her all my life?

Hi, Good morning all. My name is IH, the 4th child in the family. I and my siblings, RH, GH, SH, JH and IH want to thank you all from the bottom of our hearts. It is very important for us to be here and we are very touched by your presence. Mum would be so ecstatic and so thankful to everyone coming today.

Dear friends, family and Rev Fr Patrick today, we say goodbye to my Mum but we also have to celebrate her life because that is what she would want. Most of you here knew her as a friend, but she was also a grandmother (Ah Ma). She was a wife, a daughter, a sister, an aunt, an in-law, and most of all, she was a MOTHER to us 6 siblings.

Elizabeth Anna Sim Bee Kiaw was born on 25th August 1939. She died on Sunday, 24th June 2018. If you are wondering why she’s 80 and not 79, then only those closest to her, her children know ‘80’ is the right number.

3 years ago in August 2015, we, all her 6 children, her children in-law, and her grandchildren celebrated her 76th birthday, here, in Kuching. By the way, it took us 2 years to plan that FULL quorum reunion as not all her children are based in Kuching. My brother, JH, his wife JL, and their 4 sons, IH, IH, IH and IH flew all the way from Edmonton, Canada to Kuching through different time zones. Likewise, myself, my husband, MV and 2 sons, NV and KV travelled from Belgium, disregarding the time differences and jet lags. My sister, RH and het husband AY, their son TY and his then fiancé flew in from KL. My older brother, GH, his wife AL and their daughters, CH and MH made that special trip to Kuching from Sibu. My sister, SH and her kids, AO and UO and my youngest sister, IH and BL, my Mum’s foster grandson. All of us took time off work and a niece and nephew had to forego a few College and University classes to converge in Kuching for ONE purpose – to be with the matriarch of the family, Mum/ Ah Ma!

Soon after the 2015 successful reunion, my sibilings and I planned and talked about a subsequent family reunion, a BIG do when Mum would have turned 80 in August, 2019. We planned a cruise with Mum. Mum was excited because she loved travelling and she loved being surrounded by her loved ones.

When Mum’s health deteriorated in February this year and a fall in May that left her bed-ridden, she told my sisters who are based in Kuching ~ SH and IH ~ that she was 80 this year, according to Chinese age. In her poignant expression in the Hokkien language, “Wa pek chap liao. Kio e lang lau liau lai chia”.

The Almighty God took away my Mother’s pain and brought her home to be with the Lord. So, Mum, here’s our promise to you on your 80th year, the BIGGEST cruise you ever dreamt of, joined by all your 6 children, children in-law, grandchildren, foster grandson, sisters, brother, in-laws and friends. We sail with you today to celebrate your eternal peace.

Elizabeth Sim was my best friend and the number ONE person in my life. She was my first teacher. She was a caring soul, a guardian, a friend and a protector and her testament of that is her children – all 6 of us! She taught me all through her life, all through my life and she taught me what humility, dignity, simplicity and honesty look like. The legacy Mum gave us is patience and strength. Mum grew up with hardship, having lost her dad (my grandfather) at a very young age. She and her 6 siblings were immediately placed in a convent in Mukah while her Mum (my grandmother) had to fend for herself and her 7 young children doing odd jobs as an ahma (a servant). Hardship and hard work were what my Mother was familiar with. Mum was the essence of purity, kindness and beauty. Her true truth lies deep in our hearts. She was our Queen of Hearts but without the tiara and glittering cloak. She was a Queen in rags and tatters. Eyes are blind, but Mum looked with the heart. What’s most important is invisible. Mum saw everything with her heart, because of the hardship she experienced.

To the people who are lucky enough to know her personally, she was caring and funny in her own silly way, honest and spoke only where necessary. She cared deeply for those around and her devotion for her family was truly unparalleled.

As many of you knew her, she loved to laugh. She had the genuine, unique and innocent laugh. She didn’t mind we did foolish things or said silly things about her, because that’s how we were brought up as, not expecting praises all the time, but we can also accept negative comments light-heartedly. In her own famous words in Melanau “Mana le nou (Que sera sera, It doesn’t matter. Whatever will be, will be. Up to you). That’s Mum’s legacy to us.

Mum also taught us the values of a good get-together and having friends and family around. I know she’s looking down at us now, very happy and very excited especially with all of us here gathered together. I can feel Mum’s warmth. I can sense her sweet smile. I can hear her sing in her melodious and angelic voice. I can see her playing on her favourite blue harmonica with the most appropriate label, “HERO”. Mummy, Ah Ma will forever be our version of Hero.

Memories of you bring tears to my eyes, to all eyes who knew her. Mum’s legacy will always live on with us. I love you Mum. We ALL love you. Thank you so much for being a part of me and my siblings’ and being a friend to all.

Remembering you is easy. I do it EVERYDAY, but missing you is heartache that never goes away.

A million times I’ve needed you

A million times I’ve cried

If love alone could have saved you

You never would have died

In life I loved you dearly

In death I love you still

In my heart you hold a place

No one else can ever fill

It broke my heart to lose you

But you didn’t go alone

Part of me, part of us, went with you

The day God took you home

Eternal Rest grant unto the soul of a dearest being, Elizabeth, O Lord

And let Perpetual Light shine upon her.

Rest in Peace Mummy, Ah Ma, Ah Chey, Ee Ee, Ji Kor, Aunty Gelad, Gelad, Ah Soh, Aunty, Ah Ee, Elizabeth, Mrs Harry, Mrs William Harry.

Rest in Eternal and Heavenly Peace!

I would like to call my siblings up here, the way Mum would call you…. Jai Jueng, Yet, Tanu, Yan, Diek and myself, Ureu. Lai chia. Lai nang chio O Maria Tina Kou.

O Maria Tina Kou

Slingeh nou akou a aniek nou

Sibet nou akou la ji tan gak nou

Lubieng tulen bersi nou

Puji Maria, Puji Maria, Puji Maria ….!

Why Did Mum Cry?

Mum cried because she misses her children dearly. She misses her grandchildren profoundly.

She misses holding and touching us.

She misses the hugs and kisses and the sweet loving words.

She misses talking with us and engaging in deep thoughtful conversations. Mum spoke only where necessary.

Even though it’s just baby talk, because engaging with people, regardless of age, creed and colour, was transcendent beauty in her eyes.

Mum’s Quiet Moments

Mum had many quiet moments. When she’s alone, she sang hymns, she played her favourite games on the iPad, she read, she played on the harmonica and most of all, she prayed. She prayed every single day for our safety, our health and our family.

Until Death Do Them Part

She was 18. He was 12 years older. They promised “to have and to hold from this day forward, for better, for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and health, until death do us part.”

Mum was buried next to her lover, her partner, her friend and her confidante. They are together forever and never to part.

God bless you both in Heaven, Mummy and Papa.

Farewell Mummy. You are in good hands now.

A Blessed 100th day in Heaven 💖

God Bless you 💕

With lots of love and until we meet again😍

Jai Jueng, Yet, Tanu, Ureu, Yan and Diek

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