Weekly Writing Challenge: I Remember

by Chua Han Au

Your statuesque figure had dilapidated — you crumbled.   

You were so strong during our presence but fell apart after his absence.

I remember…

His purple lips stood in vivid contrast to his cadaverous features. His hair, thin and ashen. An original raven black metamorphosed into pallid grey. His delicate eyelids concealed his cerulean eyes and were never again seen. The outlines of his wrinkles were like spider webs, stretching further away from his canthus. He laid in a foreign gurney, with a blanket pulled all the way up just below his half-shaved chin.

Your hands hugged him in a manner that evoked genuine empathy. Your hands acted like wings of a mother swan, surrounding his cold torso, with copious tears flowing from your puffed eyes. You crouched over with your thin lips in contingence with his bare, wizened forehead — a hushed kiss that bade him farewell and expressed gratitude.

Your heart shattered silently — pain that you could fathom but hoped otherwise. We stood by your side, comforting you. But at that point in time, that wasn’t what you needed. You needed personal space; a timeout; a time to recollect and reflect. 

That last call that you made with a fraction of reluctance turned out to be the most fortunate phone call you had ever made. Both of you conversed and solved misunderstandings. Both of you were happy. 

Little did we expect such a dolorous news four days later. After the 24th of March 2013, you let it all out whenever you had the chance to. I could hear your sobs in the bathroom and your muffled weeps as you wrote poetry which pertained to him. Every night, your pillow will be soaked with tears.

You had changed. It were as though your soul had dissipated to someplace, locked and never returning. You had that frazzled outlook on your face, telling others, “Please don’t bother me, I need to be alone.” 

You complained about how you should have visited him a week ago. You lamented over his death, raising questions that pertained to his afterlife. Would he be happy? Where would he go? Would he still remember us?

All you ever wanted then was to have one more moment with him. Just one. A moment for better explanations and a wave of goodbye —  promising him that you would visit him again a week later.

It was a cathartic experience I agree. July. We have come this far, you were back to your usual self. However, I still feel that a part of you is missing. I am unable to pinpoint what exactly it was. Maybe you hadn’t changed at all and perhaps, I think too much. Or maybe, his death took a part of you. I don’t know.

All that I can remember was the pain you experienced, the woe you tried concealing, the days whereby we had to hold a wake for him, those nights when you slept while tearing.

You could not bear to leave him. I know how you had felt. I genuinely did. In fact, we all did. But no matter what, just remember, we will always have your back.

Stay strong, my beloved Mother.


Written in response to WordPress’s Weekly Writing Challenge