Tuesday, 10 April 2007

Monday reflection and an out of this world experience

It’s exactly one month before my vege days are over, which means it has been 19 days since mom left us without any warning. Over the last 19 days, I have had more people asking me “how are you?” compared to my entire life, to which, I don’t really know how to answer. But thanks, really, I appreciate all your concern.

Over the last 19 days, I was severely hit with the “the-last-time” phenomenon… In my mind, the following thoughts kept hitting me…

The last time I went to work… mom was still alive. The last time I went to the gym… mom was still alive. The last time I went to the church… mom was still alive. The last time I played football… mom was still alive. The last time I played badminton… mom was still alive. The last time I spent a night at Jules… mom was still alive. The last time I went shopping… mom was still alive. Every single thing that I do, I just thought of the time when mom was still alive. It was killing me, but I tried my very best to hide it all.

The full wave of the fact that mom’s passing was a sudden one began to slowly sink in me; sometimes I just tear in silence. There will be more “the-last-time”, and I will have to face them all. It will be tough and I hope I will be able to find a smile amidst those tears.

Anyway… something happened in the first 7 days of mom’s passing that I really wanna share with all of you. It may be a lil… creepy…

On the night when mom was cremated, I was sitting right here blogging. To the right of me is mom’s temporary altar. It’s set up on a mahjong table and mom’s picture is on it. She is smiling at me right now as I type. This altar will stay for the 49 vege days before it’s being transferred to the altar table. Yeah, I am the only Christians in the family.

At about 11pm, I can suddenly smell a sweet fragrance, so sweet that it actually captured by attention and I started to locate the source of the smell. As I walked around the house frantically sniffing everywhere, I noticed my cousin was doing the same thing. Indeed, we were both captivated by the sudden appearance of this sweet fragrance. You know what is the best part? Only cousin and I could smell it, dad, brother and sister couldn’t smell it. Cousin said… “Ni de ma ma hui lai le” (mom is back).

That’s not the end of it yet. The 7th day after one’s passing is known as “wui wan yat” (the day when the spirit of the dead will return). On that day, all of us are not supposed to roam around the house past 10pm, and that everyone should sleep at 10pm. It’s silly really, if mom is back… I am more than happy to stay in the living room and wait for her. How I wish I could tell mom how much I love her.

Anyway, I was in my room downloading something and it was about 9.55pm when I shut down my computer and since it’s not 10pm yet, I decided to go to the toilet for one last time. As soon as I stepped out of my room… yeah, you guessed right… I could smell that sweet fragrance again. The fragrance was with me… all the way from the living room to the toilet. As I stepped out of the toilet… I paused… took a deep breath and said…

“Ma, lei hai mai fan jo lei?”
(Mom, are you back?)

As soon as I said that, I got goose bump on my entire body. It’s a strange feeling, but there was no fear. I cannot say for sure that I could sense mom, but something out of this realm happened that day.


“Ma, ah tuck weng yun do wui kam sek lei, weng yun do em wui mong kei lei”
(mom, I will always love you and always remember you)

As soon as I said that, my goose bump disappeared completely… I cried for a while before I returned to my room and called it day.

P/S: I have disclosed some of the solutions of the riddle in the comment page of that entry already. As for the solution given to me… it’s really ridiculous I am not sure if I should tell you all that. You might all laugh at me.

51 comments:

Little Ray said...

Thanks for sharing this, Zewt. Stay strong there =)

LaSh said...

I didn't find this creepy at all, but it gave me goose bumps too! Just reading that entry!

It just shows that your belief is strong :) and I like that - even if you and me do not share the same religion.

cheers zewt.

Seok Thong said...

It was said that only the most loved ones by the deceased can sense all the 'creepy' stuff..I don't know too :)

I truly understand your feelings. My grandma has passed away for more than 2 years but i still think of her a lot and cry sometimes when i think of her coz she's like a second mum to my siblings as she took care of us when we were small :)

Stay strong and take care!

Acrelaine said...

u know what? at the 7th day after my greatgrandmother passed away.. i gotta stay in the comp room to go on studying (cos finals was somewhere near).. so mom put a pail......

for me to pee... -_-

yea... no laffing ok? i didnt use it anyway..

ok back to story, it was late at nite when i hear footsteps plus a cane sound...(she uses a cane since she's 102yrs old) so i do trust these kinda traditions.. no joke.. :)

Winn said...

zewt it's not creepy, when it comes to someone u love and coz shes someone u love..

I guess this is a good sign ( refering to the the sweet fragrance)..in my opinion, ppl who can smell the fragrance are truly blessed by the deceased. last time only my mom and a handful said they could sense sweet smells when my grandma passed away. and they said, they saw butterflies :) it's all positive zewt dont worry

flaminglambo said...

Well, if someone I loved came back, I most certainly would not be afraid.

Also, I'm glad that you had the chance to say what you've always wanted to say during her last days. That you'll always love her and remember her. I guess it provided some closure.

One thing's for sure. She'll live on forever in your heart and mind.

Huei said...

u're brave! and she was more than happy to hear those words =)

Gallivanter said...

This entry's almost had me in tears. I know exactly how you feel. 20 years have gone by and I still sorely miss my Dad.

Calvin's Wife said...

It's your mom, it's never a creepy thing to smell her or see her again for the last time.. :)

Anak Merdeka said...

You made me cry with this one, Zewt ... it's so close to home.

Anonymous said...

hey mate * anonymous the daisy duck* is on mC...anyway....ahuh creepy~~superstitious u...but interesting fact to note...

april said...

cool.. u are not afraid at all. i remember telling my mom that one day if she pass away, plse plse don't appear in front of me. I damn sked of all these things one. my grandpa passed away and i dreamt of him inside his coffin. scary betul.. bad hor me..

Andrew Ho said...

zewt got baptised--------nothing special....


Minishorts got baptised with him----------WHAT ON EARTH!!!!!??????


hahaha, God bless.... I'm the most famous blogger in my church, so I win you! lolz......

Bujang Skrang Ulu said...

that was a nice read. thanks for sharing zewt

Cirnelle said...

Hmmm... no offence intended to my comments herewith, it is merely my opinions and observations:-

Taoist belief: The soul of the dearly departed will visit his/ her home on the 7th day (after 10pm), presumably as a final farewell.

Christian belief: The soul ascends to Heaven on the 3rd day (morning, I think)

Buddhist be- (actually, the purist Buddhist is not supposed to believe, but to seek out the truth based on experiences and science.. but what do I know) - lieve: In this country, the 'religion' (not really, its a way of life) is somewhat co-mingled with Chinese and Hindu belief of 7 levels of heaven and hell and reincarnation possibilities respectively. No mention of scents.

Atheist b-... explanation: That the susceptible mind of the aggrieved conjures to the senses (whether auditory, scent, touch or sight) an event (subconsciously) that corresponds to the individual's belief system that he/ she accepts at that point in time. In short, in a society that generally believes in a purpose of a life or death, or events associated with them, it is the human way to deal with the death of another and its emotional consequences that follow.

*I am not an atheist because no matter how I deny it, I am scared of ghost stories*

Charmayne said...

i feel for you...hugz!

TTL! said...

what happened to me when my granny passed away was.. there was a butterfly in my house for like around 2 days.

angel said...

I had goose bumps reading this too but I truly believe it was your ah ma... Auntie, may you rest in peace... dun worry about ah tuck, he dai kor cai already...

PurpLe~MuShRooM said...

Her spirit came back to see you...you should be happy.

Landed_Angel said...

Stay strong Zewt.. your mom will always be with you..

Economist said...

I thought in normal circumstances ppl believe they will come back as insects ...hmmmm anyway take care man...

p/s i think you are quite right that ppl will not be happy with your answer to your riddle hahah

zewt said...

Little Ray - you're welcome/

Lash - well, my religion doesnt really believe this. so it's quite a struggle.

Seok Thong - well, i would like to think it was her, but it's a struggle with my faith.

Acrelaine - hmm... you didnt pee for the whole night? wow! yeah, it's funny that such things do happen. and like i said, it's a struggle for my faith.

Winn - yeah, i guess i have to take it positively.

flaminglambo - i hope it's a closure, becos i am still curious to look for that chinese sensei who has been treating my mom.

Huei - i am sure. thanks.

Gallivanter - sorry to hear about that bro.

Calvin's wife - it was a very nice smell really.

anak merdeka - well, those are matters close to my heart.

zewt said...

anonymous - yeah, very interesting eh? one of my friend had an even intriguing encounter at the cemetary.

april - damn bad... i am sure your mom will appear in front of you... when you are brushing your teeth... you will see her in the mirror! hahaha!

Andrew Ho - hah! so she is the celebrity la? you can get baptised again, i will ask her whether she wanna do it again with you. wahh... which church is that?

Bujang Skrang Ulu - you're welcome.

cirnelle - your notion on christians is wrong. as for the others, doesnt really bother me. as for what happened... it's just... a nice feeling.

charmayne - thanks.

TTL - insects seem to be the usual thing.

angel - goose bumps eh? hah... i am sure my mom can see you.

purple mushroom - but too bad i cant see her.

landed angel - thanks, i will.

economist - yeah, insect is the usual thing. but mom did mentioned before that sweet smell is also a case. guess she would like to come back as a nice fragrance rather than a butterfly. yeah, which is why i dont think i wanna disclose the answer i have.

minishorts said...

hi. the last time sivin told us that your mother passed away suddenly, it was quite heartbreaking. i recall the time my grandfather passed away and i could barely take it in, i was only 14 then... i can't imagine what's it like to lose someone even closer.

for some reason, going to the church i used to attend made it taboo to tell stories like this. but these things are all too real to us, too real to just dismiss like this... walking into blc finally allowed me to embrace the side of me that was brought up taoist (my mother is taoist/buddhist/folk religionist, whatever you want to call it, my father is charismatic christian dari FGA). religion has been a cause for my family's breaking down, but i'm really grateful to God for allowing me to seek Him in His own time.

I hope my condolences don't come too late.

p.s. yeah lah i'm a lazy blogger. blog and thats it. i read the comments, but i stopped replying comments over 2 years ago.

me said...

i'm a very practical and sensible person and never did believe in all these things. when my grandma passed away, everybody around claimed to have the same experience as u, some even weirder and more bizarre. i felt 'comforted' by the thought. now i like to believe that it is true..that our loved ones still hang around, looking at us from wherever they are. you should seek comfort in that fact, that she is there to listen whenever you feel like just speaking out to her.

don't bottle things inside you. talk to her...even if you can't see her (though it's prob a gd idea to do it behind closed doors otherwise some ppl may find it appropriate to admit u in mental institution :-p)tell her things you have always wanted to say. she may just be listening.

me said...

there are many lasts.......but there are also many firsts. she'll be so proud of you. without ending, there can not be another beginning.

Kenny Mah said...

I am glad you had a chance at "a last goodbye" even if it's just through feelings and goosebumps, it's real if you feel it enough.

Manal said...

Ghost Story : Leslie Cheung now a ghost himself....what i was saying? oh yeah, ur blog reminded me of leslie cheung and chinese ghost stories.

Btw, off the topic, since u celebrated good friday, did any of ur family members do the offerings to Kuan Yin?

Is it that u r the closest to ur mum or u the one who harboured the most guilty remorse but u still love her no matter what? Either way, u had it at "the scent".

Cirnelle said...

On Christianity (not Christians), I meant it in reference to the ascension of the Son of Man, but, ok... lets not get into a theological debate. All things considered, your memory of your mom is the best and most lasting gift you could ever give her.

nyonyapenang said...

you missed her and she's watching out for you. **hugssss**

Anak Merdeka said...

Just read your previous entries on your mom - glad you decided to share them with us here. I believe your mom would be immensely proud of you.

rinnah said...

It wasn't creepy at all, just very touching (you got to say your last goodbye) and close to the spirit level of things (I believe such things do exist, just that we don't know about it). I too had goosebumps reading your post.

Fiona the confusing girl... said...

I don't think is creepy, i felt touched caused you managed to tell your mom what you feel all along..
on 1st january my grandma passed away while we all mourn for her at the funeral parlour 1 night some of us cousins smell somekind of sweet mandarin oranges fragrance too! Not really all smell that just few of us..

dy said...

another post that made me shed a tear for you.

sooyin said...

I did get goosebumps while reading, but like many of the others said...it's not creepy coz it's your mum coming back to visit. I've heard other people saying similar things like this has happened to them also...guess we can all have faith that we will go somewhere after we leave this world. Take care, you.

mistipurple said...

it is comforting to know she came back to see all of you. and that you could tell her you will never forget her and that you will love her forever.
she will always look after you. forever. it's a nice thought. you, on the other hand, can always offer prayers for her. she needs prayers for her journey.

may said...

even though I'm not much of a believer that the spirit would come back on the 7th day, I'd like to think that if it did, it's nice to be able to say a final goodbye like how you did. I'm glad you had that chance.

zewt said...

minishorts - reckon you wont be reading this so ... i guess i will talk to you in church. huh... why do i bother to write this??

me - yeah, i do talk to my mom a lot, much more compared to when she was still alive. she would be so happy to listen to all my feelings and thoughts for the day. i am sure she is still listening. those the-last-time feeling will continue to hit me... but i think they are all good reminders.

Kenny Mah - yeah, it was quite real to me then.

Manal - nah, my mom is the co-ordinator in the family for all those rituals. since her departure... nobody organised anything, didnt even know it was kuan yin's festive season. i harboured the most guilt becos of ... well, read my 2nd chance with mom.

cirnelle - yeah, she will stay in my memory forever.

nyonyapenang - thanks, i certainly believe so.

anak merdeka - thanks for reading. i am sure she will. and i am glad my mom's stories touched many lives.

zewt said...

rinnah - yeah, when it comes to this kinda thing... goose bumps are normal.

fiona the confusing girl - can i refer you as fiona as short in future replies? anyway, looks like sweet smell is the usual 'return' signal.

dy - :) ... touching indeed.

sooyin - thanks. we all do go somewhere i am sure. the question is of cos where. and another question is of cos, do we get to return. for christians... that is not the case.

mistipurple - well, i will also never forget that experience.

may - yeah, i would like to think that was my last chance, and i am glad i took it.

april said...

so bad la u... luckily she is still alive. if not sure i sked one.

angele said...

=)

I felt weird after reading that post.Not weird in a negative way but just going through your writing made me think of my dad.

I have some strange things happening on and off related to my dad also...

I like to believe even though the departed ones we love are not there physically,they can still see and watch over us =)

Take care

kyh said...

I've met this kind of things in the last 3 years. Not once, but numerous times. And an unexplainable experience which took place last yr. Good luck. :)

zewt said...

april - she is your mom, i am very sure she will not harm you. and april, perhaps you might change your thinking when the inevitable happens.

angele - yeah, i think only ppl like us will understand such feelings. you take care too.

kyh - for 3 years??? that's pretty long eh?

cyen said...

dad appeared in my dreams for few months after his sudden death. he did not talk but just observed us, most of the time at home....near the place he liked to take naps. My mother said, souls can't communicate. So, tat's why he didn't say anything. the very last time i saw him and also the first time he spoke, he asked me 'how is your ma?' and I answered she is well with us. After tat...I don't see him anymore, just sometimes flashbacks of the times we spent together........

do you dream of her?

zewt said...

ya, had a dream... she was cooking for me. despite passing on... mom still wanna look after me.

erinalaw said...

I come to know you from Lilian - she interview you mah. I read thru about you and your mom. I really feel so touch and did not realise my tears begin to drop. So touching. I lost my grandpa few years ago and I can understand what you feel. Everynite, I sleep next to the coffin till the funeral day. None of my cousin dare to do it. I love my grandpa very much.

zewt said...

erinalaw - yeah... i used to think i will be scared being near a dead body... but those days... i just wanna be close to my mom. welcome to my blog... hope to see you around more :)

minishorts said...

zewt: wrong! I read it. if you wanna talk mail me minishorts [at] gmail. ^_^ peace.

Raksha said...

A tad belated, but my condolences on the passing of your mum.

I did the same thing when my Dad passed away, thinking about the last time we went shopping or had dim sum together, and how I should have spent more time with him etc.

All I can say is, stay strong and believe that your mom is at peace in Heaven.

*Hugs*

Passionista said...

Hello zewt, and thanks (for your words on my blog post). yes, God is taking care of our moms.

I had a dream of my mom just two days ago. quite a vivid dream.

it was the seventh day.

zewt said...

minishort - okies..!

raksha - thanks for your words of comfort... it's very encouraging...

passionista - looks like the 7th day is indeed quite a significant date.