I'm not good at this. Not good in imparting comforting words for the sick or the dying. I do the consoling in my heart hoping the sick or the dying will pluck my thoughts out of my head and understand my concern. It is not them that I fear most for having to endure the pain; it is me.... because ... I had seen the miserable looks of a very sick boy. I wish and I wish and I wish....and how I wish.... I could turn back the clock - to the day when he complained of agonizingly painful sensation around his neck. He was already nineteen, well-built and shouldn't be seen nagging about his 'sore-throat'.... that was what I thought. The most I could tell him was, when it was time for breaking fast in one Ramadan day 2002, to 'drink a lot of water and take some painkiller'. Easy as that. And when his nose bled not with runny blood but congealed dark red blood, that was the sign we did not expect what illness he was to contract.
About a few weeks after Hari Raya that year, we were distraught when we found out our sister's eldest son was down with Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma and was at stage four. I repeat, he was only nineteen. But all hopes were not lost. Still, it was wee too late for my sister's family... Allah loves him more. He succumbed to the deadly but otherwise curable disease on a Thursday night of July 31st 2003.
He was gone. The quiet and obedient boy we all loved to tease for being too attached to his mother, was gone! All of us, especially his 'bosom' cousins were devastated but accepted his loss as ineluctable fate.
I write this piece as a spin-off from my niece, Nadea's posting a few days ago about her missing her brother. Reading her entry brought tears to all of her caring aunts and cousins and mostly her mother, Kak Lina. I heard she cried buckets.
She usually does... oopps...sorry...
If only I could be wise with words, I would have said to my late nephew, Aizal Marzuki, " Bertahan ye...kita pergi hospital" instead of that regretful, " minum air banyak-banyak lepas berbuka..."