Sunday, July 29, 2012

One last, cold kiss.


It was just like any other day. Working as an executive in a corporation, where she works 5 days a week, 8 hours a day. Career life is carefully juggled in between raising an adorable tot and cooking up a storm almost every day after work for that other half. He dislikes take-outs. Naturally, weekends would be a day she’d look forward to each week. For that is the only time she would sit back, relax and not really worry about multitasking. Weekends, is purely for family. She loves this routine, and doesn’t mind at all that she might be viewed as not living up a more ‘colourful’ or ‘happening’ life, like most of her colleagues.

But this weekend would be the toughest. Life without the other half who is sent for an outstation work for a week, added to that she was feeling a bit under the weather, her son included. For a tiny frame such as hers, being sick for a couple a days would mean losing weight just as easily and that would drain her energy even more.

“Oh Almighty Allah. Give me the strength. For I sure could use that this weekend”
She would find herself praying in whispers every now and then. She looks over her shoulder and sees her lovely son is fast asleep. Her mind is racing about planning her day, tomorrow although fatigue would love for her to just shuts down and embrace the gentleness of the silk’s duvet on her skin. Quickly, she realised that there is a book she has yet to finish. Reading had always been her passion. But ever since she got herself “mama” title, her readings are being downsized to the back of a cereals box. Or chocolate wraps. She has a sweet tooth.

Her equally tired hands reached out the side table where a book halfway read was left untouched by her since last two months. It reads “Memento mori, memento vivere". She continues reading a chapter.

Death is never an easy thing to deal with. What is death, really? Nobody knows for sure how death feels like, as no one has ever sprung back to life, and lived to tell the tale. It is in this uncertainty, the fear of the unknown, maketh death a concept that is feared by many. When someone dies, we know that person has stopped breathing. Life has seized to exist and the person becomes nothing but a body. Lifeless. Helpless. To the believers, this empty, elusive concept that is death makes us mere mortals. It is what separates us as the subordinate to the powers that be. Surely, there will be time when we would come across stories of people that have gone ‘through’ that ‘tunnel of light’ and back. Stories such as these, rare as it may be, will give goose bumps for the fear hearted. But would be totally rubbished by the cynics. Indeed, death is man's worst fears.

She flips the page. Checks on her son who is sleeping next to her on the same bed. No, I am not spoiling him and I am just lonely, she finds herself muttered. What does it feel to lose someone? Someone you really love? Someone you've shared your life with? This is a question she finds herself struggling to answer and truthfully, hope would never need to face with. It is a scenario, she can only imagine. Yes, there had been some deaths in the family, but never involving the immediate member of that nucleus family of hers. Yet, the pain and sorrow was still devastating.

“I still cannot believe Hitomi has left us. His passing is too sudden and shocking.” She looks at the other half and sharing her thoughts yet again on the recent demise of a dear friend of theirs. The other half doesn’t seem to be interested let alone concentrating on her. She gave him a nudge.

“Mama, everyone dies. Today it’s Hitomi. Next, it could be you or me or Annie, our irritating neighbour of which I wouldn’t mind at all if she’ll be gone too soon and sudden on any of these days. Life goes on. I’ll be ok if you go first the same way I hope you are if I were to go first.” The other half smirked.

“Do you think you can face it if I were to die first before you?” She quickly throws that question to the other half. Silence. The other half seemed to not care as he resumes back to immersing himself to the sounds of his song lists, with soundproof, super in-ear headphones. Equally occupied are his hands, glued to a darling, super sleek, white tablet he had recently purchased.

This non-responsive act the other half keeps serving her is not new and verily, never been pleasant, but she has learned to adapt to it and consoles herself every time the other half does it. Her inner voice tells her the other half cares for her. He just lacks emotion. She reassures herself. He must care for me and be crushed if I were to die before him, because that is what people would be if their beloved spouse dies, isn’t it? That’s what you see in the movies. Please look at me and for once say that you care for me. Her inner voice keeps on badgering the mind. Please. She begs further. Please. Her inner voice becomes weaker.


She could feel cold tears running down the cheeks. Cold. Icy cold. She lifts her hands to wipe them off quickly as the other half hates to see her crying. Hands were lifted but she couldn’t actually wipe the tears. The cheeks were not wet anymore. The only thing she felt was her cold, chilled cheeks. She tries to get up and sees her son is no longer beside her. She panicked. She looked around to find him. Nothing. Again, that coldness engulfed her. It is so chilling she tries to find that comfy duvet of hers, but that too was missing.

“Mama!” There it was a familiar voice yet no familiar face for her to see. That voice was getting louder as she tries to find it.

“Mama!” Confusion seeps over. She gets more disoriented. Light headed.
She was to find herself again, tearing up inside. Where is thee?
“Here, mama. Don’t cry, don’t be afraid. It’s going to be ok. You’ll be fine.” That voice says. But, still there was no image only sound.

“Just so you know, I lied. All this while, I was lying to you. I will never be ok. I will never be the same. I cannot live without you. Who would take care of us now, mama? Mama, papa loves you. So much.” 

That voice was breaking up. She finally starts to see the face. That familiar face uttering that magical words she had long to hear. This time, there were no more tears. She was crying a river. Yet, a cold river that couldn’t be felt but she knows, the tears are real. She feels her other half’s fingers on her cheeks, caressing ever so gently. She could feel the love. The love she had thought was diminishing. She would then feel his warm lips against her cheeks. That broke her. She feels her throat choking up, wanting to say back to this utterly devastated, sad familiar face that she is sorry and...she forgives him.

“Mama, my other half... I am sorry that I could only now kiss your cold cheeks and not when it was full of warmth, life. This cheeks with its dimples every time you smile... I will miss em all. Mama, I am guilty of this one, last, cold kiss”. And with that, the other half cries uncontrollably, the first time she has seen him that way.

For every death, there would be a funeral. They say, funerals will give closure. It is that final chance to say goodbye and part ways with the departed. TODAY, unfortunately, I have again said goodbye to another departed soul. A soul that was ever so kind, gentle and loved by many. She has a face of an angel, that was always smiling. She, rarely gets angry as if 'angry' is never on her vocabulary.

She, was Allahyarhamah Nur Syaleza Jaffar (March 1981-July 2012), a mother to a beautiful tot, an obedient wife and a daughter to a loving parents. But to me, she was an ex-colleague, that was ever so helpful. When I started my career back in the days at that place, only the three of us; Azley, her and I were LC staffs. Yes, we started from the 'lowest' point of the 'food chain' (although she has started work a few months earlier than me).

(Above) Her FB profile picture that she had just recently changed. Seen here at her workstation

As LCs, we would always "look out" for each other everytime of the month when salary is due. This was because, our salary were paid in cheques. I remember there were a few times I would bank-in her cheques and that was when I realised her salary was even lower than me. Yet, I was always complaining about my predicament, whereas she would always say "Nak buat macam mana Aishah. Takpelah." (Translation: Oh well, What can we do Aishah. It's OK). Yes she is the epitome of fine muslimah-soft-spoken, gentle, caring, always positive. Hence, I called her "kakak" although we're only one year apart in age. Yet, she and Azley persevered whereas I, as the writings in this nonsensical blogs have it; bowed out 'half-way' through my fight.

Thus, when she finally got a permanent employment and better increments only quite recently, I have nothing but admiration for her endurance and passion in that place. She was a real hardworker, always put others' need above hers. Her job is only administrative, but she oftens go that extra mile, 'spoiling' us with her careful, systematic work e.g. she would complete the necessary details in our claim forms etc. That place I remember is quite lacking in computers. So, often we would "crash" her workspace, using her pc for leisures and she never throw a fit to any of us.

Kullun nafsin za ikatul maut. For every living creatures must die. It is indeed as promised by Allah. Not a second too late. Her passing is sudden and tragic. She has indeed gone too soon.

Al-fatihah Kak Syasya farhana (a nickname given by another ex-colleague of mine), may you rest in peace and Allah bless your soul and place you amongst the syuhadas in jannah. No more multitasking, no more worries, just be...happy.

Although I have left the place for 2 full years, the memories of that first four colourful and challenging years at that place will never be forgotten. She was unlike any other admin executive. She was part of the beating heart that was vital in TV9's operations. And within that close perimeters, all of us developed a bond of more than mere co-workers. We were all like small, extended family to each other.

My dua for you Kak Syasya, and thank you for giving me the chance to see you for one final time, bidding goodbyes and for that one last, cold kiss on the cheeks. You are as radiant as I remember you to be.

For more information and updates on her death, you can refer to Hazrey and Mazidul Akmal Sidik alternatively for personal accounts on her, check out En. Lokman Hamidi and Hilmi Ali.
PS: the "story" in the earlier parts of this entry is purely fictional, concocted from my unstable emotions in reference to this loss, fuelled with my wild, nonsensical imaginations in trying to convey that difficult moment when one part ways with their beloveds. usually, we would give a gentle kiss on the cheeks of the deceased, that one last, cold kiss. Kak sya, you will always be remembered, may justice prevails for you. Aamin.


Silent Scribbler said...

Salam... I don't know you or arwah, but came across this blog when I was blog hopping. Even though I don't know both of you personally, this post really touch my heart. I hope justice prevails and the person responsible for her death will be held accountable. Al-Fatihah to arwah. Sounds like she was a nice, sweet and gentle person.

AkaZukii ChaCha said...

Walaikumsalam silent scribbler,
First of all, thank you for the 'visit' ...and yes she was indeed a lovely person, had you known her personally you too would have liked her as a friend...alas, that can nvr happen now...we can only hope justice prevails for her...alfatihah.