It has been a very busy period for me. Based on the famous movie "2 Weddings & A Funeral", I have named this post "2 Funerals & A Godson".
Two days before Peter was admitted to hospital for the scheduled life threatening treatment, he called me to whimper very softly that he might not make it. As he never planned his own funeral, he requested that I carry out his funeral and assist his wife. He was very tired already and knew God was taking him home to rest.
Peter was a very well known advocate and activist who would go all out to fight for the rights of the OKU and disabled friends around Malaysia. Being wheelchair bound since young, he knew how tough and difficult it was to move around within our infrastructure which are not designed for the disabled.
Our friendship dated back to many years ago and he knew I was always concerned of his plight and welfare. He assigned me to be his caregiver during his last trip overseas to represent the country at the World Convention for The Disabled which was held in Jakarta. This memorable photo was taken at the lobby of Marriot Hotel Jakarta. His swimming pool accident at 19 made him paralyzed from chest down as a result of the spinal cord injury. It was an eyeopener for me to share room with him at the Marriot Hotel. His physical movements were very limited and I had to help him to dress up in pants and long sleeve shirt before buttoning up.
Saying Good Bye to Peter at the parlour inside Nirvana Memorial Centre.
At the crack of dawn, his wife called me up from University Hospital to say Peter has left this world. I immediately sprang into action. I had earlier informed the entire Nirvana Bereavement team from the Bosses to the undertaker team to expect my friend's passing at any minute. So it was a very smooth procedure throughout with the Nirvana's hearse arriving quickly at the UH mortuary to collect Peter's body to transport it to the morgue of Nirvana Centre. The team over there cleaned and dressed him up immediately while waiting for the funeral parlour to place his casket. If there is no planning, customers would have headache with monetary preparations, endless paper work and planning when the head is already grieving and in deep sadness. That's my job to encourage all my customers to pre-plan early to save lots of money and time on the final day. It is Total Peace of Mind, ultimately.
I was all dressed up in formal attire suit to represent the Nirvana Group's bosses who were supposed to be present to pay their final respects to send Peter off. This photo was taken at the room inside the cremation site in Shah Alam. I placed a white rose on Peter's casket and wished him to rest peacefully in the Land of Eternity. His passing attracted outpouring griefs and sad condolence messages from all the NGOs and OKU community in the country and 21 countries from overseas.
JW called me on the day of Peter's funeral to inform me that his aged father had breathed his last at the nursing home. He was a bit lost and confused with his aged mother beside. His only sibling is away in Australia and would not make it home on time with all the quarantine requirements.
JW was my wife's former student who somehow became close with me alone over the years. He was born when both his parents were already in retirement years, so it was like the stork arrived late. We got along very well and he confessed that he always wished I could be his God Father for the role I have been, for advising & guiding him like my own son. I guess there was a father & son bonding between us. I liked JW because he was always so polite and extremely respectful compared with all his other friends. At the funeral wake in a Taoist Parlour along Old Klang Road, I met his mother for the first time. She was impressed with me and told JW to call me God Father right away, on knowing that I would always take care of him for many more years to come, even when she is no longer around. He was happy and obeyed his mum to call me "Kai Yeh". Suddenly his greeting jolted me to feel there is a new connection now, more than just mere friends. JW is a tall and very handsome kid who works as an executive with Fraser & Neave HQ in downtown Kuala Lumpur. I am very blessed to have him as a God Son.