Today I rode a 5 hour bus from Boston to New York to visit friend’s grandma who’s in the intensive care unit of a hospital. Doctor says that she might only have two more days to live. At the hospital, the single room had the bed in the center. Needles were were injected in her arm, another device was in her neck, her pulse were carefully monitored, showing on the screen every second. There were seven members there visiting her: her husband (grandpa), her four children (two daughters and two sons), the two sons of one the daughters & son in law, and me (the son’s girlfriend). It was quite emotional, just the way I expected before visiting which is why I was hesitant about going in the first place. After knowing that it was a big deal for me to be there, I went.

All visitors who went into the room had to wear a disposable blue gown and gloves. It was emotional at times when her son talked to her, even though I couldn’t understand what they were saying since I don’t speak the language. When her daughter is holding her hand and looking into her eyes. It was a chain effect; whenever one person started to cry, another starts to cry as well. Not everyone cried at the same time. It happens suddenly that a member starts to think about the past and life in general and starts to cry and then after a while, another member starts to cry. Being in the place with them, you feel the remorse and sadness, especially when each member is trying their best to suppress their sadness within and when the grandma cried. I felt as though there were emotions she wanted to show, last words she wanted to say before leaving this world, and movements like hugging or holding the other’s hand; none of which she had the strength and energy to do in her condition. Although she may not remember who every one is, she still felt the sad atmosphere and emotions people had, given that her throat and chest moved and tears ran down her cheeks.

I’ve never witnessed anyone who was close to death. There are close family members that had passed away in my family: my grandma on my dad’s side, my grandpa on my mom’s side. Both of which I did not have the chance to say goodbye to. Grandpa passed away when I was a little baby and grandpa passed away in another country a little after I came to the United States. I’m not sure which is worse: being there with them at their few days or not having the chance to say goodbye to them at all. Both of which leaves you to wonder, what is the meaning of life. No one can escape death.


I teared up myself by being present in that surrounding, faced with the situation I couldn’t help but think about how I’d feel if that was my mom who was lying on the hospital bed, if I was the daughter who was holding her hand and looking into her eyes at her last few days, hours, seconds. I can suppress my tears because whenever I found myself to be too emotionally invested, I would mentally distract myself away from the depressing subject and distance myself in pondering about something else.

At the end of the long day, I had my biggest disappointment and surprisingly cried much more than at the hospital. This was unrelated to the subject of death but rather on something more sentimental for me. That feeling of hopes and excitement all builds up for the past half a year all of a sudden disappears right in front of you and results in nothing. The car that you’ve finally researched for a year for and decided on, but last minute realized that you can no longer afford and get a car at all. The trip that you have planned to go on with your loved one, but all of a sudden something happens and all the planning and excitement drops to the lowest level. This was the lowest level of today. After half a year of researching, thinking, planning, from what I had hoped as a Caribbean trip which became a Canada trip with a day delayed down to no trip at all. All to find out just the day before we were supposed to depart the next day.

When thinking positively works, but what if there is no positive for that situation at that time. When you’ve squeezed out time and planned ahead but last minute, things change and the plan is no longer on track. I suppose life moves on and I’ll get over it sooner or later. But at the moment, I need to evaluate and check with myself, protecting myself from getting hurt from this same type of situation ever again. It’s not about making the mistakes but learning from them.