I had mentioned about losing my mum in October 2015. It happened so sudden, after she had an operation which we thought would help to make her feel less pain. On Wednesday 7th. October, I took a flight home to see her for the last time. My husband didn’t go back with us because at that time, Ar was away on a school trip in Nagano and was supposed to return on Friday. My flight that night was at 11:40. Mel and I had already gone for boarding when I received a message from my sister saying that my mum had taken her last breath. Only then I told my sister that I was on my way home and was about to board the plane.
The original plan was for my cousins to pick me up from the KL International Airport and then for us to go back to my hometown in Taiping together. They came but I found out that they were planning to come back to KL the following day whereas I had planned to stay longer. So, I changed my mind. I asked them to drop Mel and me at home, and I would drive my own car. I sent a message to my father-in-law to tell him my plan. He said he would have to connect back the car battery because he had disconnected it previously for the car was going to be idle for a long time.
I waited for him to do that and only at about 8:30 am started the 240 km drive. That was the first time ever I had driven for such a long distance. Usually, it would be my husband who drove the car when we went back to visit my parents. I was driving carefully, following the speed limit and when I arrived in Ipoh, my cousins texted to check my location. For a Muslim, I knew it was bad to delay the burial, so I told them to go ahead and not wait for me.
Finally, I arrived in Kamunting and had another trouble finding the cemetery. Apparently there were two cemetery sites around there and I went to the wrong one. I had to call my brother-in-law to give me the correct location.
I reached the cemetery just moments when people were about to lower the body into the burial ground. When they found out we had arrived, Mel and I were allowed to give our final kiss to my mum. It was really heart-breaking but I was relieved that we had the chance to do so. Then I found out that one of my sisters was still on her way back. She lives in Malaysia but away in Sabah, a state in Borneo Island. She couldn’t get a ticket for an immediate flight, that’s why she didn’t make it on time. My sister only arrived after we finished the Maghrib prayer.
It turned out that my relatives had distributed among them to recite the Quran as sadaqah for my mother. There are 30 juz (sections) in the Quran, so each person (siblings, cousins, nieces and nephews etc.) would recite one or two juz. They said nobody had taken up juz 28. So that night I recited juz 28.
I haven’t mentioned my father. He took it rather badly. He looked so depressed. He said he had been the one who was sick and he expected to go first. Now, without my mother, he seemed lost. As the eldest child, I felt bad because I live so far away and could not help in looking after him. After a long discussion, my youngest sister (the only one not yet married among my siblings) offered to quit her job to take care of my father. However, that might take some time, so in the meanwhile, my two sisters who live in the same town as my father would take turn to do it.
I stayed in Taiping until Saturday afternoon. When we reached USJ, I went immediately to Mydin to get things to bring back to Japan. I also bought a new luggage. That night, I spent a long time packing. Shifting and taking things in and out to make sure we did not exceed the 40 kg checked-in baggage allowance.
On Sunday morning, I went to the farmers’ market in Putra Heights. A dear friend who lives nearby came with her husband to see me. I’m grateful for that. My sister-in-law offered to drive us to the airport. She just dropped us off outside the departure hall. We checked in, prayed Zuhr and then met another close friend who came to see me off. I’m so grateful to those who have given me support, either in person or in prayers.
We reached Haneda Airport at around 10:30 pm that night. My husband and my son waited for us there and we took a cab home. The following day, 12th of October was a public holiday, so Mel had a day at least to rest before going back to school.
May Allah have mercy on my parents. Aameen. اَللَّهُمَّ اغْفِرَلِيْ وَلِوَالِدَىَّ وَٰرْحَمْهُمَا كَمَارَبَّيَانِيْ صَغِيْرًا