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Passing

I apologise for the inactivity in Utopia for the past few days. Sharing a single computer with two rather "connected" sisters is no mean feat. And that's the easy part. We have a single phone line in the house used for 1) personal phone calls 2) business calls 3) faxes and 4) the Internet. Did I also mention that the modem we use runs at approximately the speed of Hook the pirate in a handstand race. But overcome these obstacles we must, in order to carry out the duties absolutely essential to human existence – blog.
My grand-uncle passed away a few days ago – a rather peaceful event. I'm not sure how other families attempt to remember the names of extended family, but my family uses facial-features as a means of identification. "White-haired auntie", "bald-head uncle". In this case it was "flat-nosed uncle" who passed on.
It was interesting to hear what his daughter had to say at the wake. They had gone through some of the stuff flat-nosed uncle had kept over the years, and it opened a portal into his life and his mind. He was never known as a person of great intelligence or intellect, and I remember his loud (though sincere) manners. Yet we found out how he meticulously kept records of his earnings as a taxi-driver, his CPF statements and all other paperwork. He kept receipts of the first Singer sewing machine he purchased for his wife (white-haired auntie) so many years ago. He also kept receipts of his beloved motocycles, every single last one. Amongst his belongings were also a book of the constitution of the clan in which he was a member. He knew no english, yet kept the book in its pristine condition. It was through all these things we saw what he cherished and loved in his life. For a moment, I felt ashamed that I knew none of these.
We often trivialise people's lives until they are taken away from the earth. We stereotype and maybe even analyse their characteristics and mannerisms, many a time even criticising their personality flaws without touching our own. If only we could keep before our eyes the full magnitude of every human life – their loves, their joys, their sorrows and their pains. Only then will we realise the fullness of life, and it's sacredness. Maybe it's then we will be better people.
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