Nov 2, 2007

In Loving Memory Of My Brother,James Liew (1950-2007)


Sometimes life can mean different things to different people.

There are those who treasure life and those who don't care a damn thing about life.

Well, my brother has just passed away on the 30th Oct,2007.You see,it is not that he does not care about his life,it is that he cares more about his brothers and sisters than himself.

Why must life be so cruel to take away a good soul,that is my brother James?

My brother owns a restaurant in Kuala Lumpur and specializes in Chinese and Thai cuisine.It is popular among the locals and even the expatriates who would come for dinner with friends and family members.After having worked in Australia for almost twenty years,it was his dream to operate a restaurant back home.

Now he is a successful restaurateur and fate had decided otherwise.

Oh God,what has he done for you to take him away so early?

From his last breath to cremation
28th Oct.2007,Sunday:

It was 2.40pm when I received a call from James.The call was frantic and I could hear that he was gasping for breath.I thought that was normal for an asthmatic. He asked to be sent to Tung Shin Hospital immediately.While in the car,I could see that he had great difficulties in breathing and kept pumping his Ventolin inhaler.

Whilst in the hospital,he was checked by an MO and was referred to Dr.Yap who is a lung specialist. Immediately James was admitted and put on drips and oxygen and an X-ray was taken.

When the X-ray result was interpreted by Dr.Yap,I was taken aback. James had acute pneumonia and the right lung was almost totally blackened.

In fact Dr.Yap showed me the record that James had seen him in 1999 and his right lung had already shown a minor scar and was given some medications. Unfortunately,he did not follow-up when he went back to Australia.

I informed my other brothers to visit James as soon as possible.

29th Oct.2007,Monday:I went to see him during my lunch break.My younger brother,Frankie came later.James was still having great difficulties in talking as he was gasping for breath.I told my brother that the prognosis will not be good and be prepared for the worst.

Although he was put on neubelizer,he still demanded to have two units of Ventolin inhaler which I duly gave to him as my pharmacy is nearby.

30th Oct.2007,Tuesday:I received call at about 5.30am and expected some bad news.No,it was James and he demanded to be discharged from the hospital !Subsequently,he called me again and again to speak to Dr.Yap to discharge him.He even told me that the suppliers are seeing him to collect payment and is worried about his business.

To please him,I told him I will do that and immediately informed Frankie to see him and Dr.Yap at 9.00am as I was on afternoon shift.

I dropped by at 1.00pm and saw Frankie and James's partner were already there.My other brother,Michael came later.

I was told that he had been shouting to be discharged.Dr.Yap challenged him to walk ten steps before he can be discharged.Knowing his condition,he was subdue a bit.Following this,he was given further medicine to expectorate the phlegm from the lungs.

It was during this that he began to cough badly.Before I went back to work,I gave him another look.It was my last view of him being alive.

James collapsed into a coma at about 2.15pm.Doctors and nurses were trying frantically to revive him through resuscitation.After more than half an hour,there was still no sign of any heartbeat.

James was pronounced dead at 2.50pm.

We all cried in his room.

Funeral was arranged and his body was brought to the Kwang Tung funeral parlour at about 7.00pm for Buddhist prayers.

Later in the night,my sisters,his close friends,girlfriends and some staff came to pay their respects.

Seeing his photo and thinking of him when he was alive,I cried.

31st Oct.2007,Wednesday:It was the second day of the wake.Business associates,friends and even his regular customers came to give their respects.

Seeing his best friend,Liew's wife cried(she is my regular customer),I cried again.

My sixth brother from Singapore arrived in the afternoon.More prayers and Buddhist chantings were performed to pave a smooth journey for James to heaven.

1st.Nov.2007,Thursday:
It was the last day of James to be with us. Further prayers were performed and with that,his coffin was nailed at about 1.00pm to be brought for cremation.

We all cried.

Knowing that his restaurant meant so much to him,his hearse was arranged to arrive at the shop as a respect and to conduct prayers.

It was indeed very touching to see his partner and Michael speaking and comforting James not to worry about his restaurant's business.
His Indonesian lady worker cried too.
Don't worry brother,go peacefully.

The hearse arrived at the crematorium at about 2.30pm.

After some prayers,James's coffin was brought inside the furnace for cremation.
Seeing the fire burning the coffin really pains my heart.

I cried and we all cried.

Go James go.Have a smooth journey as you have suffered enough.

2nd.Nov.2007,Friday:It was the final part of James's journey to his resting place.

Michael and Frankie were at the crematorium to collect James's ashes.

Special prayers were conducted and James was brought to his final resting place at the Nilai Memorial Park to be together with mother,father and grandparents.

James,for heaven's sake......
James,we all know that you are a filial son.When you came back from Australia,you bought a burial lot for our parents at the Nilai Memorial Park with your hard earned money.You even suggested that each brother contribute RM100 monthly as a family account which is for emergency use among our family members.Even this is a failure.We have failed you,James.It was a great shame,me included.

I know you are very disappointed with our brothers especially two of them.In fact words failed to describe your disappointment and frustration with them.
Despite of you giving them monetary support,it was never appreciated or returned.
One almost ruin your business and the other one even despise you !
Oh my god! What have you done to deserve this?

You see James,you are too ever ready to help.I still remember when I left school and was jobless,I used to dropped by your working place to asked for money and you duly gave it to me.You never say no.I will never forget your brotherly deeds.
Maybe being a bachelor,you thought you can afford to offer monetary assistance to your siblings and relatives.

It is because of this that you have been cheated by one of your nephew to refinance your house in Raub.The legal implication is in a mess now.
Oh James,this really hurts you.I can see your disappointment,sadness and frustration each time I visit you at your restaurant.

Come on James,you have suffered enough.
You failed to look after yourself when you are here.Now that you are up there and for heaven's sake please take care of yourself.

James,your sudden demise leaves everyone in a state of shock.Without warning and without a word,you left us.Maybe God needs you more than us.Please go and seek solace with Him to ease your pain.

My son is going to miss your Thai steam fish,my wife your homemade taufu.
My family will miss you.
We will all miss you.

So long brother James,you will be forever in our heart.





8 comments:

alicelow said...

omg...u blog better than me!
u make me cry again and again...

taufique said...

hey there,

I stumbled upon your blog from another site, and I came upon this sad news of your brother's demise.

My condolences to your family. Hope you are much stronger now.

hotshot said...

Thank you for your kind words, Taufique.

As the saying goes,life has to go on.

Anonymous said...

was he the one who operated the Pandan Perdana Restaurant

cancan said...

Hello anonymous,my late brother's restaurant is at Pandan Jaya.

TQ

Soba said...

Fabulous Brother
James may God keep your soul

Lilah said...

Good words.

Anonymous said...

Good fill someone in on and this enter helped me alot in my college assignement. Say thank you you as your information.