Wednesday, March 4, 2009

A Tribute to My Lesser Known Uncle...

I remember (with grin on my face while writing this) I cried, “His penis got hair!” when he took me to bath with him when I was about 5-6-year-old. Being a child, I was naturally shocked to see an adult (actually at that time he was just a teenager) got hair all over the groin part. He, without success, tried to muffle my voice, but being slippery from half bath with soap all over my small & nimble body, still able to evade his capture and shouted “Hairy penis!” to the embarrassment of my young uncle. :D Well, that was old story.

After I went to peninsular, I hardly saw him, well, except when Chinese New Year or long holiday. Then some time after when I was still studying, I heard he came to peninsular but I could not contact him. Then one day, he suddenly appeared outside my hostel. I was so surprised I just stood there speechless for a full minute. Surprised he suddenly came after all my failed effort to try to contact him, and of course I almost didn’t recognize him at first few seconds, he was so skinny and looked sick.

He related he was arrested along with few illegal workers for failure to produce IC (he forgot that day he said, and I believed him), when his claim of citizenship cleared, he went back to his living quarters, all his stuffs had been stolen, but luckily a friend had his IC. His friend too had been robbed by (possibly) their illegal immigrant “friends”.

He said he was embarrass to go back because he thought he was a failure in the family, which I countered by saying it didn’t matter because the family back home was worried sick of his incommunicado. So, I had to force him to go back. I borrowed from friend to buy MAS ticket and I even send him to the airport (Subang). Later, I called my family member to pick him up from KK airport. In my mind, I remembered his back when he went through the departure gate with short stride, slow step and stooped shoulder. Few months after that he committed suicide.

I was at lost at what had happened. I retraced the event from his appearance leading to the time I sent him to the airport. To my regret, I knew I missed the signs of depression and deliberately ignored his wounded pride. I asked myself, how could I be so blind and unconsidered and insensitive?!

Now, I wonder if I could turn back the clock, with my current (insufficient) knowledge of depression, would I act differently? Perhaps I would still do that but with slightly different approach. Perhaps I could contact my family member and warn them of his depressive symptoms. Perhaps I could ask them to be more caring. Perhaps I could ask them to bring him to see a psychiatrist or counseling or religious guidance.

But then, I can’t turn back time. The learning is hard. He has gone. So, I bade him, Rest in Peace. I will always remember you as a playful, resourceful, the one who wanted to make people around him (especially the family) happy and proud. And I am sorry...

P/S: Depression if left alone and managed poorly can lead to suicide. Please get help if you're having suicidal thought.

P/S2: Another article by me on depression.
Bernama news Unexplained Pain Is Depression Masked.

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