THEY WILL ASK thee as to what they should spend on others. Say: "Whatever of your wealth you spend shall [first] be for your parents, and for the near of kin, and the orphans, and the needy, and the wayfarer; and whatever good you do, verily, God has full knowledge thereof." - Al-Baqarah (2:215)

Tuesday, 16 October 2007

Rashid's last Raya

My office closed for Raya holidays since Friday, one day before Raya. As usual, text messages via SMS kept coming in from friends and business clients with all sorts of Raya messages. I also received Raya messages from my PLWHA clients. Amongst them were from Mrs. K, Fuzi and Shila.

There was one text message however, which was not to wish me Selamat Hari Raya, but to tell me that Rashid would be transferred to Ipoh GH that day. The message came from Rashid’s wife, Hana.

On Hari Raya itself, Hana sent me another message. This time to wish me Selamat Hari Raya and to inform me that Rashid was already spending his Hari Raya at Ipoh GH. I replied to ask how he was doing but Hana said she has yet to visit him. It was Hari Raya and she has yet to visit him at the hospital? I don’t know what excuse she had but somehow it didn’t sound right to me. I thought she should have brought the kids to visit their father at the hospital especially on Hari Raya. But I didn’t know what her problem was so I shouldn’t be judging her.

Well, I didn’t visit Rashid either. This is the time of the year when my family members get together so it is the time when I take a break from my volunteer work. So while I still entertain calls and text messages, I don’t visit them during these few days.

On the 2nd day of Raya, I received another text message from Hana. She just got back from visiting Rashid at the hospital but was unable to talk to him as he was sleeping all the time. According to her, he was given some medication to enable him to sleep.

On the morning of the 3rd day of Raya, most of my family members were getting ready to go back so I didn’t check the messages on my phone until they left. By the time I checked my handphone, there were 2 messages from Hana.

The first message said:
“Kak, saya perlukan kakak kerana hati saya tak tahu nak buat apa, Rashid dah tenat.”

Then I read the next message which was sent 20 minutes later:
“Kak, Rashid dah meninggal.”

By the time I read the messages it was 30 minutes after the 2nd message was sent. I had already promised to go somewhere with my mother and so I thought I should just give Hana a call to find out how she was doing. I thought she was already making whatever necessary arrangements to bring back Rashid’s body to her hometown. To my surprise when I called she said she was still on the way to Ipoh.

Rashid was all alone at the hospital when he died. There were no family members around. Not even his wife. The nurses called his wife when his condition worsened and before his wife even left the house they called her again to tell her that he had already passed away.

Then later as I was driving (I was already out of Ipoh at that time), Hana called. Apparently she was hoping I could help her out as she didn’t know how to go about doing things to arrange to bring back Rashid’s body. She too was alone, no family members accompanying her.

I could only advice her on what to do. I told her to get the hospital staff to make all the necessary arrangements. Hana was actually afraid that the arrangements would cost her a bomb. I told her to just proceed and that I’d call her back later in the day when I get back to Ipoh.

By the time I got back to Ipoh, it was almost 3 pm. I called Hana to enquire if she was still having problems in arranging for Rashid’s funeral. Hana said they were already on their way to the Muslim Cemetery at her hometown. She had to pay RM350 for the funeral arrangements. Somehow she managed to fork out some money. Thank goodness. I was so tired by then but if Hana was still stuck at Ipoh GH I probably would have no choice but to help her out.

I am still on leave this week but since I am no longer busy at home, I do have time to visit my PLWHA clients. I probably will start by visiting Hana. I have never been to her house before so this could be just the right time for me to assess her situation and her children’s needs…

10 comments:

winniethepooh said...

sorry to hear about rashid's passing away. it is hardly that u get any rest or time to urself.
so do take ur time to visit your clients okie..take care yeah!

Kerp (Ph.D) said...

Innalillah...this entry is quite shocking to say the least, kak Pi. when i first read it, i thought it was a sad thing to celebrate raya in the hospital, but turns out even sadder as i scrolled down. no offence but now he is no longer around, perhaps you dont need to rush to them.

raya-mode is still in full swing, arent we?

Pi Bani said...

Hi Winnie,
I had planned to visit my clients during the later part of this week while my office is still closed - actually visiting them for Raya, but in Hana's case, it is also a courtesy visit since I didn't visit the family when Rashid died.

Pi Bani said...

Kerp,
No rush indeed but I am taking the opportunity from my long leave from work to visit my PLWHA clients for Raya. Anyway, Rashid may no longer be around, but bear in mind, his wife is also HIV+ and his affected children need help even more now.

Yes, raya-mode is still in full swing, so this is the right time to bring some cheer to the children, no?

Nightwing said...

Helo Kak Pi,

Condolences to Encik Rashid's Family...

Agree with the others, u do your thing before going out...

I am sure the children will love it when u visit them...

You have a good week ahead and a good Raya visits.

Pi Bani said...

Nightwing,
I am relaxing today. My family members who were here during the Raya holidays have gone back and so things are back to quiet mode at home. Since I am on leave, I don't have much to do. Doing nothing makes me feel like a lazy bum. Before I get bored, will start my Raya visits tomorrow... ;)

J.T. said...

So sorry to hear about Rashid's demise. It is sad that he passed away without any family members with him. My heart sank when I read that line.

It is unfortunate this had to happen during your holiday. That said, you are such a darling for still making room to see to Hana's needs and all your PLWHA clients during this time. :) You are so blessed with a good heart.

Daphne Ling said...

Hi Kak Pi,

Condolences to Rashid's family, especially Hana...

You know, in a way, maybe Rashid didnt want them to see him die...In some weird way...

Cos, my grandpa was a in a coma for over 5 weeks...There was always a family member with him in the final two weeks...The initial 3 weeks, he was in the ICU, so the time we spent with him was limited...

In the final two weeks, we sat with him, in turns...The one night that my grandma left for an hour to get some stuff, that was the night he passed on...

Just my dua sen's...

You have a good remaining Raya yeah?

PS: Kudos for working even during Raya...=) Tak pe, pahala kira OT style ;)

Pi Bani said...

JT,
I don't really consider volunteer work as "work" in that sense. We call ourselves Buddies... and buddies should always be there for each other, no? Of course family comes first.

BUT if it was a BUSINESS client who called me during my Raya holidays asking me to do some work for them, I'd probably just tell them off... ;)

Pi Bani said...

Daph,
Yeah as I mentioned, I don't really know what Hana's problem was, so I can't really say much as to why she didn't bring her children to see their father at the hospital on Hari Raya.

You are right, sometimes we try our best to be there for our loved ones, but God may have other plans for us.