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)

Monday, 19 July 2010

In loving memory of an inspirational woman


Our friendship started 3 years ago in 2007 when I first started my blog. She had started her blog earlier, using the blogname Raden Galoh… telling about her fight against breast cancer. I blogged about the lives of people living with HIV whom I’ve been dealing with in the course of my voluntary work.

I visited her blog, leaving comments. She visited my blog, leaving comments. We became regular visitors to each other’s blogs. Even though we had not met in person then, we still became good friends.

After a while, we met, in reality. And yes, we clicked straight away. Every time we met after that, we’re just like 2 long lost friends trying to catch up with each other. I’d provide all the selamba jokes, and she’d provide the laughter! (It shows from the pic above, doesn't it? Sorang selamba, sorang ketawa...)

I’ve been following her blog postings, her ups and downs, her joys and sorrows. When her condition worsened lately, and her blog updates were not as frequent as before, I followed her updates on facebook. When Elviza SMSed me last month telling me that her condition had worsened, I was itching to go visit her. The opportunity came when I attended the TKCOGA AGM at Putrajaya on 26th June. Banting was not that far off, so yes, I managed to visit her at home just a few days before she left for umrah. I didn’t stay long though, she already had so many visitors, and it was clear to me that she looked tired; and so I figured it was best if I let her rest.

That was the last I met and talked to her. On the day she came back from umrah, I did send her a text message, asking if she was back. She replied, “Salam kak. Baru sampai. Letih sangat. Tak sihat.” Again, I didn’t want to bother her.

Yesterday morning, Elviza forwarded me a text message: This sms is from blogger Dalilah’s husband: “Salam semua. Dalilah Tamrin sedang nazak. Mohon dari semua keampunan. Maafkan kesalahannya dunia akhirat.”

After that every time I heard the SMS tone on my handphone, I quickly checked… in case there was any update. All I could offer was just my doa for her.

This morning, there weren’t any updates on Dalilah on facebook yet, neither was there any SMS updates from Elviza (whom I had depended on for updates on our dear friend). But I noticed there was an incoming message on my facebook, from a facebook friend/blog reader. She told me she received news from her lunch buddy who was Dalilah’s UIA mate, saying that Dalilah had passed away this morning. A few minutes later, she also sent me a text message, telling me the same thing.

At that time, I did not see any updates whatsoever on facebook or anywhere else. I needed to get more info, I needed to be sure. I tried calling Elviza but there was no answer. Who else could I call to get more info? I finally decided to call Dalilah’s handphone number, hoping one of the family members would answer her phone. And yes, someone did answer the phone… I heard a sobbing female voice answering the phone. After getting the confirmation and the address of Dalilah’s parents' home, where her body was to be brought to, I immediately updated my facebook page with the news. And sent text messages to blog friends whose numbers are stored in my handphone.

It was then about 9.30 am. Dalilah passed away at about 8.50 am. There was ample time for me to drive over to Banting to pay her my last respects. And so I did, by about 10.15 am or so, I headed over to Banting.

It was almost 1 pm by the time I got to Dalilah’s parents home. Her jenazah reached home not long after I arrived. I took the opportunity to kiss her for one last time.

So many people attended her funeral today. I’m sure many of her school friends were there, but I didn’t know them. There were many fellow bloggers as well… Elviza, Eleena (Acciacatura), Kak Ton (Tok Mommy), Kak Ena, Rocky, Bigdog, Kerp, Mat Salo… and some other bloggers whom I met for the first time today… Kak Ezza, Silversarina, and there were a few others who had to be introduced by their blog names to be able to be recognised.

The many people who attended her funeral just showed how much she was loved.

She may be gone from our lives, but she remains in our hearts. We still have her blog to refer to. And I have her book, “Kanser Payudara Ku, Perjuangan & Kesedaran”… specially autographed…

And don’t forget to listen to the song, “Kembaliku Padamu Ilahi”, the lyrics of which she penned herself. I have embedded the video on the sidebar of my blog. Do listen to the beautiful and touching song.

Dalilah, your courage, your strength, your patience had been truly inspirational. To me, you are an inspiration. I consider myself one of the lucky people to have had the opportunity to know you.

May Allah bless your soul. Innalillahi wa inna ilaihi raji’un. Alfatihah.

29 comments:

mekyam said...

thank you for this beautiful sharing, pi. [the song left me sobbing, as did her last blog entry.] dalilah was special, very special...

i'm also reminded of the late ruby ahmad. alfatihah to both of them.

kakchik said...

salam kak pi bani.

innalillahi wa inna ilaihi raajiun.

saya sudah lam follow blog akak dan begitu juga selalu membaca cerita tentang arwah di beberapa blog yang saya follow. w/pun hanya sekali singgah ke blog arwah saya tak pernah lupa namanya Raden Galoh dan kisah perjuangannya melawan kanser payudara. terima kasih kak kerana berkongsi berita ini. saya sedekahkan al-fatihah untuk arwah. semoga ruhnya dirahmati Allah SWT.

Salt N Turmeric said...

Thanks for sharing the story Pi. I havent listen to the song yet. Gotta prepare myself for another episode of big banjir. You're lucky to have met her in person. May Allah bless her soul. Alfatihah.

Pak Zawi said...

Pi,
Innalillahi wa inna ilaihi raajiun.
Thanx for the SMS and post. We all love her but Allah loves her more.
Will always remember her for her moral support to my daughter's fight with the Big C.

Anonymous said...

Pi - I came to know of RG's blog about 2 years ago and since then selalu juga baca and sometime left comment thereafter.

I selalu juga kutip doa2 yang RG wrote on her blog dan I amal kan dalam harian.

Thou I only knew RG via cyberspace, I felt her lost. I'm here in Singapore weeping her lost and doakan semuga Allah mencucuri rahmatNya keatas arwah Dalilah.

Raf

Pi Bani said...

Mekyam,
I've replayed the song many many times. Dia dah takde ni, liriknya semakin menusuk kalbu.

Pi Bani said...

Kakchik,
Perjuangannya sememangnya menjadi inspirasi. Di sebalik derita yang ditanggungnya, dia sentiasa bersyukur ke hadrat Ilahi. Seharusnya menjadi tauladan kepada kita semua.

Pi Bani said...

Farina,
Saw you putting a link to the video on your FB so I suppose you've listened to it by now. Heart-wrenching isn't it?

Pi Bani said...

Pak Zawi,
Itulah Dalilah yang kita kenali. Sendiri menanggung sakit, tapi tetap bersemangat memberi dorongan kepada orang lain.

Pi Bani said...

Raf,
Semangat & perjuangannya akan terus hidup...

Elviza said...

Sorry Pi, saya lambat update semalam. Terkedu sekejap sebelum mampu berfikir untuk berbuat apa-apa. Maaf

Pi Bani said...

No hal Elviza, memang kadang-kadang kita hilang punca don't know what to do next. Anyway, taklah lambat sangat I got the news, in fact I think I knew quite early if compared to some other friends (otherwise I wouldn't be able to reach D's house before her jenazah arrived).

Tommy Yewfigure said...

Hi Pi, how can u not love someone who can coined the name ‘onebreastbouncing’ in face of her toughest test. RG personified what great inner strength is all about, to turn a negative into a positive, to face the BIG C head on. And along her journey, she’d enlightened us with an understanding of the private personal feelings of someone going thru’ this dreaded ailment. RG is simply magnanimous in many ways & I’m happy to know she’s in a better place now. Thanks RG, it was my pleasure knowing you. R.I.P.

From your friend, Tommy

M.Kate said...

Dalilah was my first blog friend whom I met 3 years ago. She is deeply missed and though we have met once, she touched my heart with her spirit and soul. I am so sad this happened. We will miss her forever.

Wan Sharif said...

Salam Pi,
Got the news about allahyarhamah Dalilah from your blog.. managed to go with allahyarhamah Dalilah's classmate to pay my last respect and went to upacara persemadian..
Somehow, for a short while ( tengah doh sebok bertahlil dan mengaminkan doa), my attention was drawn to someone on the sofa under allahyarhamah Dalilah father's house yang kelihatan kyusuk bertahlil dan mengaminkan doa.. must be an ustazah..
Alhamdulillah segalanya berjalan dengan sangat lancar dengan cuaca yang redup sepanjang upacara.. my friend said.. cuaca pun kelihatan meredhai pemergian allahyarhamah Dalilah..

Pi Bani said...

Tommy,
Indeed, how could we not love such a person! She had left a huge impact not only on those who were fortunate enough to know her personally, but also those whom she had never met before. A truly special person, she was.

Pi Bani said...

M.Kate,
We shall all miss her. She has touched so many hearts. I'm deeply saddened by her demise, but I'm also sure she's in a better place now...

Pi Bani said...

Wan Sharif,
I was on the sofa masa tengah tahlil, diapit by 2 other ladies, but none of us were ustazahs...

Yes, alhamdulillah semuanya berjalan lancar. Ramai yang mengaminkan doa untuk seorang yang cukup istimewa.

Shahieda said...

Sis Pi, an inspiration she truly was and always will be. Her blog and the poems she wrote bear testament to that. She will be sorely missed :(

edelweiss said...

kak pi...

last i jumpa dengan kak D ialah masa kat gathering di Seoul Garden...YOU were there as well...

lepas tuh tak berkesempatan nak melawat :(

sedih sangat!

ieda said...

salam...
just got to know abt her today from my senior's FB...good for u to have such a strong brave friend like her..may Allah forgive her for everything & my hope to her dearly friends...keep in touch with her sons..its not going to be easy for them.

Pi Bani said...

Shahieda,
Indeed she will always remain an inspiration. We were lucky to know her, weren't we?

Pi Bani said...

Mynn,
I know it's sad, but just be thankful that you had the opportunity to get to know her. All we can offer now is our doa for her. Semoga Allah mencucuri rahmat ke atas rohnya.

Pi Bani said...

Ieda,
Definitely it won't be easy for her sons. Just looking at their faces masa funeral hari tu pun dah cukup heart wrenching dah. I hope they will grow up to be just as brave as their mother.

armouris said...

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Wan Sharif said...

Salam again Pi,
At that time I thought she was an ustazah.. until I saw your latest entry. I guess I am guilty of not reading all your entries to know that the one I thought as ustazah was you..
You caught my eyes because some other ladies near you (not the two very close to you) were just too busy with their handphone.. SMSing away most of the time while the tahlil and doa was recited..
Had I known it was you then.. probably I will have to tell you of my minyakgaz blog as my name might be too obscure for you to remember at that point of time..he..he

Shahieda said...

Yeah, we were the lucky ones for sure! I don't think for one second did Sis D realize what an impact she had. She's certainly taught me to raise the bar, Alghumdulillah! I shall be eternally grateful :)

Yellowrabbit said...

Sis Pi,

Thanks for sharing your experience. Arwah RG is definately one in a million. Her courage, her smile and her writings will be remembered and cherished by many for a long long time. May she RIP and be placed among the blessed ones. Ameen.

Tinta Publishers said...

Hi, I'm trying to reach out to any fan/friend to the late Dalilah Tamrin (aka Raden Galoh) to help work on a 2nd and expanded edition of Dalilah's previously quite successful and inspirational book, "Kanser Payudara Ku: Perjuangan & Kesedaran" (2009: Tinta Publishers). I feel that with her passing, an expanded edition of the book detailing her inspirational experience with cancer will certainly continue to benefit and inspire a wider reader/fan base. I would suggest the new materials to come from her once extensive blog writings that were heavily omitted in the 1st edition. They are now still available with me as I had been her publisher then and still holds the rights. I think her family would appreciate it too. Anyone interested and willing, please contact me: Riz at 012-2280037 or email tintapublishers@gmail.com. (On another note, Dal's same book is also now being converted to be sold as e-book by an e-publisher, Kotabuku, perhaps available before year's end). Thanks.