I remember clearly the day my mom had to pack her bags to be admitted to the hospital. At 5 or 6 years of age, my understanding of the difference between illness and death was that if you were ill, you went to the hospital, stayed for awhile, then you came back. If you died, it meant you went, but never returned.
We were waiting together at the elevator at the 11th floor of the Templer Flats in Seremban, where we lived. And I asked her – ‘are you coming back, mom?’ She replied, ‘of course I’m coming back’. That was a relief to me.
My mom never came back.