Originally uploaded by mincaye.
C.S. Lewis ends his masterpiece The Chronicles of Narnia with these words:
All their life in this world and all their adventures in Narnia had only been the cover and the title page: now at last they were beginning Chapter One of the Great Story which no one on earth has read: which goes on for ever: in which every chapter is better than the one before.
Yesterday, when I received the news from Nigel that Aunty Irene, Sam's Mum, bade farewell to Shadowlands, it came as a shock. OK, I don't get shocks; it was more of an unexpected twist, for though I knew she was ill, I had no idea it was cancer, and that she had fought so long (10 years!).
Immediately, messages were sent out to all the d'NAers via Circles and the Yahoo!Groups, and some also through SMS. Most received the news and responded either by SMS-ing or calling. Some of us, who lived nearby, went for the Wake at his house in Putrajaya.
Bottom Photo, L-R: Aaron (one of Sam's closest friends), Sam, Nigel, Tee Ming, Audrey, Ben, Yen and Alissa.
Inset: Izrin and Sam. Only last night did I find out that Izrin's bizarre name is the fusion of his parents' names, Issac and Irene.
Top Photo: Interior of St Paul's Anglican Church in Petaling Jaya, where the funeral service was held. The congregation sits facing east; incidentally, that is the direction from which Aslan (C.S. Lewis' Christ figure in Narnia) comes.
Audrey, Nigel and I were present at the funeral. Sivin wanted to come, but a break-in at his father-in-law's abruptly saw that plan off.
On the way back home, I received an SMS from Sam that reads as follows (rendered verbatim):
"Thanks alot ben. This means alot 2 me. I'm greatful 4 friends like you & the other DNA'ers."
Perhaps it was all we could offer, in silence, solidarity and prayer, to be one in God's Spirit, literally. And maybe for now, that is enough.
"My grace is sufficient for you, for my strength is made perfect in weakness."
On a different note, I am feeling very depressed and maybe even tormented lately. Having diarrhoea over the past few days didn't really help (though perhaps it did, in ways I do not yet understand).
Am looking forward with all my heart, to meeting Sivin tomorrow for lunch. There is much to be shared, much counsel to be sought.