Monday, December 8, 2008

Tribute to Dr Yogeswary

Yesterday I attended a funeral. It was a very sad day, not just for the family, but for those who know the family. This post is dedicated to Dr N Yogeswary, one of the Bukit Antarabangsa landslide victims.
My husband and I were just getting ready to leave for Malacca on Saturday when I heard about the landslide tragedy. He had an sms that told him his friend was one of the those confirmed dead. All the way to Malacca we were very quiet because Yoges was a friend of ours, more of his friend than mine, really, but we were there when she got married and had her first child. Hubby last met her about a month ago.

So we had an unsettling night in Malacca and rushed back to attend Yoges's funeral. We were there just as the funeral rites began. Many people were there, mostly relatives. Then more and more friends appeared. Wreathes were everywhere. I was reading the newspaper about how Yoges protected her children and pretty much died in the process. I cried. And I couldn't stop. As a mother of 3, I cannot imagine anything so devastating happening to my children the way her 3 children experienced the tragedy. I cannot imagine my children living without their mother should anything happen to me. And so, I cried, for Yoges, who loved and protected her children; for the three children (Avinesh, Thivesh and Priyankka) who will be motherless, for Thanarajah who has become a widower, for the relatives who have lost a person so dear, for Yoges's sister who looked so lost. I thought I was ok, after some time, but when I saw the wreathe with words from the 3 kids to their mum, I cried again. I realised how lost they will be. And I also acknowledge how real that tragedy was. We went in to pay our last respects and viewed the body of Yoges. She looked nothing like she did in life. She was bruised and swollen. Even with all the make up and touch up, she looked severely injured. And I cried.

I mingled around outside the house, and I heard some people talking. Everyone agreed that Yoges was "such a nice person", and "such a pretty woman". I also heard someone saying in a very upset manner that the government should bear the cost of the children's education.

At 2:30, they were ready to send her off to the crematorium. I watched and was saddened to see Thanarajah climbing into the car, his face ashened, his right hand fractured and legs still in pain due to sprains. He had a dazed look on his face, as if he was just going through the motion without fully understanding what it all meant. His sister (I assumed) hugged him and cried unashamedly. Thivesh, sitting on a wheelchair looking lost, was wheeled to a car and lifted into it. He would be the one to be fully involved in the cremation ceremony. Avinesh, a picture of call and anxiety at the same time shouted a few instructions that he wanted the daddy in the car that carried the coffin, and that his brother had to be helped to another car. I was amazed at this 11 year old, who somehow, took charge. I did not see Priyankka. As the hearse left, I looked back at the house and saw the grief in the faces of the relatives.
After that we left. My eyes were swollen from all those crying. I never realised I could grief for someone I did not know too well this much. My heart still aches as I type these words. I know my husband will want to visit the family when everything is more settled. I hope we will be able to speak some words of comfort to them. So to Yoges, you will be missed, not only by those who love you and loved by you, but also by those whose lives you have touched and those who have often admired you and will continue to remember your cheerful and pleasant personality. Farewell, Yoges.

For further reading about Yoges, go to :

1 comment:

B@bYh|r0Sh| said...

Hi Chris.....for a while I thought I was not able to find anymore updates on Yogeswary. I read about her while I was in Zurich and I prayed and prayed that it wasn't the Yoges I knew. From her picture, then the name and finally her heritage gotten me in such a state that I've started my mourning from that instance.

I've lost contact with her some 22 years ago when I went to Singapore to work. The memories of her came pouring back.

My name is Kitson and the group of our school mates from the St. John's Ambulance (St Michael's Institution Division 5) had the privilege of knowing her through some of Yoges' close friends.

From Zurich, I called some members of our group to find out more information about the funeral as I felt that I had to pay my last respect. But sadly none of us maintained any form of contact with her. I was so lost.

On returning to Singapore on 8th Dec, my Singaporean wife Irene was so determined that I should go to KL and attend her funeral. She already packed up for the whole family including my 2 kids. I searched the internet for any bit of information I can find and finally the latest was that funeral rites had already started.

I've never felt such grief since my dad passed away 25 years ago. The way she died, her last photo on the news will linger in me for years to come. I regretted that I've lost contact with her and how I wish I can view some of her photographs of the 22 years I missed and shared some of her memories of her wedding and her time with her family and friends.

I have to thank you Chris for the most detailed update on her funeral. I've to use my wife's blog to register my comments.

I'll always remember her as pretty, cheerful, warmth, thoughtful and caring. She can be mischievous at times when she and her close friend Hui Shi always communicate in some funny coded language which got me all confused. Her laughter and her smile was infectious. She already dreamt of being a veterinarian then. The sad thing is I never get the chance to call her Doctor Yogeswary.

I would very much like to find Yoges' good friend Hui Shi. If anyone know of her contact pse e-mail me....

My deepest condolences to her family......