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Adam Syafiq Bagam

Student Success > Commonwealth Essay Winners 2017


It was a bright and beautiful Wednesday morning for me, but it was a polar opposite for Nyle and I were at his house party after a party there the night before. He was still hung over after five shots of tequila and countless rounds of beer pongs during the party. He couldn't stop gagging his insides that he couldn't even function on his own. I was his support system. If it wasn't for me he would've peed himself in bed and made a big mess. I didn't really know the whereabouts in his house and my head was still dizzy so I didn't dare to drive out and get both of us breakfast. So In the end, I called up for the pizza guy.

After cleaning myself up and filling up my tummy, my phone rang. I was annoyed and irritated as I hated early morning phone calls. I mean let's just be real, who likes to be disturbed early in the morning. So, I grabbed my phone and saw the caller ID, and it was Mom. I was surprised that my mum got up that early as she is a retired person so I simply assumed she wouldn't want to get up that early. I picked up the phone and before I could say my hellos, my ears were welcomed with two words that changed my life forever. 'She's gone."

I had mixed up feelings. My face couldn't tell if I was sad, happy or shocked. Nyle asked what had happened. Why do I look like I just saw a ten feet tall Grim Reaper who was about to stab me with its scythe. I told Nyle with a low and moody tone, "My granny just passed away bro." Nyle couldn't believe what I have said as he recently visited her back in Kuching during Gawai festival last month. He shook me and asked me if I was just fooling around with him. My granny was like a mother to both of us as both our parents were too busy with their work and we were under her care till high school. All the sweet and bitter memories started to fade, that painful feeling started to strike me and I could see Nyle was not sure what to do next.

My family members texted me by saying I have to get a flight back to Kuching as soon as possible. The funeral will be on Saturday following the Iban tradition. Nyle and I had to attend an appointment with our clients in Kuala Lumpur by Friday. So Nyle told me to go ahead and he'll just proceed with the appointment alone. I thanked him for understanding but I felt sorry for Nyle as he really wants to see our second mother before her body is buried peacefully. I booked a flight that night and packed all my stuffs that I need for the funeral and took an Uber from Nyle's apartment.

By the time I landed in Kuching, I hailed a cab felling rushed. On my way home, I could feel the pain again in my heart and my mind was empty. I could imagine the grieving atmosphere at her house. Arriving at my beloved granny's house I started crying and my mum ran towards me and reminded me again that she's gone. At that point I was speechless, all I wanted to do was see my beloved granny. As I approached her coffin, I bend down immediately holding her soft hands, feeling remorse for not repaying her debt for the burden she had for taking care, giving lots of love and shelter to me in the past.

Even though it was obvious her dead body was laying peacefully in the coffin in front of me, I still couldn't accept the fact she had left me and the others too soon. I didn't even get to say my goodbyes to her. I still believed that she could hear me and I imagined that she might get back alive but it wasn't logical. I said my Islamic prayers for her even though she was a Christian but as her grandchild I couldn't be bothered. The last thing I did before giving my other family members and relatives the chance to hold her was, I whispered in her ears to be strong in the afterlife and to walk straight following the light.

During the entire Iban funeral ceremony. I was given the chance to talk about what my granny and I had done in the past. She was my friend after school. She would be there waiting for me to come back from school and eat lunch together at the round kitchen table. She taught me lots of the Iban tradition and the histories of our ancestors who went against James Brooke back then. As she rests in peace for now, no one else could replace her.

I was going crazy and emotionally unstable. My friends who were in Kuching came to my granny's house to send their condolences, yet I was still in pain. Nothing could made me feel happy, not even my beautiful girlfriend. Suicidal thought suddenly came to mind, and I couldn't control it. Mixed up feelings struck me again.

A few days after my granny's funeral, I still thought of continuing life. I was sitting at a table outside of Starbucks with a stick of cigarette in between my fingers. Suddenly, a man in a white "Hijab" came and asked me, "Excuse me mister, are you Adam?" I was shocked, how did this stranger know my name? He introduced himself to me and said that he was a friend of my friend. My friend told him I might need help through religion to throw away that suicidal thoughts that I was having during the funeral. He told me to find my own inner peace. He told me to accept all the things that has happened to me in life as it was a task from god.

I had a long conversation with the man. At that point, I felt really thankful to him as he was willing to sit down and have s talk with me about accepting life as it is. I told him, that I'm not satisfied yet until I can say my goodbyes to granny. Then the man told me this intriguing sentence, "I must be kind to myself and know that I will make one day less painful and life must carry on as usual."
As far as I know, how I can find my inner peace is by doing the things I like such as playing sports like football and rugby. Besides that, is to help others such as my mum with her shop and learn to bake for her bakery during my time here in Kuching. Play musical instruments and perform at bars at night to keep my young blood going. Furthermore, go for a vacation to my dream place like Singapore and ride the rollercoasters there. After doing most of the things above, I manage to accept death as a reality and know that my granny is at a better place in heaven and she doesn't suffer any pain like how she did when she was still alive. She had to use machines, eat at least eight pills a day and waste her money on medicines that might not even help her heal.

I realized too that by having an inner peace, I'm keeping my body and mind healthy always. I managed to stop smoking and inhaling other dangerous chemical substances that might shorten my life. These types of things help us open up our eyes to take good care of our body. To spend more time with our loved ones before they leave us and we will regret for not being there for them when they were in good shape. People make mistakes in life and they tend to act as how their heart desires. They might not even find their ego level high.

To sum up, inner peace comes from within and for us to form, it starts from accepting the way life is and death is a reality. People who have moved on from life, is never an end of life. It's the beginning and a new start in the afterlife. More obstacles awaits us on the other side. It is always painful to see our beloved one pass away but by accepting the fact and continue doing the things that you like to do in life, you may find inner peace. That is why some people are still lost as they don't have anyone to help and guide them through this difficult world. Hence they may still be weak. So for people like me who have been through rough days and painful moments, I will be willing to help other people out there who are lost. Save the world, save humanity and love life as we only live once!

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