Uncle Brian passed away peacefully on Friday night.
Who was Uncle Brian?
Uncle Brian was husband to Aunt Maureen, who is my mother's older sister.
He was a British man who had lived in Malaysia for a longer time than I have.
He was there ever since the beginning of me.
We called Uncle Brian a grumpy old man.
Because he grumbled about many things.
He grumbled about the mindlessness of wars.
He grumbled about the injustice and unfairness in life.
He grumbled about the wickedness of politicians.
He grumbled about lazy people.
He grumbled about stupidity in a person.
Of course he grumbled about minor matters as well.
But he had valid points to grumble about.
Uncle Brian should had been named Frank.
He was frank with his opinions.
He was direct in his words, no flowery phrases to make what he wanted to say nicer.
He spoke his mind.
If he disliked something, he would tell you.
That's why praises from him are pleasurable because you know he meant them.
When I was young, I think I was a little bit afraid of Uncle Brian.
I only got to know him better when I was older.
Or rather, I believe he allowed me into his sphere only when he thought I was mature enough to engage him in an interesting conversation.
Unlce Brian was a great conversationalist.
He was witty.
He held his own opinions.
He had that infamous British humour.
He was very well read, i.e. intellectual.
He was open to debates although he still would end up disagreeing with you.
I will miss those conversations.
I had already missed them for a couple of years.
Uncle Brian did not like children.
He thought it a great injustice to bring a child into a suffering world just for your own gratification or need.
He advised me not to have children if I ever got married.
He was mortified when I told him I would like to have six children.
He was horrified when I said, "Four of my own and two adopted"!
Well, that was in my early 20s.
I had since changed my plans. :-p
Uncle Brian also gave me advice on who to marry.
Or rather, what kind of man I should not marry.
I would have wanted my future husband to pass his stamp of approval.
Uncle Brian said he did not believe in God.
He constantly challenged me to prove that God is real.
He believed that religion is just an institution, a desire for mankind to believe in something that would help justify unexplanable things.
I rejoice that he had reconciled with God.
I do hope to see him in heaven one day.
I never thought Uncle Brian would go away so soon.
The doctors gave him two months, it had only been one month, I thought he would last at least three months. After all, he was a stubborn man.
But I'm glad that he's now free from suffering as he had been plagued with several illnesses the past few years.
Don't worry Uncle Brian.
All of us here will take care of Aunt Maureen for you.
Goodbye Uncle Brian.
You will definitely be missed.