Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Smell of Heaven.

THE SKIN FELT KINDA THIN. When you run your fingers to caress her softly, the skin will stretch into a fold at the tip of your fingers that you can feel the bones underneath. She looked me in the eye to ask the question she had asked me a million times; do you think I'll go heaven? Of course you will, Aunt Su. Don't worry about it too much. She'd smile to say; you say that all the time. Yes, I do but that's because you ask me that question all the time. And we'd laugh and boy she made me feel so happy when she laughed like that but after she'd done laughing, she looked through you as if you are a piece of glass. Next minute she'd be still as a statue, silent as a moon . All I had to do is to caress her hand, feeling the skin so thin to the touch. Don't say nothing until she'd say; go get my reading glasses. You mean the dark ones that Saloma put on when she sang Bila Larut Malam? Like a child I'd wait for her to say this; Ish, budak ni, aku balun hang baghu tau. I'm happy as a dolphin when she says this that I give her a big, long hug to smell the talcum powder on her back. It's the same smell that Grandma had. Aunt too had the same smell. Women that age smell the same way. It's the smell that can put you to sleep and wishing that you never wake up because you wanna dream that you're ten years old, walking in between Grandma and Aunt, all the time holding on to their selendang panjang that smells of perfume, paper umbrella under the midday sun, and sweat beads running down their arms.

I'm in the living room looking at the clothes that I've folded into a neat stack thinking to myself what should I do with Aunt Su's clothes, batik sarung, combs, reading glasses, shoes, sleepers, mugs, bracelets, rings, hair clips, selendang, telekung, sejadah, tasbih, surah Yasin, Qur'an. I turn off the light to close my eyes and to dream of Aunt Su and to soak in the smell of heaven...


Blogger f said...

Salaam Sir,

Beautiful entry. This entry makes me miss my mom; although she's just right next room sleeping.

6:48 AM  
Blogger Zendra said...

I'm so moved by this, Mr. Bergen. Heaven IS in your heart.

9:07 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


I lost my granma when I was still a kid so I'm not sure if I know that kinda smell...

But after I read your entry I closed my eyes and think, searching for my own version of 'Smell of Heaven' when suddenly I realized something,

it's the sweet smell of my home in Lembah Keramat.

It's the sweet smell and the angels that are living in it that makes all my troubles wither away whenever I go back home.

Miss them already..

9:12 AM  
Blogger Fauziah Ismail said...

Salam Bergen
The hardest thing to do is to bury your loved ones. I lost two of them, my eldest brother in 1981 and my father in 1987.
Some people say given time, the memories fade away but it doesn't really...not of the people you love most.
Documenting it like you do keep the memories alive too.

9:46 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Keep everything. One day, you might want to go back through all her belongings and smile...at least, both of you were given a chance - to love and took care of each other. That - no amount of money could buy. I keep everything that meant to me and everytime I look at her belongings - I smile because I do know that my granny is also smiling at me from heaven.....:)


1:47 PM  
Blogger VersedAnggerik said...


I'm sorry for your loss.

3:11 PM  
Blogger farah said...

Oh, Mr. B...

4:05 PM  
Blogger Sir Pök Déng said...

Don't worry Sir. One day you'll meet her, in true form. There's no such thing as dream then.

Jasad itu hanya pinjaman. Kita ini abadi.

8:25 PM  
Blogger Bergen said...

F: Thank you, ma'am. Maybe it's a good idea to sleep next to her.

Zendra: You say nice things, ma'am. Thank you very much.

Azudesu: Smell of home. Nothing like it in the world, ma'am.

Fauziah Ismail: Good thing I got this blog to write about it as a way to preserve the memories.

Ms Lambchop: I don't throw away yesterday, ma'am.

VersedAnggerik: Thank you for visiting. And thank you, ma'am.

Farah: (don't want to say)

Sir Pok Deng: That's deep stuff, sir.

11:02 PM  
Blogger IBU said...

Salam Mr Berg,

I'm obviously a week or so too late in dropping by here.

Salam takziah, semuga Allah menempatkan roh beliau bersama orang2 yg beriman...


8:15 PM  
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