Thursday, March 20, 2008

Curses of Past Generations

An distant aunt and another friend came to visit recently and brought some bad news about a "medium" lady we used to know when I was younger.

This lady passed away not long ago leaving behind two daughters who are still unmarried and already in their thirties. And although one of the daughters is a career woman the other is a little abnormal.

Having no relatives to depend on, my aunt said that the daughter who is often sick had to be sent to the "mental hospital". And she wanted to know how the Mental Health Association could help.

Apparently there is a long story behind all these incidents of her poor mental health.

The "medium" lady was practising her craft in a little temple in a rubber garden in Sibu and had earned quite a bit of money from helping suffering women to talk to their dead relatives. She was also able to predict some fantastic outcomes for those who gambled with numbers. Every Chinese new year, she would receive a lot of red packets. So that went on for many years.

However, her husband apparently did not treat his grandfather and grandmother well. The family was not filial at all as all his own brothers and sisters had not taken pains to look after their elders well. Furthermore they have squandered the family wealth away by not working properly and often they gambled and ran into heavy debts. Thus when the grandparents passed away, their spirits came back to torment them at night and caused the family to have a lot of trouble in the day time.

Perhaps that was the beginning of the poor mental health of the daughter, who is already the fourth generation of the family.

And this problem also resulted in the girls not wanting to be married off.

Before the lady medium passed away, she had gone to another more powerful medium who took more than four hours in his trance to find the cause of the daughter's poor mental health. He found out that the great grandmother would want to take her away "to serve" her in the other world.

Actually after the visit to this more powerful medium, the lady medium passed away suddenly.

By then the wealth of the family had also declined and one misfortune after another occured. Many friends and relatives distanced themselves from them.

I am not sure if you would believe in this story but I am very sad to know about the poor condition of the mentally troubled daughter. For as long as we are on this earth I believe that we just need to be extra careful with our elders and respect and love them as much as we can.

In Britain today many very senior citizens volunteer to help babies who are in the hospital to stay alive by just offering "cuddle time". Apparently this short sessions of cuddling do help the unhealthy babies to recover. I am relating this because many people do not have grandparents to help them at times like these. But when we have our very own grandparents, shouldn't we love having them around?

Singapore is encouraging three generations to stay together to reduce social costs and to improve social health.

Our community should really look into all the ways and means to improve the life style of older people. We cannot afford to abandon them just as we like. Churches are making more and more effort to carry out activities for senior citizens. And many senior citizens who are still healthy are doing great social work!!

As my son at aged four, in all his innocence, said, "Grandparents should not have an expiry date....."

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