Kevin: A Portrait of Statelessness, Part 3

Just a few months into lockdown, not long after Kevin’s second child was born, he received news that Nenek was unwell. “One day before she already knew she was going. And surprisingly I also felt like going to my grandma’s house to stay over for one day. On the day I wanted to stay, she got more sick and we had to call an ambulance so I didn’t get to stay with her since. She started complaining of feeling cold then when I covered her with the blanket, she took it off as she was feeling hot. I felt confused, then that’s when she looked into my eyes and told me ‘Abin, I think I’m going to go’. Those were her last words. After that the ambulance came and the next day she was gone. I couldn’t do anything after that for more than a month, couldn’t move on. I even dreamt of her where she told me ‘everything is going to be ok’. I miss her so much. She’s done a lot to help me out. I always tell myself a good soul will go to a good place. She’s my pillar of strength who has inspired and guided me to who I am today. My grandmas passing was the biggest challenge in my life.”

In between paused moments, Kevin continued, “I was really very sad, I really love my grandma a lot. To be honest, I really miss my grandma, cos she really stepped up to help me with everything, literally everything. I regret not spending enough time with her. My grandma is my medicine, she’s done a lot for me and helped me out through my life. She always reassured me, ‘don’t worry, everything is going to be ok’. She really inspired me to be who I am today. 

She’s my pillar of strength.

Eventually I got through all these because I understand that life has to go on no matter how tough it is. And also because of the support and motivation of my family. There’s a lot I have to juggle in my life now, like work, family, taking care of my wife who is unwell, so I also have to be strong for my family and be their pillar of strength. My family is really proud of me, and I pray they will continue to be proud of me.”

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[Stay tuned for part 4]

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Photo: Juliana Tan

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