Tuesday, April 07, 2009

Can We Forgive and Forget?

Aunty A’s death marked the end of my MIL’s nightmare.

For the past 35 years, she and my FIL have been fighting over Aunty A, a third party in their marriage. My MIL could never accept her presence. Even on her death bed, my MIL never forgave her for stealing her husband.

This is a story that has run in the family for many, many years. It’s a well known fact that my MIL and her “madu” were public enemies. Every week, there must be at least one quarrel over this and it’s usually on the day when my FIL went to Aunty A’s house to spend the night.

I don’t really know Aunty A. I’ve only met her twice before. But from what I gathered from MrNordin, she married my FIL when my MIL was pregnant with her third child, ie. my youngest BIL. The marriage was kept a secret and my MIL only found out about it after two years. That’s what made it hurt so bad.

My MIL was a very devoted wife. To her, her husband is everything. So when someone else came into the picture and claimed possession of her husband, she was shattered. And she was mad, for a very long time…

She had so much hatred for Aunty A. The very mention of her name would send her furious. But my FIL played his cards well. Both never met face to face and he treated both wives equally. Only thing was, either way, sure kena marah punya. Bila pegi rumah bini muda, isteri tua meradang; bila pegi rumah bini tua, isteri muda pulak merajuk. Macam lagu P.Ramlee.

Kesian my FIL..

Like that lah for 35 years. Even at 73 years old, my MIL still had the energy to fight with my FIL over Aunty A. I understand she was bitter and angry, but still angry after 35 years? I don't know...

When I met my MIL yesterday after the funeral, she seemed somewhat happy. My FIL was obviously devastated. My MIL didn’t go to the funeral tho’ I wished she had gone.

As I was sitting in the mosque waiting for the body to come out of the bath, I wished my MIL had come, even for a while, to sedekahkan Al-Fatihah. Let by gone be by gone, kata orang. She’s dead now anyway.

If she had gone to the mosque yesterday, she would be blessed. She would earn the respect from everyone for doing such a noble thing. In addition, she would make my FIL, her husband, a very happy man despite the difficult circumstances that he was in yesterday.

But she refused. My SIL talked to her on the phone and asked her to forgive Aunty A for whatever hurtful things that she had done. But her answer was, “As far as I’m concerned, she does not exist”. My husband offered her a ride if she had wanted to attend the funeral, but she declined saying that she wasn’t well. Keras betul hati dia!

But then again, perhaps it was her ego that stopped her from going yesterday. Who knows... perhaps deep down in her heart, she has already forgiven her? We'll never know.

Sigh… what a sad ending...

As I watched all her children and cucu crying as they kapankan her body, I couldn’t help thinking that there must something special about this woman. They seemed to love her very much. She must be a good mother and a loving opah.

Usually, little children wouldn’t understand death and would just carry on playing at a funeral. But during Aunty A’s funeral yesterday, it was the little children who cried the most. One grandchild sat at her feet while another sat near her head, weeping incessantly. It broke my heart to see them cry like that.

I think, during her lifetime, Aunty A loved children tremendously.

And it was her rezeki when during the sembahyang jenazah, there were so many children from the nearby sekolah agama who came and pray for her. The masjid was full to the brim with children, said my husband.

And her last resting place?

It was surrounded by children’s graves.

Oh my... such is God's greatness!

May her soul rest in peace, Amin...

53 comments:

ms hart said...

Beautiful narration, MrsN. May Allah bless Aunty A's soul and place her with ahlil-Jannah. Amin.

Anonymous said...

It's true. When we love someone truthfully, it is so hard to accept damages. Sometimes it is better to share than to loose. Life is not to give up but to have the most wonderful memories. Alfatihah for aunty A.

Kama said...

Mungkin ada kelebihan dia semasa hidupnya. Those are the things people are no privy to. May Allah bless her soul and place her in the company of the faithful. Amin.

Mrs N, like Ms hart said.. beautiful narration. saya pun rasa sebak sekejap.

Roti Kacang Merah said...

...mesti ramai juga budak-budak yang pimpin dia melintas titian mustaqeem nanti... Aaaamiiiin.

BEAUTIFUL narration, banyak iktibar boleh diambil...

UrbAnWiTch said...

mRsnordin..u sure do know how to write.. this piece moved me to tears..

AL FATIHAH

Nong said...

Salam,
Al-fatihah. Aunty A must be a good and lovable person to many...

tearose said...

Tesentuh jiwa dan raga...Iktibar untuk kita semua..

Busybody said...

Mrs N,

I am sure the late Aunty A must have been loved by many. Tapi kan...yang paling I kesian is your MIL...The hatred for the other woman must have hurt her deeply..and the hatred doesn't allow her peacefulness.

Hope we will never have to go through that.

Aida said...

BJ,

Its a shame that there was no opportunity to know her better. But are ur husband and his siblings in touch with their OTHER siblings?

Even if ur MIL can't bridge that gap when her madu was alive, maybe her children can with the other's children.

Al-Fatihah.

MrsNordin said...

Ms Hart,

Thank you for your kind wishes.

MrsNordin said...

Anon,

I wouldn't know how my MIL really feel about the whole thing. Betrayal hurts... only the strongest ones can forgive and forget. There's no point saying what could have been or should been, it has happened and nothing can change that.

MrsNordin said...

Kak Kama,

I feel the same about this arwah. She must have her kelebihan. Despite the tumultuous years and the strained relationship with my MIL, her marriage to my FIL did last. So their jodoh memang kuat, for whatever reason there was...

Anonymous said...

Hi BJ.. when I read your post, teringat about my stepmom who passed away 4 months ago due to cancer. my stepmom married my dad the same way your FIL married Aunty A. The fights, the jealousy, pointing fingers and all sort lah always happen.. sometimes, kita yg anak2 jadi bosan melihat & mendgr sampai ada ketikanya berkata2, tak bleh ke our parents ni act like adult instead like budak2.. but mom always got her alasan i.e. ko tak kena, ko tak tau apa aku rasa.. hidup bermadu *sigh*

long story short, 6 months before my stepmom passed away, me slow talk to my mom and ask her to forgive & forget.. stepmom will go eventually.. mom already won her battle.. no more reasons to fight and about time to make amend and halalkan segalanya..

even my mom pun ada termimpikan stepmom. katanya stepmom came in white telekung and give her another white telekung.. like sending a message 'am returning back your hubby'..

and I am so thankful, she sedar and managed to see my stepmom at the hospital few days before stepmom meninggal.. my dad was happy and so is adik bradik my stepmom.

and while I was with my stepmom every day & nite for 2 weeks.. I got to report to mom every details about stepmom. who came & visit, hows my dad and blah2.. cam spy lah pulak.. hehehe..

anyway, I am and very close to stepmom.. I always ask my dad about her.. and secretly meeting her without my mom's knowledge.. so, masa tengah nazak.. I sempat pujuk dia balik rumah.. and meninggal di rumah instead of hospital. and she agreed.. I could see small tears coming out from her eyes and a small nod as well. semua my aunts & uncles balik umah siap2 tempat utk stepmom and me dok dlm ambulance took her home.. one of her last ride in the rain..

sedih. mmg sedih. till now I still miss her. my adik2 sume sempat jumpa dia when she still alive.. hows dad cope up? welp..knowing dad, he keep everything inside.. and I got one stepbrother to look after..

Al~fatihah to Aunty A and hoping your FIL will tabah to go tru this..

Aziah

IBU said...

Sebak & sayu baca this entry.

May her soul rest in peace, insyaAllah...amin.

U take care dear!

MrsNordin said...

RKM,

I'm so touched by what you said.. ramai juga budak2 yang pimpin dia melintas titian mustaqeem nanti.. it's just so sad...

MrsNordin said...

Urban witch,

Thanks. I cried too when I wrote it.

I don't know why I feel so sad about her passing when I don't even know her. I suppose it was the circumstances that moved me to tears.

MrsNordin said...

Nong,

I believe so. Each on of us ada kelebihan tersendiri. Maybe other people don't see it, but Allah knows. Thanks for dropping by.

MrsNordin said...

Tearose,

Hopefully, we don't have to go through the same situation in our life time. Nauzubillah.

I hope you and family are doing fine up North. Salam to your husband.

MrsNordin said...

Busybody,

I know... she was so bitter by the betrayal.

I've never met anyone who hold grudges against someone for this long. But I suppose, my MIL must have her reasons for feeling that way.

I hope she has made peace with the deceased deep within her heart. Otherwise, she will still be haunted by the past eventho the other woman is already gone now.

MrsNordin said...

Aida,

My husband and his brothers have nothing against their stepsister & brother. They tried to be cordial, but always felt uncomfortable knowing how my MIL felt about the other side of the family.

But during the funeral, it was my husband and his two brothers who uruskan the jenazah from the hospital sampai ke kubur. They did it for their father, and I was so proud of them.

After the event, the stepsister revealed that she has always wanted to be closer to her brothers but circumstances prevented them from doing so. I believe now, the situation may change for the better.

As I always said, "Death ends a life, not a relationship" (from Tuesdays with Morrie)

Thanks for your kind words.

MrsNordin said...

Aziah,

I cried reading your story coz I can so relate to that. The situation is almost the same with my husband's family. The only difference is, your mum and stepmum managed to make peace before her death. How fortunate...

It seemed, a few days before her passing, she had asked to see my MIL to ask for forgiveness, but it never materialised. I suppose at that time, she's had the feeling that her time was already up.

But who would have known, right, that she was really "going"? Had my MIL knew about it, I'm sure she would have made amends with her.

I don't know you, Aziah, but I think you're a good person. Whatever happened was just between your mum, dad and stepmum. You were not involved hence, you should not take sides, which you rightly did.

Speaking of my FIL, like yours, his feelings are concealed. He's still his usual self but I'm sure he's hurting inside.

Losing a wife/spouse is a painful experience. I just hope he can cope and will not be too affected by it.

I keep teling my husband to check on him often coz my husband knows what it feels like to lose a wife in that manner. Pls God give him the strength to go through this rough patch.

MrsNordin said...

Ibu,

Thanks for your well wishes. I hope you are feeling better now. Take care..

Anonymous said...

Mrs. Nordin,
It's so unfortunate that your MIL is all bitter with aunty A alone when in actual fact laki dia yang gatal kawin lain masa dia pregnant! She should be happy now and gloat as per padan muka engkau!!! I would too, if I were her!!! Her pain of 35 years is finally gone, I'm happy for her.

Kak Ezza@makcik Blogger said...

semuga arwah di tempat kan di kalangan orang orang yang beriman...

Yr MIL tu ada alasan nak marah..kita tak berada di tempat dia...tapi mungkin di hati nya dia dah memaaf kan segala nya..bak kata you may be ego saja tinggal...

have a nice day dear...

MrsNordin said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
MrsNordin said...

Kak Ezza,

I think so it was her ego. My SIL said last night my MIL cried and baca yaasin for arwah.

MrsNordin said...

Anon,

I don't think we should talk about the dead in that manner. And I don't think my MIL is that mean to utter "Padan muka engkau!" given the circumstances.

Anonymous said...

Dear Mrs Nordin,
I'm your regular reader but never leave a comment(or maybe i did but don't remember). I'm not sure how ur mother in law really felt but I for one can tell you how painful it is when someone you thot are 100% into you, cheated on you. I just delivered the 4th baby when i found out my husband of 10yrs was cheating on me. He was a good and responsible father, and he has been such a good husband that i never thot he would do such a thing. To say I was emotionally devastated in an understatement. He claimed it wasn't an affair(i knew it was an affair based on the sms i read), it was never physical, he was somehow distracted by her attn bla bla bla. I asked him to make a choice, if he really love his family and me, he should stay away from her and concentrate on us and if he thinks he feels strongly for this lady, go ahead and marry her but I'm not going to shre him with somebody else just for the sake of the children. I know it is selfish but i can never understand how a man can love 2 women at the same time. And it is definitely not fair to mt 4 children. He decided he's still wanted to be with us and i've moved on since then. But the pian is still with me even though it has happened quite sometime ago. We can say whatever we want to say and be judgemental, but wait till you're hit yourselves, then you will know. Wallahuallam.

Kmar said...

BJ,

What a beautiful piece you wrote about Aunty A!!

My late-MIL (died at the age of 57) divorced with my FIL for 28 years. Immediately after that my FIL got married again. My FIL took care financially my late-MIL, the 5 children and the new wife. My late-MIL can´t meet-talk to her ´madu´ for 21 years due to hatred until the day we got married (my hubby is her favourite son) - 7 years ago. She started to accept the fact that my FIL has a wife. Her ´madu´ was there at the hospital visiting her a few times before she passed away. I presumed the past events already forgiven...

Hati budi orang selalunya kita tak nampak. Insyallah allahyarhamah Aunty A will get the best blessing from God. Amin

Eta My said...

Bj Dear..sudah suratan...semua ketentuan Ilahi kan...Alfatihah...
( buat suspen je mimpi2 mu..kebetulan kan!)..

Yeap..in ur own special way....bergonang gak ayor mato den ni ha....

p/s:..Dan kita pun tak tahu..akhir kalam kita camana kan bj...pasrah..pasrah...

jabishah said...

Sorry for your loss. Semoga arwah ditempatkan di kalangan org beriman. Amin...

tireless mom said...

Dear MrsN

Al Fatihah untuk aunty A. Not sure whether I will do the same like your MIL if I were in her shoes. It is hurting. We could forgive, but to forget... hmmmm, BIG question.

Anonymous said...

Salam kak MrsNordin,

So sorry I don't get your name. I thank you so much for writing such a beautiful blog about "Aunty A". I'm touched. She was indeed a great mother & a loving opah. Wish you could know her better. You'll love her.

I'm lost for words. Again, thank you kak.

MMY

Madam Tai Tai said...

BJ,

So sorry to hear about your recent losses. Alfatihah to the both of the arwahs.

This posting is a nice tribute to Aunty A.

busymum100 said...

MrsN,

I had to read your post twice before I leave a comment. The first one 2 days ago.

I can see both views, and each view (your MIL's and Aunt A's) gives different opinion.

All the others have commented well. There's no outright right or wrong. Kita cakap pasal hati ni. Hati dan akal sering bercanggah.

But I like the title of your blog, and my response is (for me that is) - I can forgive but I can never forget....

MrsNordin said...

Anon at 17:33,

My stand on this is the same with yours. I cannot share my husband.

If I were caught in your shoes, I'll probably do the same ~ ask him to choose between the two. To share, no! I'd rather leave alone than having to share him with someone else.

I agree with you. How can a man say he truly loves his wife and yet, falls for another woman? Why is that?

So he loves the attention, fine. If you think your wife hasn't been giving you the right amount of attention that you desire, speak to her lah. Why speak to another woman?

Like in your case, kalau your husband nak full attention from you, why allow you to beranak sampai 4 orang? After that baru nak complain tak cukup attention? Please lah, to me it was all bullshit.

I'm sorry, but I feel very strongly about this issue and I tend to get carried away when I'm on the subject.

Bottomline is, these things won't happen if you're not looking for it. It's as simple as that.

I hope you have slowly forgiven him for what he did. It takes time... but if he's a good man, you should give him a chance to make amends. Yes, we can forgive but not necessarily forget.

Thanks for sharing your story. I love it!

MrsNordin said...

Kmar,

These things also happen in your society, ya? Interesting...

I'm glad your MIL had made peace with her madu before her passing. It must be hard for her to accept the other woman, but I think, she was very strong in making that decision.

A very rare species, indeed..

MrsNordin said...

Eta,

Iya lah... kita ni semuanya ada bahagian masing2. Only time will tell and I hope we'll be strong to face it, come what may.

MrsNordin said...

Jabishah,

Thanks for your kind wishes.


TM,

I don't know either what I'd do. But most likely, as soon as I found out, I'd ask him to choose. No sharing. I don't want to suffer in silence for the rest of my life.

MrsNordin said...

Dear MMY,

Do I know you? This is a surprise, and I presume, you must know Aunty A pretty well.

It's unfortunate that I didn't get to know her better. Talking to her sisters during the funeral and tahlil yesterday made me realise that they are warm people.

"Ohh.. ini bini Nordin, ya? Sama lah kite... orghang Ipoh", that's what they kept telling me.

Insyallah, the relationship would continue. I know for a fact that my husband would like to know his stepsister & bro better. Kalau niat kita tu baik, Tuhan akan beri jalan, insyaallah...

Thanks for dropping by.

MrsNordin said...

Gina,

Thanks. I still am sad and I don't know why.. :(

MrsNordin said...

Busymum,

I feel the same, can forgive but not necessarily forget. We can try, but it'll take a long, long time... maybe as long as we live..

bella said...

Al Fatihah to her. Let the siblings rapatkan silaturrahim.Betrayal is so hard to forgive, maybe one day she'll realize it. Someone in the family was affected dulu, so, I get it. It's kinda sad kan...because you wish for the best for everyone...maybe she's not as strong as she seems...

MrsNordin said...

Bella,

It's true, betrayal is hard to forget. Only those who were in it would understand...

Anonymous said...

Salam kak,

Umm, I'm one of the relative jugak la kiranya, I don't know whether you know me or not. I was the one wearing white polka dot baju kurung yang turut serta in mandi & kapankan jenazah, with white selendang.

I believe we have never met before, but if we do, ampun sangat, I'm seriously not good with faces. My bad....

I like your blogs. Very interesting. You should consider being a writer la kak.

Yea, I think this would be a good time for the siblings to catch up on those lost time.

My email is mmy@henrybutcher.com.my :-)

MrsNordin said...

MMY,

I don't remember seeing anyone in white polka dot baju & white selendang at the mosque. But I remember there were many ladies involved in the ritual. Some were very young, and I was very impressed that they knew how to mandi & kapankan jenazah. You must be one of them.

I was sitting by the door, near one of her sisters, that morning. Don't remember knowing anyone except for Teh. But I left after that. I didn't go to the house.

Thanks for dropping by and hope to meet you one of these days. Take care.

madam gold said...

I could untderstand how your MIL felt all these years.I dont blame her.Dalam diri nya sendiri dia berperang tu.Nak maafkan atau tidak.. but how could you forgive a person if you cant forget what she had done to you.Dia mungkin nak maafkan tapi all the bitter things keep on occuring on her mind,so how?Tapi kita org islam, mesti ada kelembutan dlm hati seketikakan.

edelweiss said...

Mrs. Nordin,

Sebak i chek baca...Macam kata Kak kama, ada kelebihan arwah semasa hayatnya...

My late Tok Ayah pun kawin ramai...but alhamdulillah all madus semuanya baik sesama sendiri...sekarang nih dari yang ramai-2 tuh cuma tinggal seorang saja lagi yang masih hidup. She is the MATRIARCH of the family now dengan 20 anak2 [termasuk anak tiri] dan lebih dari 90 cucu].....

Jealousy was part and parcel of their marriage life. Tapi bila dah tua nih semua nya forgive & forget each other's mistakes.

Semoga Allah cucuri rahmat keatas mereka dan juga buat Aunty A. Insyallah.

MrsNordin said...

Madam Gold,

I suppose, kita tak kena, kita tak tahu apa rasanya. My MIL must have her reasons for feeling that way for sooooo long.

But like you said, somehow there must be a soft spot within us to at least forgive, tho' not necessarily forget. My gut feel says she has already done that, but we'll never know...

Thanks for your comment.

MrsNordin said...

Hi Edelweiss,

Your Tok must be a good man. Memanglah mesti ada perselisihan fahan sesama madu, tak banyak sikit. But after a while, if there's no way out, they might as well learn to accept each others' presence in their lives.

Ramainya your nenek punya anak & cucu ! Kalau hari raya, sure best!

Thanks for dropping by!

Ida Hariati Hashim said...

Al-Fatihah to Aunty A..isu madu ni susah nak cakap..entah kalau kita yg kena boleh ke kita terima? Nauzubillah..kena madu..hahha

linzscollections said...

Alfatihah...may Allah bless her always..

mena said...

salaam alayk sister, can you please try to write only in english or write the meaning of what you say in urdu in english?