This year’s Chinese New Year celebration felt different. It wasn’t because of the lack of red packets or new clothes. It also wasn’t due the lack of food or entertainment. It felt different, for the atmosphere was changed. The gathering was, I would say, a success; people came and exchanged greetings, laughing at jokes cracked in discussions, giving away red packets to the young ones. The place was bustling with activity and talking, but ironically there was a faint silence within the house. It couldn’t be heard but could be instantly felt. The gathering was gloomy and quiet.
It must be because of the recent death of my great aunt, my father’s cousin’s family. She died due to cancer, a disease that only money could try cure, cure by buying time before death. It was sad to see loved ones go, but worst to see them suffer in pain. The whole experience for their family wasn’t just felt by them alone for the rest of us relatives also knew and felt the pain and agony. Those who had loved ones passed away due to the deadly cancer immediately felt déjà vu. It was like a reenactment of whatever that have happened in the past.
Because of that, this year felt different. It was a gathering and celebration filled with happiness and joy, with a pinch of sadness lying within a corner in the house.