My beloved grandma passed away on Sunday the 14th of October. She was the greatest, most virtuous, and compassionate woman I have ever encountered. I will always consider it an utmost honour and blessing to be her grandchild. I believe I have an obligation to my grandma and the greatness in which she lived to share the transcript of my eulogy as a means to inspire others.
Farewell Mrs. G who I love more than I love my own life.
Thua Ba Ngoai,
Good morning family and friends,
Thank you all for your attendance in honouring the extraordinary life of my grandma, or Mrs. G, as she is colloquially known. My name is Alex, Ba Ky, and I am one of my grandma’s many grandchildren. Over the 92 years of her life my grandma was an empathetic friend, a compassionate companion and a selfless mother who was widowed at the age of 42 and consequently, entirely responsible for each and every future of her 11 children.
While still devastated by the passing of her husband, she oversaw the migration of her children from the bleak and horrific repercussions of the Vietnam War, enabling my aunties and uncles to flee the corruption and looming mortality of her homeland. Under such circumstances she was simultaneously forced to abandon her two younger siblings, whom she had been a role model for and the caretaker of. Upon her arrival in Australia she was able to yet again establish a sense of stability for her children afresh, despite the confrontations of a foreign culture and its blatant isolation.
Given all the challenges and hindrances, my grandma has spent a long, meaningful life dedicated to the good of others. Her lavish generosity and commitment to charity has inspired and relieved countless individuals directly and indirectly affected by the causes she wholeheartedly supported. I remember my sister and I being picked up from primary school with my grandma in the front seat and a boot full of pigeons she had purchased to be freed at the temple.
Her determination for us to release the birds together was a noble, virtuous objective to evoke and nurture the compassion within her grandchildren, as she would aspire to do on any occasion with her family and strangers alike.
My grandma was a light-hearted, social, and sharp individual. When she came to realise the word ‘grandma’ was a direct reference to herself in the frivolous conversations between my cousins and I, I had to take it upon myself to confer on our beloved grandma the interchangeable titles of Mrs. G and G. Mrs. I would not be surprised, however, if she had secretly caught onto these ones, too. It is an abundant privilege to be loved by my grandma. Just as it was a privilege to observe her as she went about her daily routine and rituals.
She was a person of very specific taste and preference. Despite her diabetes she acquired a slight addiction for Turkish Delight chocolates, while her impeccable style and grace may, to a certain extent, be attributed to an unwavering loyalty to Millers, Noni B, and the colour purple. She was a beacon of light and life in every facet of her being. My grandma’s presence is especially eminent here, in the fact that she has quite literally peopled the entire room. This, I believe, is a monumental accomplishment in and of itself.
As such, her influence in the world has far outreached her homeland; her contributions to our society are ubiquitous and universal with her descendants engaged in the diverse and distinctive fields of Science, Law, Business, Medicine, Creative Arts and Philosophy. Her sacrifices have been fundamental to the successes of my relatives and I; they have facilitated the foundations through which we have been able to thrive to our fullest and greatest potentials.
Her footprints are vast, boundless, and the embodiment of an audacity unbeknown to those of us who live in predictable comfort. After nearly a century of turbulent hardships and bitter obstacles, my grandma’s bravery has truly and clearly surpassed the perceived limitations of our mortal, fleeting existence. Our achievements, whether conventional or substantial, professional or personal, are the fruition of this unyielding resilience and optimism from a single, courageous woman.
It is for this reason that I had dedicated my life’s greatest triumph to date, being the publication of my debut book, to my grandma. Her nurturing, tenacious, assiduous, and compassionate natures and their impacts towards her family were and will ultimately remain infinitely immeasurable.
If the whole world had known my grandma the way I do, the whole world would be mourning with us today. If I can say something to my grandma, who I believe is here and present, I would recite, as I have heard from Buddhist Scriptures and Kinh Phat:
Con va that ca moi nguoi xin cam on Ba Ngoai cho nhung su hy sinh vo luong, va nhung dieu dong gop cao thuong cua Ba Ngoai o cuoc doi nay.
Con khong khoc khi ao con cai hoa trang vi trong hoa con thay ngoai con cuoi.