EVERY NOW IS PRECIOUS. THANK U, PATRICK.
Those with a short attention span, dont waste your time reading this.
Yesterday, while listening to a khutbah (sermon), my mind meandered to a question my friend Anderson Ee had asked when we were shooting at my parents' house in Teluk Intan. Her asked me what was the meaning of a verse from the Quran that my late father had placed on a wall above the main door. I said I dont know but will check later.
Back to the khutbah, as I was thinking about looking for the translation, the imam read the said verse with the translation, "setiap yg bernafas pasti merasai maut" (every breathing soul will face death) as I could recall. I told Andy about it, as usual he replied, "awesome". I felt the same, with goosebump.
But it didnt stop there. Few hours later, I received the news about the passing of Patrick Lasak, a fellow Penang-based artist-friend whom I've known for years. Words cant describe how I felt then, as the news brought me back to the said verse.
Together with my wife Rozana Mohamed, we dropped by at Patrick's Gallery which is a walking distance from my wife's shop in Lebuh Acheh. We met his wife, father and brother. His younger brother was visibly sad. We reminisced about Patrick. We saw his large body of works, outpourings of passion and love that cant be described by mere written words. I read few paper clippings about him, including those related to his struggle to stay positive despite his failing health, in and out of hospital many times. I could not bear to see this jovial friend of mine in such condition. I didnt have the courage to visit him while he was in hospital then, at least not yet. Cant shake off my previous hospital experience. It was around the same month last year that I witnessed my late father went through similar predicament in a hospital. It was so hard to see someone you love, suffering. So hard also to let go the sadness.
Patrick's wife calmly brought us to see him for the last time. There he was, as if sleeping, thinner of course due to his illness before, yet like a young person resting in peace. As I was looking at him for the last time, my mind flashed back.
After the opening of my solo exhibition 'Veil of an Artist' at the Penang State Art Gallery in 2010 by Datuk Syed Ahmad Jamal, Patrick Lasak cheerfully entertained me and Datuk, as well as Datin with a seafood dinner at Teluk Tempoyak, as his way of celebrating my solo. Now, both Datuk Syed and Patrick had passed away. Few friends of mine also died, young - Azaruddin Othman, Rahimiddin and just recently, Lukmanul Hakim, a student who used to b in my Cross-Cultural Design course. Their sudden passings awakened me. The verse that my late father placed above the door, came back into my mind. I felt so sad, yet it was also calming, once I've learnt to let them go with the sweetest accepting or surrendering smile.
As I was leaving Patrick in his coffin, this ran through my mind with an accepting emotion.
Never a goodbye, just a transformation of connectivity from physical to the spiritual; life is so transient and every moment of NOW is so precious. Dont waste our every now, but fill it with love and passion, till they become light upon light upon light that glow and shine beyond any darkness that life can throw at us.
Thank you my friend, Patrick Lasak.
Al-Fatihah buat Datuk Syed, Ayahanda Saidon, Azzaruddin Othman, Rahimidin, Lukmanul Hakim.