6 Years Gone Too Soon (My Auntie Margaret)

This post is dedicated to my dearest Auntie Margaret Fong who passed away six years ago on the 22nd August, 2015. I also want to send my random love and support to my whole family.

One of the final photos of my late Auntie Margaret and I

So, I wasn’t really too sure if I was going to do a blog or not because the topic I’m going to talk about is the first time in a few years I have talked about which is my late Auntie Margaret but I’ve never gone into great detail. You can view the post down below.

In the end, I thought it would be good to do so because it gives me closure and I want to honour the legacy of my Auntie Margaret and plus, I want to get back in blogging again. I’m also giving you guys a heads up that in this post, I’ll be talking about grief, not an easy topic to talk about especially death but it’s also really important to me.

Yesterday was the sixth anniversary of my auntie Margaret’s death and it’s hard to believe it’s been that long since hearing that unexpecting news of her passing like where did all those years gone by? I still remember everything like as it if was yesterday. I remember hearing that phone call which my mum answered and it was from my cousin. Not gonna go into exact details but after my mum got off the phone, she told me that my aunt Margaret had a heart attack and passed away at the age of 71. Instantly, I went into shock trying to process the news for a few minutes and then, I just broke down. My parents had to comfort me because they knew how close I was to my aunt because she was like a second mother to me and my siblings.

A personal card I wrote for my late Auntie Margaret before her viewing

These type of news, you never expect and that’s why it’s always difficult for me to talk about. Grief is something I’ve always struggled with and I notice when you get older, you experienced it more, well that’s what my dad says. The last few years, I’ve experience more grief than I have ever imagined and it’s hard because some of the losses I went through were unexpected deaths like my aunt’s but as you guys know, that’s the reality of life.

With my aunt’s passing, life has never been the same and I feel it’s like that with every death I noticed. I think what was the hardest thing is when my aunt was alive, she asked me to promised her that I would take her out one day for lunch but sadly, I never got to do that and I really really wish I did. I think at that time, I was busy focusing on my own problems and looking for work. Even in the final years of my auntie, I didn’t really get to see her as much and the reasons I won’t ever talk about on here. However, one thing I know my auntie wouldn’t want me to be stuck living in the past as that is something I struggle with and the past is the past, you can’t change what happened but you can focus on the present which is what I’m trying to do.

What do I miss about my aunt? Everything. When my parents were busy, she and my late grandma would always look after me and siblings when we were in school. They would take us out to eat at our favourite local Chinese restaurant for afternoon tea and take us to swimming lessons. I remember times when my aunt was trying to park her car in a car park and she would get anxious if she was going to hit a wall or car but luckily, I was able to calm her down. I wasn’t really to sure how I was able to do calm her down as I was still a small kid back then but I was able to somehow.

I also remember my aunt telling me that when I was in primary school, there was one time her car was on fire, how it was set alight I have no idea but because she didn’t notice and I saw it, I told her that her car was on fire. Boy, she was panicking and so we had to get help immediately nearby. The fire was eventually extinguished, I don’t remember the exact details because it was a long time ago but my aunt was thankful for me because I was able to save us which could have be have a very different story.

If I were to describe my aunt, I definitely say she was courageous and an absolute fighter. She was the eldest out of all her siblings (my mum, aunts & uncles) growing up in Hong Kong and she’s also been through a lot in her life. Like me, my aunt even was battling her own mental health which I probably didn’t find out until I was in high school in Year 8 when I was diagnosed with depression. I think that made us real closer because I feel like my aunt could understand what I was going through especially with the mental health.

Although my childhood and teenage years the hardest times for me in my entire life, my aunt would always be there for me. One thing my aunt would always do to cheer me up or spoil me is buying Shortbread Men (I like to call them Cookie Men) from Michel’s Patisserie. This would put a smile on my face every time because they were my favourite, though I did feel bad for eating the Cookie Men as they were adorable and smiling at me.

When I got more older, the Cookie Men were unfortunately getting more expensive to buy so a year before my aunt’s death, I though I try making them myself with my case worker, Jarrah and the end result was a success! However it almost turned into fail when Jarrah open the fridge and somehow, our shortbread men fell and broke into half but luckily the baking paper was able to save them from the ground. This reminds of the scene from the very first movie Shrek when Lord Farquaad was going after Gingy the Gingerbread Man.

20th February, 2014
The broken Shortbread Men I made with Jarrah after it fell down from the fridge but the baking paper was able to saved it

I have to admit, yesterday was really hard. Just knowing that it was my aunt’s sixth anniversary of her death, it really just hit me. I didn’t feel like doing anything except staying in bed all day but I know that would be no good for me. Good thing is, I always have a weekly routine which really helps me especially now with the current lockdown in Sydney.

What did I end up doing? Usually every Sundays, my case worker comes to my house to do cooking so we ended up making Scottish Shortbread from scratch which is so easy to make and it’s only four ingredients – butter, castor sugar, plain flour & rice flour! I’ve actually made it before at TAFE when I did the Retail Baking course but I wanted to relearn how to make it at home and it was a success! Here was the final product.

Homemade Scottish Shortbread
Me with my Scottish Shortbread

After waiting for the Scottish Shortbread to bake in the oven, we created butterflies using fondant which my mum wanted to learn how to make. We were able to use different shades of colours by just using red and yellow fondants and roll them into balls and warm it up so it was easy to work with. After that, we put tiny bit of cornflour and rub it on the bench and rolling pin so it disappears and so the fondant won’t stick. We use a rolling pin that has a 3mm disc thickness so we roll out the fondant and we shape them into butterflies using stamps and then put it on a folded piece of foil to hold it’s shape and viola! Here are the butterflies that we made!

The butterflies I made from the fondant
Me and my butterflies made from fondant

Thanks for reading! I have to admit, this was a very hard post to blog and there were times that I did get teary and had to pause but I finally was able to made it through the end. Also thank you guys for your love and support from my last post! The responses I got was really overwhelming and I’m so lucky to have you guys in my life. I do apologise again for being so dark but it’s only because I want to raise awareness of mental health and also help others who could be in a similar situation.

To my loving family, I hope you guys are coping okay! I know our Auntie/Mother Margaret has left us too soon and it’s really heartbreaking as we never expected this. Please do look after yourselves and each other and remember the memories that we had with our Auntie/Mother Margaret!

Finally, I’ll end this post with an old photo of my aunt Margaret and I together that I found while I was looking through photos of my baby album yesterday. I don’t even remember where or when it was taken because I was too young but this one seems to be a special one and yes, that is my babyface in a suit when I was young!

Be random but stay safe all especially during this pandemic!

A very young photo of my Auntie Margaret & I

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