KLANG - As their neighbours prepare to usher in Hari Raya Aidlifitri, members of MAS steward Shaikh Mohd Noor Mahmood's family were cooped inside their house, still trying to cope with their bereavement.
Shaikh Mohd Noor was one of the 15 MAS cabin crew who perished in the MH17 tragedy in Ukraine.
"Normally, we would be busy preparing food such as rendang, nasi beriani, curries, ketupat and lontong for our family and guests every Hari Raya eve," reminisced his father Mahmood Shaikh Abdul Rashid, 70.
He said the family did not do anything for Hari Raya this year, including not doing any cooking.
"We are feeling very devastated because one person will be missing when the family gathers in the morning," said Mahmood.
He said although losing a child was an emotionally painful and tumultuous experience, he had come to terms with his loss.
"It is God's will and we will not have been able to do anything to stop it," he added.
Shaikh Mohd Noor's mother Amnah Mohd Sharif sobbed as she narrated how busy she would have been preparing food for her family and friends if the tragedy had not happened.
"My heart is empty. I usually prepare food that my family members like and it made me happy doing it."
"But this year is such a sad year for us and many other families," she added.
Amnah said her husband and family members would go to the mosque as usual and congregate at home after that.
"What else can we do other than sit and wait after performing the morning prayers?" asked Amnah.
She added that the family would eat food which relatives would bring them for Hari Raya.
She said she wanted closure for her son and the only way to achieve this was to give him a proper burial.
"We have heard that it will take two to three weeks for his remains to reach us.
This is too long a time but what can we do other than wait it out?"
While his family members were waiting at home yesterday, Shaikh Mohd Noor's wife Mardiani Mahdi, who is also a MAS flight attendant, was waiting at the Putrajaya Marriot Hotel with other MH17 victims' families, attending a briefing session.
Shaikh Mohd Noor has three children aged 13, 12 and six with his ex-wife and a two-and-a-half-year-old daughter with Mardiani.