There seems to be this ache in my heart that will never go away.
A person leaves the world, and leaves a hole in the hearts of the people who love him.
It has been so difficult to talk about it, almost impossible. I could only cry then. Just cry and cry and can’t stop crying everytime I think of you. We all shed tears for you, for the pain you went through, for the loss of a wonderful person.
He arranged for a group sharing session with the MSW. I was reluctant. She was reluctant. How could we ever talk about it? To a stranger who never knew you, never seen you, never spoken to you? But we went, because we respected him. It was in the lecture room, we positioned a random number of chairs together, nobody was counting. When we all sat down, there left an empty seat just beside the MSW, directly opposite me. I couldn’t stop staring, I couldn’t stop thinking. I was sure everyone in the room noticed it. It was so glaringly obvious. Were you there, listening to us, watching us? Somehow everyone could talk about you. Or perhaps they forced their thoughts out of them. But I couldn’t. She couldn’t either. The MSW waited for me to speak, everyone looked at me. I opened my mouth but the words, my thoughts were all stuck within me. Trapped within. Lost. When they spoke about you, it was almost unbearable. I had to fight from standing up and screaming and running from the room altogether. There were tears, lots. Even he cried, he who will never let people see him cry. We all hurt because we miss you, because you are no longer with us, because of the things you went through. Our feelings are selfish, and unselfish at the same time.
You being gone affects us in ways we never thought would. We freeze when we see your face in photographs. One of them had to have her mother sleep with her every night. Another thought she saw you when someone wore a jacket similar to the one you always wear. Another said she would automatically count twelve storeys of a block whenever she reaches home. How freakishly similar. Every day as I walk through the carpark, I would look up to the twelveth and I would shrink away. It is so high.. so so high. Some of us had trouble sleeping. I cannot speak for others, but for me, there was this irrational fear every night; I was so afraid to sleep. Between the time I turn off the lights to the time I actually fall asleep, the fear was so great. So overwhelming that I had felt like screaming. I have never been so fearful and little-girlish and out of control in my entire life. I don’t know why this was so. Was it because I was afraid of seeing you appear? Or was I afraid of all those images in my mind? Or was it something else? Mummy slept with me for a couple of times. Ever since, I never slept with my door entirely closed anymore. There are also words which I avoid, and which affect me when people say them. Words like d**. c***** s******. j***. k***. Nevermind..
Some felt angry because your actions hurt the people around you, but the anger was gotten over quickly. Some thought ‘if only I have…’ – hindsight is always 20/20. Some asked ‘why did you..’. The only ‘if only..’ in my head is that if only I am better with words. Because I was all too afraid that you would do something like this. Because you confided in me that you were depressed and I just didn’t know what else to say, or how else to help as you were pushing everyone away. I have always wanted to make a difference in people’s lives and this time I failed, and the consequences were too great; your life was taken away. I don’t know what else I thought or felt. Maybe there are too many things in my head, too many different feelings in my heart. But everything is stuck inside. People, professionals, were all asking me, trying to draw me out, trying to get me to share. But I can’t, I just can’t. It is such a secret place, this land of tears and grief. In several moments of weakness, I’d wanted so much to share with someone, but all the words, they were all stuck in my throat, in my mind. He arranged for me to have an individual session with the Principal MSW. When I went, we were merely circling around, not getting to the crux of the matter. Because I can’t. When I went to the Psychiatrist (yes, I went and he gave me meds), he didn’t get any closer. Because I can’t. It was as if my mind stonewalled everyone, including myself. Extremely frustrating, but perhaps necessary for now.
We, both she and I, lit candles for you in church separately, on separate occasions. Here in Singapore, churches are not allowed to have real candles, only lamps which substituted as candles. It is for eternal peace. For you. May eternal peace grant unto him. O God, let perpetual light shine upon him. May his soul rest in peace. Amen. Because we do not know where you are now, or whether you are happy or suffering where you are, we need to do something, anything. I had wanted to do it on Christmas day as well, but the church was so full I could only attend service from outside at the carpark.
I bought a book, ‘On Grief and Grieving’ by Elisabeth Kubler-Ross. It was the most difficult book to read. Ever. I have not gone past the second page. It stands, untouched, in my bookshelf.
Even until now, I can only write about me, and them, and a little of you. I can’t speak of your feelings, your self and the circumstances that led to you doing it. Am I trying to protect you? Perhaps I just want to leave you with the dignity you deserve. You are a wonderful person, always so helpful and willing to do much more than required. Easy-going, agreeable and humourous, taking our teasing with an exasperated smile or fighting back with witty remarks. It isn’t fair if I were to say more, which is why I am not.
All those walks we had, the meals together, the talks in-between time, the laughter shared, the Saturdays helping out together, everything is running through my mind now, and everything is falling apart, scattered like fallen leaves in the wind. Oh God, I can’t stop….
Today we went to visit you. We got lost, about four times, but eventually we found you. I pasted your Precious Moments cards there, we brought you flowers, and a card which everyone wrote on. We all cried.
The hardest thing in life is to Live.
Happy birthday, friend. I miss you every day.