Sunday, May 30, 2010

i LeaRNt

In that space between knowing and unknowing, I learnt a few things…

* That a moment can be the most beautiful and it can also be the saddest at the same time.

* That letting go is more painful than holding on.

* That it is equally important to be able to love and to be able to accept love.

* That it is not always the case that having something is better than having nothing.

* That grieving for the loss of someone still living is as difficult as grieving for the dead.

It’s a matter of perspective, I think, whether you experience each day as a blessing or a curse.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010


Close your eyes and wait for the world that is spinning to come to a stop.

Monday, May 24, 2010

To bE pERfeCt

I am a perfectionist. I need my life to be perfect. Perfectly ordered. Perfectly respected. Perfectly lived. I allow for no mistakes in my perfect world, not from others and definitely not from myself.

Living in my world is harsh, sometimes impossible. So I make up a lot of different realities in my universe. Except that they are not really realities. More of a construct of my imagination that I often take to be real.

Relationships within these made-up realities are perfect. I am a perfect little girl loved and admired by everyone whose lives I have touched, and I have touched many. The galaxies and the stars revolve around me, the world grinds to a halt without me.

I draw my strength and life-meaning from the love that others accord me. I live my life vicariously through what I believe are the expectations of those around me. My desire for perfection draws me into a spiraling circle.

Without the esteem of others, I am sometimes lost. Often, I am unable to live up to my own expectations. It is almost as if I would cease to exist if I don’t somehow fit within what I think others want me to be.

I should not pretend to be, someone whom I am not.

Saturday, May 22, 2010


I believe in signs. I believe in signs with a passion that verges on obsession. And yet, I often miss signs. Not unless I apply myself to retrospective ruminations. By which time it would have been too late to be able to do anything.

When I was younger, I believed that everything that happened to me was foretold by signs. I even banked how my day would turn out based on the combination of numbers from my bus ticket. It would be a good day if it turned out to be lucky 21. I was that serious.

“I really think too many things have come in between to be an accident.”

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

tO LeaRn AgAiN

We met. We ate. We laughed. For a few hours, grief left us. For a few hours, we let the happy memories in, learning to celebrate life again. For a few hours, we enjoyed the unbearable lightness of being.

Perhaps these moments will come easier. Perhaps these moments will come more frequently. And eventually, we will come to terms with our loss.

We take what lessons we can, and continue to shuffle along this mortal coil.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

i RemEmBEr

A lot of the mourning happens in the midnight hour. When the light of day fades, the pain becomes more acute. Without the distraction of living, death comes into stark focus.

Elisabeth Kubler-Ross said that there are five stages to the grieving process: Denial, Anger, Bargaining, Depression, Acceptance. She forgot to add Guilt. She forgot that we will always ask ourselves whether we could have done more or better. She forgot that survivor’s guilt underscores any of our efforts to come to terms with a death so close to our hearts.

My memories betray me. I remember the many holidays we took together. I remember meeting up to study for our exam. I remember the hours and days we spent talking. I remember our shopping trips. I remember we both wanted to go to the US to further our studies. I remember our pact to grow old together.

I know I must move on with my life. You would want me to do that.

Friday, May 14, 2010


Amidst the darkness, perhaps this is what I need to hear.

"I like living. I have sometimes been wildly, despairingly, acutely miserable, racked with sorrow, but through it all I still know quite certainly that just to be alive is a grand thing."

(Agatha Christie)

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

RidINg WavEs

The world feels blurred over, I seem to be in some kind of daze. I am in pain, a confusion of thoughts whirling inside my head. Sleeping and weeping offer no respite.

Why does it hurt so much when we lose someone we love? It is as if they have taken a part of us with them. We are left with little holes in our being – a private joke we laugh over, secrets we huddle to hide, dreams we build together – little holes that can no longer be filled.

They tell me that with time, it will get easier. That remembering you will be less painful. That the thud of my heart every time I recall that I was supposed to go and see you that day will eventually stop. That I will one day be able to look at your photographs and not cry.

So I ride out this wave, while waiting for the next one to hit.

Monday, May 10, 2010

The LaST TiMe

Something extremely painful happened last week. My very good friend decided to take her own life. I wonder why we say “take her own life” when in reality, she had chosen to leave her own life instead. What demons tormented her mind, I cannot even begin to imagine. What I do remember is the last time I saw her, our bodies locked in a goodbye hug, before I stepped out of her house. It was a Monday.

She died on a Tuesday morning.

Suddenly, the days and dates become very important. They are the only temporal markers we can hold onto. They help us to make sense of this distorted space-time dimension. As if building a chronological story would breathe life back into her being. To begin again at the beginning.

The last thing she said to me was, “I’m going to lie down for a while.”

Rest well then, my friend.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

aND so iT SeEms

I keep asking myself, “Why?”, even though I know the answers. It seems to be the only question that makes sense.

I keep saying, “No”, even though I know the truth. It seems to be the only way to keep my heart from aching.

I keep telling others, “I’m OK”, even though I know I’m not. It seems to be the only answer to assuage the guilt I feel.

Today I gave my friend a yellow rose, before she flew up to heaven.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

iN MouRniNg

A grief beyond tears.

Sunday, May 2, 2010

eMboDiED CogNitiON



It’s funny. My fingernails grow so much faster than my toenails. I would have completed two rounds of trimming for my fingernails before I even notice my toenails need clipping too. And even then, there isn’t much to clip without gouging too deep into the raw flesh inside.

Wouldn’t the mechanism that is responsible for producing nails be the same for both my hands and my feet?

Saturday, May 1, 2010


I remember it was at a group sharing or meeting or some such event at university, where we had to introduce ourselves to one another, with the usual, “… and my hobbies are…” My friends in New Zealand had really exotic pastimes like tramping or mountaineering or horse-riding. I stuck with my usual reading and writing, and added sewing as an afterthought.

Even as a child, my hobbies were relatively low-key like collecting stamps and stickers. Outdoorsy stuff was a little intimidating for me, they provided way too many opportunities for me to get hurt. Which probably explains why I still can’t skate or ride a bike to this day. So it must have been a bit of a miracle that I did manage to learn how to swim.

I am generally a person of little movement. Which basically means I could be holed up in my house the whole day, not go out into human civilisation, and still be OK. If I were a gas, I think I can be described as inert. And when I was in US last year, I concluded that I could go for four days without speaking to anyone (before I go mad).

He said I am not a good conversationalist.