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dearest z,

it’s been almost 2 years since you were gone. I started thinking about you very often recently, not that you were ever far from my thoughts during these 2 years.

there were increasing reports of suicide cases, talks of depression. it is good that more are coming out of their closets to share about their experiences in depression, it is becoming less of a stigma. and it is really good that more awareness is raised, and more understanding is achieved of this giant monster that can be so difficult to shoo away. we both know it so well. maybe that is why I started thinking about you again, started asking questions again. those same questions that I asked when I saw you in the brown box, and at this point, still trying hard to find answers. I thought I’ve surrendered these questions to God, I thought I’ve laid them all down at His feet. I guess they hang around, and creep up from time to time.. ambiguous loss that occurred suddenly is always painful, very painful esp. when I don’t know why, how, where and when, esp. when there are so much should haves, could haves, and what ifs. after 2 years, I still couldn’t believe that you were gone, gone for good. i’m starting to think that perhaps i’ll never come to a resolution, but maybe that’s ok, maybe there are just no resolution for some things in life. I felt better, in fact relieved to accept that I don’t need answers, I don’t need to resolve this.

you’d have wished me to forget the pain of losing you, you’d wished for me to let time heal the pain, move on, and fade in my memory and thoughts of you. but how can I? when I went to watch a play at the NLB, I remembered watching spectacular fireworks with you & E. when I went to AX, I remembered the time we met up for a jog. when I passed by WC, I remembered the times I visited you at your place. that day with PM event at the mall near my place, I thought of you. I even thought I saw faces among the crowd that look like you. there are memories of you everywhere. how can you ever fade in my memory? our friendship has left a permanent branding on me.

after coming across this post, I had new insights while trying to make sense of your death. and thinking back of the periods I myself had depression, I think I can finally have closure on the ‘why’. the why depression took you. my questions had been how could you leave a world where you could easily find delight in the littlest of things. how could you leave behind the people whom you loved so much, whom you devoted your 200%. how could you have given up on your own life when you see the good in everyone and see lives as precious. but you could because depression had you believed that you made this world a less pleasant place, it had you believed that the people whom you love will be happier without you, it had you believed the world is a better place without you. you could because you want to make this world better again, you want to make the people whom you love happier. it is always in you to make the world a better place, to make people around you happier. you would want to be able to do anything to make life better, and to make people smile.

back in uni days, when I had my darkest period, hiding in my dark hostel room all day long, crying my eyes out,  you were the hostel mate who would press your face against my door to hear if I was still alive, even if it meant looking silly. you were the one who kept slipping notes and cards underneath my door, encouraging me to talk, assuring me that I wasn’t alone. you were the one who patiently waited outside my door with a cup of warm milk, till I was ready to open the door, and when I did, you shed tears of relief. with your soft voice asking me to drink up and sleep, and tears streaming down your cheeks, I felt comforted that a friend was willing to cry with me, and feel my pain too. you were the one who gave me the space to cry it all out and work it all out. you were the only one who cried at my wedding because you were with me at my most broken state of relationship, and your great heart was utterly moved by how God restored that brokenness in the union.

you had always been willing to do anything, anything at all to make it all better. even if it means sacrificing your life. how could I think you were being selfish. you were not. you were just trying to make things better. how could I even think that you were weak. you were not. you were strong, you were brave.

I wished that I could stand by you to fight the depression monster like you did with me, but it wasn’t enough. I wished that you had not believe what depression had you believed. because those are all not true. the world is dimmer because your great personality is not shining anymore. the people whom you loved are not happier because you are not around. the world is not better because less love goes around from your big heart. my life is less warm because you are not in it anymore.

from now till I see you again in heaven, i’ll be missing you, and loving you, z.




a moment

caught this sight in the midst of chores, and I paused, and then lingered longer to just absorb this moment. as I stared at this lil’ bun who’s growing up so fast, I can’t help  having tears welling up in my eyes, and my heart aches a lil’, yet again. it seemed like just yesterday that I was cradling a tiny wee infant who depended on me for life, sustenance, love & comfort, entirely. now he’s often seated there by himself, coloring or driving vehicles.

ah, the constant conflict a parent struggles – rejoice over milestones, and delight at the growing independence, yet heart aches for the yesterdays that have past, and missing the total reliance

sb 9


he was pulled by the shirt. he was forced to kiss her. his hands were pushed away. what he was playing were constantly being snatched away. toys were periodically being stuffed in his face. his hair being pulled without a moment of warning. he was randomly pushed away suddenly. all this while, I was trying to constantly intervene but split seconds of my inattention, my poor bun was terrorised in this manner for a duration of 3hrs. and all this while, bun was trying to be a gentleman, trying to stay calm, till he took it no more, and burst in tears after his hair was pulled the 2nd, or the 3rd time. object of utter bouts of passion’s mom looking very apologetic, came to stroke his cheeks while sobbing in my arms. then came these words:

“oh its ok, its ok, you good boy right? just pulled a little bit, not very painful hor, its ok right”

my cheeks started to get hot, my heart thumping faster, and I thought fire was about to spew out of my mouth, but I found a rock stuck in my throat. I wanted to give a death stare, and just leave the scene. but I just stood there, holding my hurting, crying bun, silent, stumped for words.

IT IS NOT OK, dear mom. not ok for your daughter to terrorize my son. not ok for you to not intervene and stop her. not ok that you allow her to have these actions. not ok that she inflicts hurt. not ok to tell my son that it’s ok. not ok to dismiss my son’s emotions. I know you probably didn’t mean ill, and most likely not know how else to respond but you needed to respond. But it is still not ok to say its ok because you don’t know any better.

“it’s ok” is one of the least helpful things to say. in saying that, emotions are dismissed, feelings not acknowledged & validated, matters are just made worse. so pls if in any case, you don’t know what to say, it’ll be better to just be there. sometimes silence brings more comfort than any word can.


i have an addiction. an addiction to late night sleeping. more correctly put, addiction to the peace and silence that late night offers.

no sounds of drilling and pounding from the construction site next to me. no loud voices of children screaming and shouting, crying and clamouring for my attention. not much sounds from vehicles (only the occasional irritating loud boom from this motorbike!). no inner voices in my head reminding me tonnes of tasks to complete, needs to meet, and things to remember. no bustle of routine, errands, music, laughter, singing, dancing.

just silence, peace, tranquillity, with only mild sounds of crickets, and the soft hustle of breeze.

so when bedtime is done, and all else is done, and the night grows more silent, even though I’m exhausted and sleepy, I just can’t sleep. I can’t bear to let the silent night slip away in early slumber. I just can’t allow time for myself to waste away before the bustle of next day begins again. this is the time where I can re-focus, recharge in peace, refresh in silence, reflect in solitude.

while I love the warmth & bustle of day, and everything that comes with it, I too love the cool, silent night and all that it helps to bring things back into equilibrium, and allows me to face tomorrow with renewed strength.

“In repentance and rest is your salvation, in quietness and trust is your strength” ( Isaiah 50:15)