‘After the readings, you will be given some time for the eulogy. May I check who will be reading the eulogy? Her sister or her mother’
Sneaking in a glance at my mother’s facial expression, without much thought; I volunteered to read the eulogy. Perhaps, it was the adrenaline due to the lack of sleep but 3 years later as I looked back, I was surprised that I agreed to eulogy almost immediately despite having not a single knowledge on what to include in the eulogy and I consider myself a rather emotional person.
‘What should be included in the eulogy’
Being the typical millennial that is highly reliant on Google for answers; I googled ‘How do you write a eulogy without crying?’ As usual, Google hardly disappoints and there are several different samples. Among the first few results were a quote ‘You cannot write a eulogy without crying, it is all about memories. Do not look for a sample’
Writing the eulogy wasn’t an easy task, there were so many different things that I wanted to write about. I wanted it to be a speech that celebrated my sister’s life yet at the same time, sharing more about her personality and the bond that we shared. My sister was a person with different personas; to some, she was the ‘no -nonsense’ colleague while to her teachers she was the girl that is always playing soccer before school.
However, to me, she was the naggiest, fiercest but yet also the most overprotective older sister. As I wrote the eulogy, I kept crying non-stop. Being rather sentimental, I had second thoughts and wanted to back out from reading the eulogy; but I knew that this was perhaps the only chance to make my sister proud. Up till today, I still keep a copy of the eulogy in my wallet.
‘I was always my sister’s biggest worry and was also the reason why my sister continued to fight for her life as long as she could. She was afraid that I would go into depression because no words could describe the bond that we shared. Like what millennials would say, we were #sistergoals and many envied that we were so close’
3 years on, I still remembered that tears started to flow as soon I started reading the first line of the eulogy; ‘Thank you all for taking the time to come down over the past few days to celebrate Kimberley’s life’
Writing and sharing the eulogy required courage, whereas trying to continue living a life without an older sister requires me to be brave.
Days when tears will start flowing down my cheeks.
Days when I feel lonely and wished my sister was still alive.
Days when I wished we had more travel adventures together.
No doubt, it’s been three years but up till today; I still lived with guilt. As I always remember that I quarrelled with her on her last birthday. Before she passed away, she said; ‘Just pretend it happened on the 24th not 25th of February’
As much as I am trying to move on; there is still the guilt in me. But I know, it’s going to be a long process to eventually be guilt-free. I hope that the day I meet her in Heaven, I will be guilt-free by then and she will be proud of my growth.
‘Grow through what you go through‘
The eulogy; was just the beginning. It was the first step that I took to work towards living my life to the fullest while trying to make my sister proud. Before my sister died, I asked her if she had a second chance in life, would she had hoped that she did not have to battle cancer; and she said; ‘I would keep everything the same, including my battle with cancer. As you remember the moments that you spend with friends, the time that you lived for yourself and pushed your boundaries. Promise me that you will have the strength to live life at 120% and to live for me’
6 years ago, I was dealing with lots of build-up anger in me, as I could not accept that my sister was a cancer patient. 6 years later, I am no longer angry with God, but I’m thankful to have been by my sister’s side as she battled cancer because it changed the way that I interact with people.
If it was not for my sister’s battle with cancer, I would not have been able to provide a listening ear and crying buddy for a friend whose family member is going through a similar experience. I would not have been able to provide emotional and mental supports for friends and teachers that had also lost a loved one slightly after my sister’s death.
Most importantly, my sister’s battle taught me to have empathy, be compassionate and try to be the ‘bigger person’ when interacting with others. Even though everything may look fine on the surface level; we might not know what are the struggles that they are facing.
3 years since you breathed your last and I will always be thankful for the memories that complete my life.