“Sometimes, you will never know the value of a moment until it becomes a memory” – Dr. Seuss.
Many people from different walks of lives strolled into the multi- purpose hall; with a heavy heart. Gripping tightly to the packet of tissue in their hands, as they tried their best to control their tears as they paid their last respect to Kimberley.
Some of those that came, were astonished to learn that my sister had passed away, especially when they had bumped into her in the neighbourhood just a few days back. Many never knew that the last time they met, or the last time they quarrelled would have been the last memory they had with Kimberley.
No doubt, it was tiring for family members to constantly repeat what she had to go through during her 2.5 years battle with colon cancer. Every cloud has a silver lining, and in this case: it was heart-warming to hear the laughter and see the smiles on their faces as they shared their favourite and fond moments with my sister.
Hearing the stories of my sister and how her outgoing personality has touched the lives of many, made me proud to call her my sister. I never once told her that I was I was proud to have her as my older sister, but now it’s too late.
“Stay Strong”- two words that are commonly heard at wakes and funerals yet nobody knows what does those two words actually means.
Throughout the period of the wake, many close friends, teachers, family members send their condolences and told me to continue to stay strong; to stay strong for my parents and for my family.
But yet, nobody told me what does “Stay Strong” means.
Was it to cry or not to cry?
Was it too grief over my sister’s death or to pretend that I’m not affected by her death?
Over time, I learnt that pretending to be ok, and not crying is going to hurt me more than my sister’s death. A good friend of mine said this to me “ Cry if you must, grief if you must. After that stand even stronger”. That statement kept me thinking and that when I realise, staying strong does not mean pretending to be ok, and not cry. But, it’s about how you pick yourself up when you fall.
Life after the death of a loved one is definitely going to be different. There is going to be the feeling of emptiness, the feeling of being lost especially during special occasions like birthdays. There will be days that we missed them more than usual, and tears would flow uncontrollably; however as much as we missed our loved ones, our loved ones certainly misses us too. They will always be in our hearts forever.
Don’t pretend to be ok; we are all humans after all. We are allowed to be overwhelmed, be sad, and be broken. But just remember to pick yourself up after the fall and to live boldly.
“Death leaves a heartache that no one can heal,
but love leaves a memory that no one can steal.”