“Loving can hurt, loving can hurt sometimes
But it’s the only thing that I know
When it gets hard, you know it can get hard sometimes
It is the only thing that makes us feel alive”
As I was commuting to work while listening to Ed Sheeren on Spotify, I teared up a little as I sang along to the lyrics; ‘when it gets hard, you know it can get hard sometimes’ and realise that there is so much truth in it. It gets hard not sometimes but every time. Every time that I chanced upon a Facebook memory or an Instagram archive pops up. And I would wonder, what if one day…
I had forgotten how does your voice sound like?
I had forgotten what was your favourite colour?
I had forgotten what was your favourite food?
I had forgotten about the nicknames that you used to call me?
I had forgotten about your favourite toy?
I had forgotten about the memories we shared?
I had forgotten how do you look like?
That’s my biggest fear that one day, I will forget how you look like or sound like; and that when we meet again in heaven and I am unable to recognise you. It’s a fear that I find it difficult to get rid of, and up till today, my lock screen shows a photo of us.
Soon it will be the third Christmas without you, and it still hurts as badly as the first Christmas without you.
Our room still looks the same. Till today; I have not found the courage to move your bed out. Before your death, we talked about my plans to redesign the room and to finally have a room to myself after 24 years. But the plans remained as plans and it never became a reality at all. It pains me to rearrange the furniture. And I have no idea nor any explanation why it hurts so badly each time I think about moving your bed out.
Last year; while applying for a job I had to fill in the portion titled ‘Emergency Contact Details’. Without thinking, I wrote your name and mobile number. For years, you were always my emergency contact as we figured out that should anything happened; you would have been able to deal with it calmly and there wasn’t a need for our parents to over-worry or panic.
I stared at the form; I knew something was wrong but I could not figure out what was wrong. It took me an entire day before I realised that “Oh wait! She is dead. A dead person cannot be my emergency contact.”
Months later, upon commencement of the new job. Everything seems perfect, the environment and colleagues were fabulous, and I thought to myself; “Kimberley would have been proud of me for making the switch!” Till one fine day, the HR personnel approached me and said; “Sorry Phylicia, we would need you to help us to refill this form.”
In case you’re wondering, the form was the standard HR form that requires us to state the contact number of our parents/ spouses and siblings. Under siblings, I wrote; “Kimberley Lim, Sister (Deceased).” A week later, the same HR person returned the form to me and asked me to refill in a new copy of the form. I wrote the same thing, only to have the HR personnel returned me the form again for the third time. This time round she said; “Do help us to check if there is anything wrong with regards to your siblings and parents details.”
I paused for a moment, and said; “There is nothing wrong with the details and yes my sister is deceased.” The HR personnel face changed and walked away as quickly as a gazelle.
Up till today, it gets difficult talking about your death to people that knew me after April 18, 2018. Not only about your death, but it gets difficult sometimes if people asked; “ Are you an only child?”, “Oh, what does your sister work as?”
The number of times that I had to pinch myself to avoid saying; “ Oh my sister works as a guardian angel for GOD!” is countless. I often wonder what do you work as in heaven? Are there jobs in heaven?
“I’ll only be one call away. I’ll be there to save the day.”
I still wish that you’ll only be one call away, but we have terminated your mobile line, and your number has been reused and I can’t send random text messages to you when I am feeling sad. A friend of mine said this; “ It is important to know that she is in a happy place now, no longer in pain. Keep the happy memories in your heart, and let the number go.”
How apt that I’m writing this on 2nd November 2020: All Souls Day. A day to commemorate the faithfully departed. On this day, I pray and hope that you are enjoying your job in heaven and to always have the strength to live boldly; most importantly to never forget how you look like or sound like.