Friday, July 14, 2006

Sharing Nugget #2

#2: Cherish your loved ones. And never hold back any words of appreciation or encouragement to them.

It is now appropriate to share the story of my friend, Lionel Lim, the Commando Officer who passed away on 20/06/2006.

I received a sms from a friend that late afternoon, breaking the news. I was shocked. I had just met up with Lionel the week before, after 2 years. When I rushed down to Changi Hospital, he was lying in a ward, already pronounced dead. His face was grey, and his mouth was still opened as if gasping for breath. A resuscitation tube was still sticking out of his mouth. That sight haunted me the whole night.

The next night, I went to his wake. It hit me hard that I am attending a wake of a friend who is of my age. It was very hard to take. My friends around me were exchanging polite banter, but I could not speak. When I saw Lionel lying in his coffin, dressed in smart No. 1 uniform, I just broke into tears. But at least then, he looked as if he was sleeping. Rest in peace Lionel.

I did not attend his funeral - for 2 reasons. Firstly, I do not think I am strong enough to take his last passing – the moment he is wheeled in to be cremated. I want to remember him lying there peacefully, still sleeping. Not be wheeled in to burn. Secondly, it was the 2nd day of the Faci Workshop 2 I am conducting. I decide to dedicate the service that I am doing for the facilitators-to-be in honor of Lionel. It was hard. I had to appear light-hearted but my heart was really weighing me down. I thank my group for the kind words during the written individual feedback. It gave me energy to walk on.

Lionel’s passing was particularly hard for me to take. I wonder if I hadn’t met him the week before, would it be as tough? It was as if by fate gave the chance to bid him farewell. When we met, I managed to tell him about how I had always thought he has the discipline to maintain his fitness and he has the nicest tan of our batch, things that I wouldn’t have said when we were clubmates back in Singapore Polytechnic.

I take comfort that I managed to say sometime nice to him before the chance is gone forever.

Lionel has taught me a lesson in life although he has passed on. I learned that there is no reason to hold back something nice to say to a person. Any reason is just pettiness. Lionel’s girlfriend is a close friend of mine. Her lost reminds me that I should never stop cherishing my lived ones.

I will go to bed everynight knowing that if I lose somebody dear, I will have grief, but no regrets.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

i guess it really hit you hard.. especially since that you have just seen him the week before.. and it really made me think when u said that maybe it was fate that allowed u to say goodbye to him..

sorry that i was away that time and couldn't talk to u when you were feeling down..

life throws us funny little lessons all the time.. and this lesson teaches us to treasure our loved ones..

2:46 AM  

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