Till we meet again.

February 05, 2014

My alarm rang loudly, waking me up from my dreams. Ugh, presentation day, I thought. I did my usual morning routine of checking and replying messages before finally getting out of bed to prepare for school. I left out one message - it was a message from my mom asking if I'm awake. I thought nothing of it because it's very usual of my mom to request me to help her with something that she had forgotten the night before.

While I was plugging in my earpiece and leaving for school, my mom called. "Are you on your way to school?" she asked. I told her impatiently that I was in a rush, I didn't want to be late for my presentation. However, what she said next changed everything.

"Your eldest aunt's eldest son passed away."

I was in shock. I couldn't react. You know all those drama serials depicting someone dropping his phone after receiving such news? I always thought, wa so drama ah, won't happen in real life one la! But that was the reaction I had. I didn't drop my phone, but I froze. I didn't know what to do next. I refused to believe it. How could it be?

He was such a strong man. He was just transiting in Malaysia and meeting up with my extended family two weeks back! They were even planning to visit us in Singapore at the end of this year. No, it couldn't be. It has to be a sick joke. It just has to be. But the logical side of me knew that there was no way my mom would joke about this. Reality set in, and I broke down. I cried on my way to school, and rushed home after my presentation.

There were, and still are, many questions in my mind, so many answers I can't find. I don't wish to reveal too much on such a public platform but the news came as such a big shock to everyone. Nah, big shock is an understatement. Nobody knew what went wrong.

Yet, in just a night,
A mother lost her favourite son.
A step-father lost his best friend.
A brother lost his traveling companion.
A sister lost her eldest brother.
A family mourned for the loss of yet another individual.
Friends lost their chance to say their last goodbye.
The judo community lost an incredibly talented player.
New Zealand lost an amazing and committed athletic.
The world lost an inspiration to many, a man loved by many.

But reading the messages written to him warms my heart. It's wonderful to hear of the little things he did that touched people's life or made people laugh, to know that my cousin was such a great man when he was alive. It's also nice to see my family coming together to support one another but I wish it didn't have to take a tragic event for me to see this.

A, you were not even 30 yet; it's weird to even think of you this way. We haven't spoken in years, and honestly, even though you crossed my mind sometimes, I never really asked about you or took the initiative to start a conversation with you. Maybe I should have. Maybe we all should have. But maybe doesn't change anything now. I wish things didn't have to end this way but I hope you're in a better place and have found peace now. You've fought a good fight. Rest in peace. We miss you so much.


Updated on 7 Feburary 2014.

My cousin had traveled to Bulgaria for a judo competition, where he passed away earlier this week. Insurance doesn't cover the bringing of his body back home, therefore, it costs approximately $30 000 to bring his body back. I hope you can all help to bring him home. Any amount of donation will be greatly appreciated and even the smallest amount counts.

Even if you're unable to donate, my family and I will be really thankful if you can help to spread this message. However, I request for everyone to refrain from asking too many questions as my cousin's passing is still fresh, and it's a very sensitive topic for my family and I.

Thank you all so much.

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