I will never forget this place because it is and will be a special place for me.
To many, this place holds sad memories of sending a loved one off on their final journey. To me, it is a place I frequent for work and ministry since the tender age of 24. This place is where I fulfil my calling and duty of reaching out and of doing my best to provide bereavement services to the public. This is also the place where fond memories with colleagues who came and left were formed. I’ll never forget the inside jokes we used to crack in an attempt to perk ourselves up given the sudden surge in the number of funerals we had to do.
Walking down memory lane, this place is also where I spent the saddest moment of my life. I remember things happening so quickly, I remember needing to still function professionally despite what was happening as there were still family members I needed to tend to. (And thank you (the family) for being so understanding) Reporters being reporters were trying to cover the juiciest stories that they could. I refused to be interviewed, refused to say anything, fearing that they might twist whatever I say into something else that wasn’t true. I wanted to protect the privacy of the family members I still had to serve, but the reporters wouldn’t let it go. This reminded me of a Korean drama – Pinocchio where untrue news reported caused the demise of a guy.
I tried to be strong. No matter how strong of a person though and no matter how emotionless I might portray myself to be, I am but a human. We (my colleagues and I) reported to the police in an attempt to stop the reporters. The reporters ran away before the police came. The funeral proceeded smoothly and I was done with my job then.
It was there and then that I crumbled. I sat on the pavement at Mandai Crematorium and wailed my eyes out. I was devastated.. I was immensely sorry and I was also paying for a mistake not made intentionally or purposely but yet I had to bear all of it because, just because it has to be so. It felt as though my world came tumbling down.
I was lost, scared and sad all at once. I had so much bottled within me and crying my soul out in public was the only expression I could afford given the amount of stress I was put through. I remember my legs going weak with the immeasurable pain and anguish I was going through. How was I going to get through this? The police then, sat on the pavement beside me and told me gently “Miss, you have to calm down; this too shall pass”. He probably thought I was suicidal or what but he was kind enough to sit there beside me. If that police officer happened to be reading this, I want to say a big thank you for just being there. He didn’t have to sit on the pavement beside me to ensure I was okay emotionally but he did so nonetheless.
I am not trying to say I am super noble, don’t get me wrong. These are just my honest thoughts. Many of you kind souls (people who reached out to me) have been asking how I am and so I thought it would be alright to come out of the closet a little. To those who have been constantly checking in on me, or even praying for me, thank you. Thank you for being the beacons of light, no matter how seemingly inconsequential. Your kindness has kept me going and I thank God, thank you for that.