Aunty Chong Foo wrote this wonderful and moving article for today's bulletin. I thought i would post it up for all you guys who didn't manage to get to read it today and for all those youths from other congregations who attended the YDP last year. Hope you guys will take the time to read it and to remember. =)
In Christ We Serve,
It has been seven months since you left us suddenly and prematurely. All of us who knew you were shocked and grieved by the suddenness of your passing. You left as unexpectedly as you had arrived. I still recall that Sunday more than 16 years ago when I passed by Uncle Steven congratulating your parents. When I asked what the well wishes were for, I found out that it was for you – the late surprise package. But for reasons only God knows, you were called back way too soon.
We are saddened by your demise but the grief we feel is nothing compared to what your family is going through. They have lost a son, a brother, a grandson, a nephew, a cousin. The void left by your passing is so huge that it will take a long time for them to come to terms with it. I don’t profess to fathom the depths of sorrow that they are experiencing but if my own feelings can be used as a gauge, then I’d venture to say that the hole you left behind is the size of
I hope and pray that your family continues to rely on God. Though they put up a stoic front for each other and for us, they are struggling within themselves. I’ve known you since you were a baby; I’ve watched you grow and witnessed your precociousness. If I still feel the pain of losing you, I imagine that your family members are feeling it a thousand times more.
Though you are gone, you are far from forgotten. Sometimes one of the youths who sit where you usually sat at the front reminds me of you. Something about the hair and shoulders would make me think of you.
I pass by your old school every weekday when I send Su Yen to school. Each time I pass by, I think of you. Su Yen remembers the time she saw you waiting outside the school fence and occasionally she’d pipe up, “Benjamin Koko last time wait there.”
During the last home zone meeting which was held at my house, I was just thinking that if you were here, you’d be sitting at the sofa with a big grin. You’d be wearing that checked t-shirt you seemed to like so much. If we were playing games, you’d be one of the most vociferous.
Why did God claim you back so soon, Ben? We have no answers. But you left us for a better place, clichéd though it may be. We who remain on earth continue our sojourn and I can tell you our journey is wrought with life’s challenges. We encounter potholes, bumps and boulders but God has promised us that He will help us navigate the treacherous terrain. For your family, the major concern is getting on with their lives without you. It’s not easy for them. Places, things, food and activities that you like would remind them of you. In the still of the night, when memories come flooding back, the pain is all the more acute. I can say with certainty that all these will come to pass one day, though when that will be, I have no idea. There’s no time-table for grief. Some people come out of it sooner, some take a longer time. Whatever it is, your family isn’t alone. They have each other, they have us. Crying, talking, remembering can be therapeutic, these we do to help the grieving process.
Though you are gone, you’ll always have a place in our hearts. Till we meet on the heavenly shores.