Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Remembering A Friend

A death in a family is a sad event but I don’t call it stressful as what others would think. The death of my mom wasn’t difficult as I am pleased that she didn’t have to suffer much from cancer apart from the last few weeks when her organs were shutting down day by day. One evening, I received news of a friend who also died of cancer but at a very young age. My friend Andrienne Wong, is a strong, loving and powerful woman. I’m sorry to hear of her death. She’s a sister to my best friend, Adrian Wong, and having to confront with such news is especially painful. I have dealt with such sudden disruption when both my mom and dad passed away.

Death is part of life. Someone once told me that there are two things in life that we cannot escape; one is our taxes and the other is death. I have experienced the earlier and I know with the latter, death is a part of life’s cycle. We will one day lose the people we love, and the universal question is, “How do we get through this?”

Grieving the loss of our loved ones is a long process that may take time but with my mom I was prepared when the day I was told of her cancer. I prayed and asked that my mom could have a quality life and that the highest of the above to allow her to enjoy as long as she can while prolonging the battle of the big ‘C’. Then I also asked during her last few weeks that she don’t have to suffer and to take her away. I was happy that the highest of the above heard my prayers and have my wishes answered.

Grieving the loss of a friend or a loved one takes time, even when the death was expected. As a friend to Andrienne Wong, I experience many emotions, including shock and disbelief that she’s gone, when I thought she was recovering. I’m experiencing many emotions, anger of “How could this happen?” and guilt of ‘did I do enough to help her?” which eventually the emotions swell and subside, over and over. With my dad’s death, I experienced an emotional roller coaster of ups and downs and I hid it so well away from friends. I trust time does heal and we have to trust the process.

We remember our loved ones and our friends who are no longer with us here, but touched our lives with their presence and their love and are with us in spirit. We remember our loved ones on their birthdays, on special occasions and on anniversary dates or even just because they are heavy on our hearts today. I remember my friend Andrienne Wong, it's true, and she was truly loved. From the moment I met her, she had an immediate impact on me. She was smart, funny, outgoing and so full of ideas. She was eager to share her story and passionate about raising awareness of the unique issues. She was positive and upbeat but she was all, ‘a ray of sunshine’ in a very “real” way. I always appreciated her way of asking me questions, straight to the point and wry sense of humor.

She had full of determination and organized, a loving mother and serious about the things that she’s determined to do. She managed to manifest everything she feared and I value all the good that Andrienne had done in making a difference to others, some big and some small differences. I choose to remember the good times with her that enriches me even now and I share her direct and honest approach, especially when confronted with questions about my colorful life.

I may have rambled so much but it takes a lot to know a friend and to cherish the times we shared before the enrollment and after AsiaWorks. Andrienne maintained a positive attitude and even much stronger in dealing with the excruciating pain. Her smile and her eyes makes you aware that she wants to end her journey with a purpose. That was Andrienne… just one more thing to do….one more look at you….one more laugh… one more hug….one more I love you….and one more farewell… Thank you, Andrienne Wong, for sharing so much of your self with us. We miss you!

"It takes a minute to find a special person, an hour to appreciate them, a day to love them and a lifetime to forget them."

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