I have been following the dragon boating tragedy closely.
If you havn't heard this story, you're probably not Singaporean. Read here.
It really saddened me to see 5 young mens' lives get "snuffed" out like that. My first reaction was self reflection on the fragility of life, my second, for the parents of these young men, and my third in the futile dwelling of the lost lives, achievements, dreams, hopes of these five people.
Strangely, the latter is the most haunting aspect of death, at least for me. I imagine where this guys could have gone with their lives, what they could have been, who they could have loved, who could have loved them back.What follows that thought, is an instant of helplessness, and futility. Mortality jolts me awake from this thought, and the vicious cycle continues again.
I had a deep desire to attend these men's memorial service, which was held yesterday. I was obviously not alone. Over 1000 people turned up. Unfortunately, work concerns were too heavy and I could not. As I was flipping through the obituaries, I realised one of the dragon boaters, CPL Chee Wei Cheng, was from my army unit, 1AMB, and I have vague recollections of meeting him. I'm not sure where in camp, but it might have been a very inappreciable event. Still, I feel sorry, even now.
To all these fine young men, for what it is worth, I salute you. I salute you for rowing under the Singapore flag, and doing us proud (even when most of us, never knew you did), I salute you for the extraordinary lives you would probably have led, and I salute you for bringing together so many people. Rest in peace.
I spent the morning looking for an appropriate song and this is it.
Title: Sarah McLachlan - Arms Of An Angel lyrics
Spend all your time waiting for that second chance For the break that will make it ok There's always some reason to feel â€œnot good enoughâ€? And it's hard at the end of the day I need some distraction, oh beautiful release Memories seep from my veins They may be empty and weightless, and maybe I'll find some peace tonight
In the arms of an Angel, fly away from here From this dark, cold hotel room, and the endlessness that you fear You are pulled from the wreckage of your silent reverie You're in the arms of an Angel; may you find some comfort here
So tired of the straight line, and everywhere you turn There's vultures and thieves at your back The storm keeps on twisting, you keep on building the lies That you make up for all that you lack It don't make no difference, escaping one last time It's easier to believe In this sweet madness, oh this glorious sadness That brings me to my knees
In the arms of an Angel, far away from here From this dark, cold hotel room, and the endlessness that you fear You are pulled from the wreckage of your silent reverie In the arms of an Angel; may you find some comfort here
Ming, pardon me. I didn't know about this tragedy until I came to your blog. Deepest condolences for the loss of your beloved countrymen.
"I imagine where this guys could have gone with their lives, what they could have been, who they could have loved, who could have loved them back..."
When I read the above statements, I couldn't help but put down everything I was doing and started to think.
I think about life and I think about people who I love and people who care about me.
Life is so fragile...and the song has almost made me cry.