A nation mourns
So the funeral and 10 eulogies for Mr Lee Kuan Yew that was broadcasted on national television just ended.
Even as I type this, there are people chanting his name along the road just outside my apartment. (The entourage just drove past our house en route to Mandai Crematorium where he'll be cremated.)
I was a little emotional once or twice in the week as I read the newspaper reports and articles chronicling his contribution to this country. He had done so much for us. It is incredible.
Without him and his team, I might not have the affordable, first class education that I've enjoyed these many years.
Without him and his team, I might be living in a slum, instead of this lovely apartment that I share with my family.
Without him and his team, I might not be able to type in fluent English on a laptop with a secure Internet connection right now.
Without him and his team, I might be starving instead of being able to have 3 square meals a day and more.
But more than just listing down his accolades, what I learnt most this past week was the fact that one should tell them you love them when they are alive.
As I queued up to pay my respects to him at Parliament House, there was a section where people could take small cards to write a little something to him. I didn't because I didn't see the point in that. He is already dead and gone, what good could writing a card do? Although I do understand that it is human nature to do so.
So I've resolved to try to tell the people around me how much I appreciate them today, as they are alive. I recently told two close friends of mine how much I appreciate their company and the deep conversations we have. Because I really do. They engage me, as a fellow Christian sister, in my journey as a gay Christian who's still exploring, still searching, still wondering about many issues - and that's a blog post for another day. For these friendships, I'm extremely grateful.
But even as I write this, a bigger paradox presents itself. I cannot bring myself to tell my fondest friend how much I truly like her. I don't know if it's a crush, it probably is, and perhaps that's why I'm not gonna do it.
It was strange today in service. The guest speaker was using an anecdote to encourage us to pursue our dreams. There was a young man who was hesitant to ask a girl out because he was afraid he'd be rejected. But the pastor said that he'd nothing to lose, because he didn't have the girl now, so even if she said no to him, it was no loss. But if she said, "Yes!"...
I immediately thought about her. But I do realise it is kind of different in my case. In my case I would risk losing a dear and carefully cultivated friendship. And I'd rather not lose that. So I suppose I'll be living in this tension for a little while more.