Two days ago — while the world still spun on, and people went about their daily routines — something changed. Most of us didn’t even know it when it happened, but we lost a dear friend and sister to a terrible and almost inexplicable accident. While tears may eventually run dry, I don’t think this ache and little hole that you filled in my life will ever go away. For the past two days, I have been running through memories of you in my head, trying to collect every single one, mark them as ‘Important’ and store them somewhere safe. Out of all the memories, it’s always the little ones that we will miss the most — your impromptu hugs, your nicknames for different people, your funky blue shoes which I can’t help but stare at everytime, your general blurness and willingness to believe the most outrageous things.
I had the privilege of giving a eulogy at the service yesterday, and below is what I said — albeit through tear-soaked eyes and a very wobbly voice.
Yesterday, a reminder popped up on my phone just as my mum broke the sad news to me — it said “Reminder: Bible study with Angel”. At that point, it was too painful to look at, but now as I think about it, it really reflects on how much I have had the privilege to see Angel grow as a Christian all these years, such that a few months ago she agreed to study the bible together even though she just began poly and was pretty busy.
One of my first memories of Angel was a little blur girl who thought cow’s meat was “pork” and pig’s meat was “beef”! I was so surprised and tickled that someone could actually think that. Eventually, I started calling her “Beef” and she called me “Pork”. Already, I miss her smile and her hugs, and her calling out “Pok Pok!” when she sees me. Not all of us may know her very well, but I’m sure everyone especially in our church youth and young adults group will remember fondly her cheerfulness, her kindness and the funny way she would stare at us when we asked her a difficult question during group discussions.
It’s a great testament that the last time I got to spend with her was doing a bible study session together, where we learnt about how we are able to love because Christ first loved us. For many here, I know that some of their recent memories are of Angel treating them to some sashimi for dinner, which again shows her loving heart and generosity. For many years, we were in the same discipleship group and although she was quiet, what she shared was always encouraging and sincere. I remember her sharing once that she was troubled by her Christian friends who were not acting like they were Christians, and that because of that she wanted to be a good testimony to people around her by trying to live a life that would please God. Since the time that Angel came to BAY (our church youth group), many of us have seen how she has grown from the slightly blur, unsure girl to some who wants to share the gospel with her friends in school, and who has blessed many of us by her words and actions.
These are some words Angel wrote in a previous letter to one of my friends that are a good reminder to all of us, and also a wonderful way to remember our dear friend and sister. “I’m reminded recently… especially the fact that God has a masterplan for me in life and that I should not be too focused on what I want and neglect the fact that what God wants for me is more critical.”
Jesus said, “I am the resurrection and the life. Whoever believes in me, though he die, yet shall he live, and everyone who lives and believes in me shall never die. Do you believe this?” — John 11:25-26
Angel believed this, and I believe this. Even in this time of helplessness and grief, we take comfort in the fact that Angel was a child of God, and that one day, we will see her again with our Father in heaven. Beef, I miss you so much, but I look forward to seeing you again in the place where there will be no more sadness, tears or pain.