Wednesday, October 27, 2010


What do friends mean to you?

When I was little girl, a friend means someone who would share their crayons, barbie dolls and toys with me. Friends are people who enjoy spending their play time with me and invite me for their Birthday Parties.

As I grow, the definition of friends became more complex. Friends are common but good friends are rare. We can have more than 500 friends on Facebook but we can only maintain 5 close friendships, in actual. And although you have five close friends, it doesn't mean that you are comfortable to share your private thoughts with them. I just don't know why. Maybe, if I disclose my own side of story, I'm afraid the wrong words would come out. Or, is it that I'm afraid that people would judge me, inwardly. Probably, there wasn't enough trust to hold on to in the first place.

My senior reminded me, one of the reasons why people are looking for counselors to talk about their problems is because they do not see anyone in their lives to give them the unconditional positive regard from their social support. They might have experienced so many criticisms from their closest friends that they withdrew from their social support and opt to seek professional help in the end.

Well, it gave me some food for thought. It is not about giving advice to someone who needs comfort. Rather, it is our willingness to be there for them when they need a listening ear. More often than not, if I'm not careful, my mind formulates advices and 'what to say next' even before the person finishes his/her sentences. Active listening actually takes a large amount of patience. And this is one of the skills that I need to improve.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Goodbye .....

When I was told about my cousin's death, I was not sure how to respond to it at first. I was quite confused because everything has happened so quickly for the past few days. And there's not much space to get a breather. After I heard the news, I tried to recall the last moments and the conversations I had with my cousin. Because he is 20 plus older than I am, I know him my whole life. When I was younger, he gave me an odd nickname, pulled my ears occasionally and told ghost stories to scare the wits out of me. He gradually treated me a little nicer later on. But, behind his 'playful' character, he was a man of responsibility and a person who cares very much for his own family. He was a generous person, who treated us good Ipoh food and scrumptious Chinese course dinners every Chinese New year. :)

It is a devastating news to know that he passed away in his early 40's. It seems so early, too soon.
The doctor said it was liver failure because he showed signs of jaundice and weight lost. etc.
Whatever the reason might be, I am once reminded of how fragile our lives can be. We might be healthy in the morning and by the evening, death may be knocking at our doors. Which makes me wonder if I need to re-examine my own priorities and values in life. Chasing our dreams like getting a job or owning our dream home is probably something that we would like to have one day. But, I am more worried that in the midst of busyness, self-centered ambitions and uncontrolled greed, the heart might grow cold. For when I leave this earth, no one would really bother to know or ask what I have achieved, what my academic qualifications are, what kind of job I have etc. but they will remember what I have done for them, whether I have showed care and love genuinely. From today onwards, my daily question would be "What am I doing that I can make a difference in the lives of others?" So, when the right time comes for me to leave this earth, I am sure that I have touched one or two lives and lived life to the fullest. ;) In the end, it is people that matters. As for now, I live with a grieving heart.

Writing bout Grief. (taken from another unknown writer)

Smile and the world smiles with you. Cry and you cry alone.

I think grief is a very private emotion. Unlike most other basic human emotions which find comfort in expression. Like joy. Or happiness. Or good cheer. Which you can share. Spread around like some magical shimmering fairy light. Or say anger. And hatred. You let it out. Express your self and feel relieved. And then there is love. Which always needs to be expressed and shared for it to grow and bear fruit.

But grief is in a different league altogether. Because it cannot be shared. Or expressed. Or understood by anyone else. And you live it everyday. Through broken dreams and faltering faith. Through unshed tears and dying hope. And yet, I don't want your pity. Or words of comfort saying it will be alright. Which is why I want to be left alone in my grief.

Tread softly because you tread upon my dreams.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Life's Brief Candle

Life is brief and fragile.
Who on earth can live more than 100 years? How fleeting life is.
I can never know when my last day on earth would be.
Or tell when a person will pass away.
Life, death, eternity.
The only thing that separates life and death is a comma.
The only thing that separates death and eternity is a comma.
A punctuation mark that indicates to the reader to pause briefly..just a short while and then, move on.
It isn't a full stop that separates these three.
And because it is only a breather between life and death,
Life is undeniably seen to be short and close to death.
And our bodies are just the shells of us which we would have to leave behind one day.
One day, we are healthy,
and by the next day, we might turn into white ashes and our family grieves.

If life is this short, then, we ought to be grateful for every new day and live life to the fullest.