There are times when you just want the world to stop, but it doesn't, and so you continue, as does Yeoh Siew Hoon.
There are times when you just want the world to stop, but it doesn't, and so you continue.
There's a moment when the world falls silent for you but the noise outside continues.
When that moment comes, you may cry aloud but mostly, you weep inside and you grieve for what's been lost and you think of what could have been and you long for something so hard it almost hurts physically inside.
And then you reason it out and you accept it and you go through the rituals of loss but it stays like a solid heavyweight inside your heart.
You find yourself tearing at odd moments – the rustle of the leaves, the barking of a dog, the sound of a certain song, reading a newspaper, taking a walk.
This is all good, someone whispers in your ear. As you grieve, you give yourself solace.
There are some who say we should celebrate someone's life, not his passing.
Yes, it is important to honour legacy and celebrate talent but it is also important to mourn loss – it respects the individual who's gone before us because his passing has left a physical void in our lives.
And then you move on and try and pick up the pieces and you review your own life and you rethink priorities and you vow to do things better.
Here's what I learnt about death last week:
- Death impacts the living more than it does those already gone.
- Death gives the living a sense of urgency to do the things we've always said we would do. Hold onto to that sense of urgency, my friends. It's the rocket fuel in our lives.
- Death brings people together. Families who've been scattered, friends who've been too busy to catch up, old friendships are rekindled and new friendships, forged.
- Death spurs change.
- Death makes us think and create. Look at Joan Didion's "Year of Magical Thinking".
And after death, it's not about what we have, it's about what we've done and who we've touched. Yeoh Siew Hoon, one of Asia's most respected travel editors and commentators, writes a regular column on news, trends and issues in the hospitality industry for 4Hoteliers.com.
Siew Hoon, who has covered the tourism industry in Asia/Pacific for the past 20 years, runs SHY Ventures Pte Ltd. Her other writings can be found at www.thetransitcafe.com . Get your weekly cuppa of news, gossip, humour and opinion at the cafe for travel insiders.
WIT 2010: October 19-22 SUNTEC Singapore ~ www.webintravel.com