Rest in Peace.

There’s always something about death that affects me.

The first time I’ve come close to death was when my great-grandmother passed away. I was only nine years old then. I wasn’t even close to my great-grandmother, but I found myself walking out of the room and sobbing in the kitchen.

Along the years, a number of deaths have occurred that concerned my family. Death of relatives, death of my parents’ friend’s parent. And I’ve come to find none of these death affecting me the way when my great-grandmother passed.

While praying to my grandfather yesterday at the temple though, my aunt said out loud “to” my grandfather to “keep my grandmother safe”. I heard that, and I suddenly had a wave of emotion and felt like crying right there and then. My grandmother have been admitted to the hospital slightly more than a week now.

But all of these were to be expected – my reaction to my own relatives falling ill, passing on.

Nothing surprised me more than how my mind went whirling when I heard the news about one of our founding fathers passing away early this morning.

I hadn’t known how much I was affected until I read the articles all over my Twitter timeline and having tears welling up in my eyes. And all I can think of right now is that it’s really such a pity that our founding father couldn’t have lived through our national day to see the fiftieth year of our nation’s independence.

I was never really patriotic for most years of my life. But it took one of our founding fathers on the verge of passing on and finally passing on to remind myself – this country wouldn’t be such a developed country if not for this very man. This country would have continued being a kampong if not for the contributions of this very man.

I suppose, this point I’m trying to make in this post is…

Thank you, Mr Lee, for everything that you’ve done for this nation. You’ve built it up from scratch, almost, and you’ve made it flourish into something that nobody would have expected fifty years ago. You’ve given your all to make this country what it is now, and really, you’ve been brilliant!

I am unable to list down everything that you’ve done for this little red dot, but know this, I salute you. We salute you. And thank you again, for this country wouldn’t be the same without your perseverance and efforts.

Rest in Peace, Mr Lee Kuan Yew.


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