Wednesday, 5 July 2017


It is a wonderful part of the day. Little did I knew that the death of our loved ones can transform us like the coming of dawn. Birds still sing full-throated and flowers still bloom in droves. A new day. A new morning. Takes away the horrors of the night and dreads of yester-years. To live to the completion of our lives - fully, whatever it takes.

7 Jul: But life must be rebuilt - from scratch.

"As the dogs look to me as their universe so I look to God as mine - The Restorer and Sustainer"

Two goals for an aging warrior: a). Frequent meditative introspection to slow down and restore mental health and b). Adapt to physical change, which may certainly come suddenly or gradually.

"Surviving babies grow up and leave me behind and that's great. Only those who didn't remain with me." - Ikuya Ueta, pediatric surgeon

The response to "What's the meaning of your life?" will surprise you - its meaning is clear when you're prepared to face the end of it.

25 Jul: Can't believe it. Still in recovery from the shocks of last 5 years, slowly starting to think & feel normal - to get hold of my mind again.

"Master your feelings without wavering, and follow the path for you to the end" - Shiro Masuda, Master carpenter
"Eat and enjoy, it is your wish to the world that you want to live another day" - Hajime Yoneda, Master cook

25 Aug: Happy birthday! You'll never be older than me again 😥😚😃😅😉😍.

It was a surreal dream - met her and her mother together in their heavenly bodies. So young and new both so cheerful. The only word to describe them - young again!

1 Sep 2017: It will be 6 years from the fateful Thursday. Only memories now. The worst one can do in an estranged life is to wander aimlessly like a disembodied spirit. The mind must be uplifted by whatever means. To quote CS Lewis on his mother's death, "all settled happiness, all that was tranquil and reliable, disappeared...there was to be much fun, many pleasures, many stabs of joy; but no more of the old security. It was sea and islands now; the great continent had sunk..."
When I decided to marry I didn't realize all these were not vouchsafe. The emptiness still assaults every morning. I cannot sing with any conscience that "God is good, all the time." How?, when the terrors of separation from your closest love turn off the lights in every room.

10 Sep: Today I discovered that to overcome abject loneliness God must be in my heart - not just seeking Him at church or fellowship with believers. We thot keeping busy will blot out the empty space, but no - it's who do you replace in the void that's real.

18 Sep: First her stroke, then one by one the dogs failed heart-broken. Then the lonely struggle for recovery that never came. Finally her lungs failed. When will the process of desolation end? Even self destruction threatened with the accidental death of the most stalwart dogs. When will grief end?

First my parents.
But I accepted their deaths because they're older.
Then my friends.
But I accepted their passing since friends come and go.
Then my dogs' grim days.
But I accepted their shorter lifespans.
Then my wife vanished from earth without a final word.
And I struggled with it alone.
Finally it'll be me.
And there'll be no one left to accept it.

21 Oct 2017: "Itch habe genug" - from Bach's cantata Feast Mariae Reinigung (1727) of Simeon the elder. For most of our lives we carry the burdens - out of duty or probity. But at some time or other, like Simeon holding the newborn Christ in his eager arms, say that we've lived long and have enough.

27 Oct 2017: There're so many things I had wanted to do with Miranda, but I  didn't know that she'd leave so quickly. Today I'm told that to live on with our departed beloved we should build on our memories. I still remember lots of it - treasures.

12 Nov 2017: Since her absence I face demons. The evils of giving up and constant discouragement. But I'm reminded of her life so filled in time and space that there is never any option to quit. Climb every mountain, fork every stream- keep climbing until your last breath.

17 Nov 2017: The dragonfly always moves forward and never retreat. Those who live for the moment lives forever.

20 Nov 2017: So now there's the devil of widowhood and the deep blue sea of death which some may say is better. The latter is further from the truth. However the pressure to fight loneliness is fraught with pitfalls. Each day is ticking closer to the end and life is ever shorter. So I remind myself daily to proceed with caution. A widower attempting a reset is like a rocket making reentry.

"I'm still not ready to walk alone. But that I walked at all on this perilous journey...depends in a large part I received...for 30 years as one leans on a towering tree of the forest" - Philip Yancy 2009, In the Likeness of God (p23-26)

<End of post> next -- Ownership

"They also serve who only stand and wait." - John Milton (1673)

1 comment:

  1. Dear Mr Yap,

    I'm hoping to get in touch with you - is it possible to email me at

    Hoping to hear from you!