In this part of the world where I live, there’s been a huge shake up recently. In short, a young, local actor has passed away less than a week ago while on national duty. Here in Singapore, all young, healthy males have to serve a compulsory term of National Service for two years of their lives. Then, in the next 10 years (or so), you’ll be called up for reservist periodically. Depending on the vocation you’re in, some reservist sessions are more demanding than others. I’ve had friends who have gone back every year, and also friends who’ve never been called up.
So what happened to this young man was that he was crushed while fixing a Howitzer during an operation in New Zealand, trapped between the base of the gun barrel and the inside of said vehicle. Unfortunately for him, he had to endure days of pain and multiple surgeries, all of which were not enough to bring him home.
The public were livid. Of course, there’s always two factions. One arm was blaming the army and the government in general (this arm mostly consists of people who “know” him from his shows), and the other are fairly nonchalant, saying that there’s only such a big hoo-ha just because he’s a celebrity. My friend pointed out that if it was just a normal guy, it’d be reported and that would be it. Just like the others before him.
Whatever the case and whichever side a person is on, I think we can all agree that it’s just so traumatic for his family and sad that a young life (he was 28) was snuffed out just like that. Not to say that young people cannot die. I mean, there are people younger than him who have suffered maybe even more.
But this has been quite sobering for me. You know how sometimes I like to talk about my mortality and stuff? Even though I don’t know when/how/why I would go, it made me feel that it’s of utmost importance that I treasure every minute that I’m breathing. I should not take anyone for granted because who knows whose last day it will be? Have I told my loved ones that I love them? Should I tell the person whom I’ve secretly loved how I feel? Shouldn’t I be more patient to people and situations around me, because what good is there when I’m upset? Do I want any unexpected, last moments to be filled with anger?
I for one, have had many reflections since this incident. Of course I’m not saying that these thoughts have never crossed my mind, but I guess we tend to forget things like that when we’re caught up with life in general. Who’d think that at my age, there would still be so many lessons to learn? I don’t know him personally of course, but everybody who knew him said he was the kindest person they knew (then again, who’d speak disrespectfully about a deceased person?), something that I lack greatly. I can be quite detached and even *ahem* nasty if I want to. Is that how I would like to leave when my day comes? Obviously no. This will be my major work-in-progress project. But thank you A, for also giving me a lesson in life, though it was at such a great and unnecessary expense.