Thursday, October 25, 2007

Last Journey of his life

We sent Cheston off to the crematorium. Familiar faces from guitar club, Daniel, Kelvin, Lena , Cunyang, some juniors were there. Cheston classmates, Joseph, Eric, Cynthia, Lily were there too. Not forgetting his soulmate, Jeremy too.

The place was filled with sadness. Some were crying, some, just stood there, staring blankly into space. We all understand how it feels.

As Daniel recalls our days in Guitar club,
' Remember we duplicated guitar club keys?.... Remember Cheston and myself laugh at the harmonica instructor, and all of you get implicated? .... Remember .... '

Remember.

Cheston laughters and actions still stays clearly in my mind.

We were once part of the guitar club committee.

One by one, we went up to offer our last respect to Cheston, before we left for Mandai Crematorium. Many couldn't control their emotions.

Tears well up in my eyes.

But I controlled. It's very awful for a guy to cry. Cheston wants to see our smile for one last time.

' Cheston friends, please proceed to the first floor.' Ching Lee said.

Before I left, the helpers start to pack up the area. For that I realised, Cheston will leave us for now. There's a certain feeling which I couldn't describe. For the past few days, we can still feel Cheston around us. Most probably his body was at the wake. But in a few moment, his body will be... cremated. That feeling, really pains me alot.

Really.

The lift opens, the first drop of tears rolled down by cheek. Wiped away, remain calm.

So we waited downstairs, waiting for the coffin to be put inside the van. Everyone was feeling down.

Not long after that, we got a que from some uncle, and all of us started to stand behind the van. I know what is happening next.

Biting my lips.

As the chanting of the scriptures start to play, my heart sank. Step out my leg, as we together accompany Cheston one last time.

I cried.

I cried on the 5th day of his wake. I always thought that I'm strong enough. I thought that I had preparations before I came.

I was wrong.

Lena and Kelvin was beside me too. We said nothing. Lowered down our head, wishing that Cheston will tap on our shoulder and said, 'That's not me in the Van.'

The van stops. All of us will now board the bus and will sent us to Mandai Crematorium.

I walked past the Van. I saw the coffin inside. I knew Cheston was in there. I was so close to him. But this time was different. He's lying in there. Wake up cheston! You know we are here. Can you hear us? We like the songs you played.

Why? Why is it you?

I board the bus. Reluctantly turned my head forward. See you at Mandai , Cheston.

On the bus, it was very quiet. Until the bus passed by Cheston house, I heard people mentioning this is where Cheston stays. Daniel started to recall more events again. Telling us Cheston favourite food is chicken rice, recalling talent-time... I know daniel is trying to cheer us up. But I know deep in his heart, he is feeling very bad.

We reached.

Mandai Cremetorium

Together, we went in, finding a place to sit. I found a place, but maybe I was too tired, instead of calling, 'Daniel, Daniel, Here.' I called,

'Cheston, Cheston...'

People looked at me. I know I triggered the sadness in everyone again.

Sorry.

His picture was there. The incense was there. The coffin was there. Monk chanting scriptures, his brother paying respect to him. Images of Cheston flashed in my mind again. His happy moments in guitar club. Kept thinking about what Daniel said...kept thinking about the memories.

Finally, we were asked to stand up.

'Bow 3 times'

I bowed, this time. I really cried. A good one. Everyone couldn't control their emotions.

The helper came in to put 2 guitars on the coffin, his shirt and shorts. Now, the body is pulled out slowly, ready to be cremated.

Daniel cried. You can hear weeping and blocked nose... everywhere.

'Pls proceed this way'

We were asked to proceed to the Viewing hall. Again, everyone was feeling VERY down.

His coffin was out...

'CHESTON! CHESTON!' Vanessa shouted.

It really hurts me. It was very emotional at the scene. I couldnt control again, cried. This time round, was a very very bad cry.

In less than 1 minute, Cheston is gone.

His body is gone, forever.

Forever.

I don't know what to say. But I guessed everyone is feeling the same.

When was the last time I cried? I can't remember.

I kept telling everyone to be strong, Cheston wants us to stay happy as well. But I couldn't. I felt so ashamed of myself. It's easier said than done.

I know Lena was feeling very very bad. Everyone was trying to put up a smile after the cremation, but there's a knot in everyone's heart.

Daniel said, " Let's have a guitar gathering soon. Or maybe every year. On cheston's death anniversay, to remember him . '

I was touched, guitar club had never have decent outing before, since we graduated from AJC. Because the club was very segregated, with different groups. It was cheston's death, that make us realised the importance of friends, that bonded us together, once again.

We headed to Sin Ming road after the cremation. We didn't know heading there for what. Until we got down of the bus, then we realised the family had to burn a big paper house and car for cheston.

But on the bus, Kelvin let us listen a guitar piece played by Daniel and Cheston, on his phone. I think, that's the only recorded piece played by Cheston... it will served as a memory from now on.

At Sin Ming road, saw the ashes of the burnt paper house and car flying high , high up into the sky.

Was wondering,
' Cheston, are you looking over us? Are you somewhere up there watching us? '

Daniel, Kelvin and Myself headed to Thomson plaza to have our dinner after that. In the taxi, Daniel smiled and said,

" The radio is playing Cheston's favourite song. '

Maybe Cheston was sitting in the cab, accompanying us for the dinner. I thought.

Started to talk about Cheston's stuffs again, felt sad... but everything is over.

So we've decided to have a guitar club gathering after exams, venue will be at Novena, this chicken rice shop, that Cheston likes ALOT.

Way back to NTU, looking out of the window, a sudden urge of emoness rushed into me again. I couldn't forget what I saw these few days. I couldn't forget how Cheston's joke and laughters impacted us.

I slept. Hoping it is still a dream, woke up, someone will tell me Cheston is still around.

But no. I woke up, feeling very lost. For once, I let out my emotions.

I called Wanping. I called Zhixiang. I don't know why I'm feeling this way. Though I'm not very close to Cheston, but the lost of someone you know... the feeling sucks.

We watched TV and papers everyday, people die in sleep, but we never give a damn. Until it really hits someone near to you, we start to weep. We start to treasure everyone in life.

Why? WHY?

Wanping, Zhixiang, and Guijin, thanks. I just want to say you guys have been great.

Before I end this entry...i recieved Daniel's SMS : Thanks for coming down. This thing has bond us together.

Yes, Cheston, you will be remembered.

I will end your entry here, but you always be remembered in our hearts.

For now, time , is the healing factor.

In memory of Cheston Chik,
16 September 1986 - 21 October 2007

No comments: