I may not know you well enough beyond our occasional “Hi!” and “Bye”, but the news of your passing (which was flooding my social media news feed) made me feel a wide range of emotions.

First, it was disbelief – I thought that all the RIP messages were unreal and that this must be some kind of a sick mistake.

Upon checking out your timeline, only to see recent photos of you looking frail, and a mutual friend confirming that you had been battling cancer for 2 years, it felt as though my heart dropped at that very moment. So the cancer really took over your life and got the better of you. But why you, especially during the time when you should be at the prime of your life?

I thought to myself, wasn’t it not too long ago that you got married with the love of your life and had a beautiful baby girl together? And then the hole in my heart opened a little further as I imagine how heartbreaking it must be for your wife to come to terms with your passing, and I ached at the thought of your little girl who would grow up without her dad.

But seeing all the tributes about you by the people you have crossed paths with during your life here on earth made me realise what you were like, as a person. To most of your friends, you were like a “gentle giant”, a person who loves animals passionately and is fiercely loyal to all his friends. That last part I know is true, as I have heard of how you’d stand up for your friends way back in school.

You filled your loved ones’ lives with so much happiness and laughter, and they will always remember the way you laughed your heart out. It must have been really exciting hanging out with you – it’s a pity we didn’t get to cross paths, except for that few times when my friends and I bumped into you during out night out in town. Gosh, that was way too long!

You must have suffered and endured a huge amount of pain during your last few months of your life. Finally, you got to let go of the pain and walk towards a better life in heaven.

But that does not mean that you will be forgotten. People who know you have said that a part of you will always remain in their lives, and that your legacy lives on. And while your little girl may not be able to grow up with her dad, she will have all the people around her to remind her what a superb dad you were to her during the early years. Being you, I know that you will be looking out for the love of your life and little girl from up above, and helping them sail through the challenges that await ahead.

Rest in peace now, and till we meet again someday, in the next lifetime…