My mind is playing tricks on me. I’m still expecting an Instagram story from you today, a Whatsapp message with blue ticks, a blog post by you – anything but this unnatural radio silence that is hanging over this entire city because you are gone, Fiona.
They laid your body to rest today; under a gloomy, grey sky that was weeping big, fat tears. Just like the big, fat tears that have been rolling down my face all week when I think of how short your life was. I am angry at myself for not trying harder to see you sooner. It seems like only yesterday that we had lunch when it has actually been months since we last met. And now, we will not meet again. At least not in this lifetime.
Paris B and I made the sombre trip to see you one last time on Tuesday morning. You looked beautiful and peaceful, and as if you were only resting. The last time we were together as a trio, we were laughing over a big lunch. This time we came together to cry by your side at this most terrible of events.
You left us too soon, Fiona. I still cannot understand it. I still cannot stand it. One minute you were here, and talking. The next, you had disappeared from all of our lives forever. No one got to say goodbye. No one knew that our time with you was to come so quickly to an end.
You were always the bigger person. As a blogger you were the kind of straight-as-an-arrow professional that is rare in the industry and you were loved by many for it. Full of passion and integrity, you never once sold your opinion for a quick shot at money or fame. I’ve always admired you for that.
As my friend, you were never more than a message away and always ready to lend me a helping hand or lend a shoulder to cry on. Even in your recent time of sickness you responded to my messages; allaying any fears I had that you would not be okay. That was always your motto – #iwillbeokay – and you lived it to your last breath. I did not know that this time it was not going to be okay.
You never minded that I had nothing to give you. I could not give you much; no contacts to further your career, no tokens of any real worth but you still embraced me as a friend from the bottom of your heart. Where other bloggers might easily dismiss me as uninteresting and unworthy of their time and attention – you remained a true friend to the last. That is so rare in the blogging world. Or in life, for that matter.
I did not go to your funeral today. Forgive me, Fiona. I could not bear the raw finality of seeing you lowered into the earth. I prefer to remember you as you were alive – the girl with a heart of gold and a smile to match.
Below is one of my favourite pictures I took of you. I was a tyrant photographer but you were the most gracious subject. I will remember you as you were that day. It was such a beautiful day and you were cheerful and as bright as the blue skies above us. We laughed. We had fun.
I’m lost right now trying to come to terms with how you will not grow old with us.
In another time and another place, I hope that we shall meet again, dear Fiona.
In the meantime, fly forth, Queen Fi. Reach for the stars – you’ve always loved the stars.
* Our dear friend, Fiona Loh, passed away on the 20th November, 2017 due to complications arising from a viral infection. May her soul be at peace *