Wednesday, June 3, 2009

The Other Glass Story

I could only sit still in silent sympathy as I watched him digest the news of the passing of one of his closest friends. The abridgement was overwhelming and his staggered silence was the greatest testament of all to his loss.

The passing of one individual that day rattled the entire household and unnerved us all. It felt like He took away something or someone that was part of our lives in one instant and then expunged all emotional connection and relation that was ever existent and replaced our temporary void hearts with that of blissful ignorance. At least that was how I felt...

The suddenness was unsettling, epsecially towards him. I feel for him because to be at such an age now where you have fewer friends and even fewer true friends, this loss is significant. Plans for the entire day were cancelled in exchange for self-imposed mourning. Walking down the lonely path of remembrance was what he needed as he viewed flashbacks after flashbacks of his own vivid hallucinatory images of what once was and what it could have been.

I pitied him even more so as I approached him. The creases and wrinkles on his face was deeper and more defined that afternoon, filled with deep apprehension and sorrow. There was nothing much I could do, or I walked away. I knew he was embracing this loss and strengthening himself up. It was the only thing he was in control of, his feelings.

As I comtemplated on this turn of events, I realized how old he has become and how fragile he is becoming. Time which was once a measure of wealth has now become a gauge for longevity. The permanence of his existence and purpose in this world are now measurable, distinct and variable. I knew he felt like what if it was him instead.

And I can relate to his feelings. After all, the person in question was a man of great stature with enviable humility. He was one who despite his achievements overseas, remain a very down to earth man and to be in his presence was to be humbled by him. A person who placed his family first above all else, a man who provided unceasingly and abundantly and a friend who cared unconditionally and indiscriminately. It is also because of all these traits that he was highly valued by his company, widely known for his commitment and dedication beyond his scope of responsibilities.

When I looked back at the man sitting downstairs, I see so much resemblance in both and I feared the worse. I can only pray and hope to Him that he will start to realize that he is still working too hard for his age and he should start to let go, first by learning to trust others and then loving himself more. It would be such a pity for one to work so tirelessly and provide ever abundantly only to not able to enjoy the fruits of your own labour and nurture your legacy in the end. That man left behind a wife and a daughter and I sincerely pray for them to be strong in weathering the life ahead.

At the end of the day, I thought to myself that life is not so much about getting the highest paying job or the most rewarding job or the best track to career supremacy. Working should be viewed as a way of life, not living your life away with it.

I could only imagine that family's loss when I think of the things that their father would have wanted to do with them still, the marriage in which he wished to walk his daughter down the aisle with, the grandchild he had hoped to carry one day and knowing that at the end of his tenure on earth one day, he could finally rest satisfactorily knowing that his life was not measured by the number of breaths he had taken but by the number of moments that took his breath away. I sincerely wished that for him for he was such a fine man. But often in life, we do not get what we want, sometimes not even what we wanted for others.

It is cruel...

I will never look at certain things the same again because seeing one man who has already done it, and living with one who is doing it is not an easy task. As much as how we are all taught to believe that everything happens for a reason and God always has plan for everything, I could easily as well look at my life in a perspective of a half-full glass rather than a half-empty glass.

But there is another side of this 'glass' story that few of us realize. Imagine holding a glass filled with water. It is not about how heavy the glass is or what is the weight of the water inside. The key lies in how long do we hold this glass. It is easy to hold it for a few meager minutes but as the duration lengthens and the minutes become hours and the hours become days (if that is even possible), the act becomes tougher until it reaches impossibility. It is simply the longer we hold it, the heavier it becomes.

Looking back at our life and how we balance it with our work, holding this same glass of water reminisces the way we handle our work stress. If we carry our burden all the time and bring home our stress for the most parts, sooner or later this uncompromising weight will come crashing down on us. We have to learn to put things down for awhile like resting the glass of water after a few minutes only to carry it again, and again and again. When we are refreshed, we can continue on carrying the burden.

Work is never ending but our life will end one day so learn to let things go everyday and never carry it home. You can just easily pick it up tomorrow.

As to the bereaved family, I pray for them strength and hope that they do see the only way to show others that they are strong is to be weak in their hearts, but stay remembered...


Lian said...

I guess we all should learn a thing or two from this story - if we can't learn to sit back, look at the things we do and reflect at it, something must not be working for us and it should give us an indication.

悦子 said...

Imagine holding a glass filled with water. It is not about how heavy the glass is or what is the weight of the water inside. The key lies in how long do we hold this glass. It is easy to hold it for a few meager minutes but as the duration lengthens and the minutes become hours and the hours become days (if that is even possible), the act becomes tougher until it reaches impossibility. It is simply the longer we hold it, the heavier it becomes.

in short, it refer to the responsibility of human in life!

like your article the most...dear friend...

Han said...

Yes. It's always a matter of choice. We always have a choice.

You can put it that way too...yes. Our responsibility to Life is to live it. Live in it. Not live it away. We have people around us whom we affect directly and indirectly. It is our responsibility to be there for them, be there when needed if needed. What's the point if in the end we are gone despite all our efforts?

Glad you liked this article.

ev said...

heyy there. i guess we all have something to learn from this glass story. truly reflective indeed and insightful.

Ree said...

keep your prayers close to them and close to your heart. God will deliver them from this downturn becos of ppl like you that surround them. it is a touching post. makes me think not to work like a horse also, eventually cuz we are still young mar... :) but it should not be our way of living like u said.

InceV said...

-the only way to show others that they are strong is to be weak in their hearts, but stay remembered...-

you put it in the most appropriate way. it is the lease we could do for ourselves (themselves).

yCK said...

hope your family and you are fine. like you said lar....more often than not in life we dont get things we wanted. just remember what you write here this day becaues it is a very good lesson to be learned and i think your message is very very clear and useful for everyone. you take care!

joslip said...

well written, dude. great great post!

Han said...

Thanks for visiting. Appreciate your comments :)

Hey, I appreciate your kind words. I didn't meant for this post to be touching though, I want it to remind me of what can happen in my future.

Being weak is never a weakness in my eyes. It's a strength to show your weakness because not everyone can do it. It shows a softer more vulnerable side of a person that he/she is willing to reveal. It takes courage too.

We are fine. They flew to Melb for the funeral yesterday. Initially I felt it was so unfair for this fate to befall that family. But now, I have accepted it. Yes, please also remember what I wrote ok? It is also meant for people like you :) Not asking everyone to be a lazy ass at work, just realize there is more to life than work, that's all.

Haihz...thanks ya. Come to think of it, I should also start listening to your advises ;)

yee said...

"Time which was once a measure of wealth has now become a gauge for longevity."

Hey weihan, guess you are trying to capture the essence of ageing and maturity here...I agree with u. it's a nice blog u have here. Finally came in to peek thanks to you know who :)

Hope your dad will be mindful of his work stress nowadays seeing what happened to his friend. If only most our parents read this and understand, it is never too late, hahahah!

In short, work is work, never bring it back home...ok, will see you soon, take care!

BeDLamSort said...

hey bud!
hang in there. ur a good son :) haha, your dad sure will know you mean well. talked to him? make him realize, don't just assume. dads being dads will always push us to work harder too. but really depends on situation. see u soon. continue ur updates. cheers!~

Han said...

Thanks for visiting. Glad you could find some meaning in my post. Sometimes when I think of our parents or my dad in particular, can't really blame that at all. It's the circumstances which they lived in during their early years. It is their perogative, I'd say. Times are slightly different now and it calls for a different kind of perogatives from us, the younger generations. There is a trend going on, and it is sweeping the world if you are observing enough.

What the...! Tag-teaming me ar! LOL! Good son? LOL! You can tell that to my father when you see him lar, haha! Yeah, will talk to him and thanks for your advise. See you.

yCK said...

yea...duly noted. i hear you work like a mad-dog too, so you take ur own advise into heart too ya.

J said...

hey bro...again, another nice post. nice story sharing and i hope everyone has good learning moving fwd here...take it easy on all u do...view life like a rollercoaster ride yea - many ups and down, anticipation and suspense, fear and relief, but eventually we will reach the finish line feeling elated and glad we been through it all and wanna do it all over again!

Amoeba said...

Hey, your 'other glass story' is very very nice. creative, sincere and close to heart.

Han said...

Don't always believe what you hear...but of course :)

Life is a rollercoaster just like I'm riding ;) Thanks bro!

Thanks. Never thought of it as creative but definitely close to my heart.

pepper said...

nice post Han!

i shall view work as only a way of life from now on, instead of living my life away with it ;)

Rabbit's Fewt said...

It's a trying time for their family and yours. Just stay strong in each others' hearts and stay remembered like you said. But my comment here is this - work shouldn't be viewed as a burden. Instead it should be a gift. It is after all the thing that puts the food onto our plates. But do so with utmost moderation, family being at the top of considerations. After all, we are replacable by our respective companies in matter of weeks but irreplacable in the hearts of our families. Stay strong.

Han said...

Don't overdo it, I don't want to be responsible for your lack of career advancement should it come from the result of not putting in enough commitment in your work :P LOL!

Rabbit's Fewt:
Hey, thanks for your very wise words. It struck a chord of realization :)

Han said...

I agree. Silence is sometimes gold. Sitting there beside your loved ones sometimes, for hours without speaking can actually be the best "conversation" one can have.

Thanks for the kind comment in your last statement. Sometimes, things are the way it seem because we lead others to believe so.

Kelly said...

I agree with 1699 there...ur post is a wake-up call to us all. It's never too late to realize and i think u captured it well here for us. but don't get u saying 'things are the way it seem because we lead others to believe so'. do we missed out something in ur post? :)

Amy said...

hey, thanks for visiting. just dropping by to say ur posts are still very good read :) hope everything is ok there.

Han said...

Guess we're all in agreement here :) Be sure to spread what you believe here to your loved ones as well, that's more important ;)

Helloo there! Thanks for dropping by too :)

yuin said...

now that i can relate to this, i truly understand what a heartfelt piece this is. kudos.

Han said...

Hey dude, thanks. I still find myself reading this article over and over again from time to time. Makes me not regret ever having this blog in the first place.