I never knew the existence of the little girl. Our paths had never crossed.
The only string that connected us was the fact that she was studying in the same grade at the same school with my 9-years-old daughter. Seated in different classes, they had never known each other either.
News of her falling into a coma was her first splash into my mind, sending ripples of shock and sadness; shocked by the unpredictability; saddened by the suffering. Her perennial headache turned out to be a trick by a tumour in her brain. The trick turned life-threatening by robbing her consciousness. In the span of three days, it turned fatal. Three days - never long enough for bidding farewell to such a young life. Farewell should never be bid to such a young life, one would have thought. Yet again, another painful reality served up by life, with a notice of death.
Knowledge of the little girl letting go of her end of the string left me shaken holding my end. Sadness clogged my throat, sorrow welled up in my eyes. My heart was wrenched. But by what? I'm not so sure. Compassion for the premature end of a young life? Sympathy for the grief-stricken parents? Apprehension to life's frailty? Fear of being dealt the same fate? Not sure. But at that moment, with all its impermanence, I couldn't feel a weaker grip on life.
Dear Little Girl, though I had never known you, I hope after releasing the string of life, you are now holding the hands of angels. Roaming and enjoying yourself at the playground in heaven. And when your wings are firm enough for traveling on your own, come back. Visit your loved ones, especially your parents. Come back, subtly remind them of your footsteps in their path of the past. Warm their hearts, chase away their fear, make them strong with your memories. Somehow, let them know you're doing fine. I can not imagine what they are going through, and how they are feeling, but I'm sure they miss you, a lot.
Take care, Little Girl.