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  • Writer's pictureSharon Koay

1-month angelversary

Today is Joshua's 1-month angelversary, the day he "became" an angel.

I don't have the words to express how I feel today, and the many excruciatingly painful days I've had in the last month.

I am not ashamed to say that I chose to seek professional medical help and have been on medication for the last 1-and-a-half weeks - and it is my hope that anyone feeling the way that I do should seek help too.

With medication, I am now sleeping 12 to 14 hours a day. When I am awake, it is a funny feeling that I have - my heart feels heavy and has a constant ache, but my head feels light and blank. I no longer cry continuously throughout the day, and I have been having fewer panic and anxiety attacks.

The attacks used to occur daily, but have only happened a handful of times since I've started medication.

Once, when I had to drive to Caleb's car mechanic which is about 1km+ away from where Joshua died. As I approached the area, I could smell and feel death; I start to sweat and feel nauseous; my heart starts racing and my chest starts to hurt. The feeling subsides as I drive further away from where it happened.

Second, when I made an error at work. One that I would never have made in the past, which if I did, could have been resolved very quickly - but when it happened this time, my heart started pounding and I couldn't think or breathe. I fixed the error eventually, with no harm done, but I spent a whole afternoon doing that and writing just one email - all of which I would normally have done in a far shorter time. On a call with colleagues, I wasn't even able to string a sentence together without my head hurting, and me trying not to cry every time a thought of Joshua crosses my mind.

I've also had a few serious panic and anxiety attacks when I sleep - when I am dreaming. The dreams all usually start out beautifully. A few days ago, I dreamt of Joshua and I, when he was young and carefree, and through the years as he got bigger and taller than me, but always still as loving and affectionate as when he was little. It ended with me tucking him into bed at night and holding his hand like we would when we said our prayers together at bedtime when he was younger, and then my conscious mind takes over and tells me that this is all just a dream - that he is no longer alive.

In my dream, he no longer responds to me under his blanket as I am still holding his hand. I try to wake myself up from this dream-turn-nightmare, but I can't. I shout for Caleb to come help me; I scream; I plead to wake up, but I can't. I know I'm in a nightmare and I want to wake up from it, and I finally do, drenched in sweat, and physically and mentally exhausted from the ordeal, only to realise that I have just woken up from one nightmare to another - a life without Joshua.

I honestly don't know if I'll return to any form of normalcy anytime soon, if ever.

I don't know if I can even continue working for the company I used to love so much. My bosses and colleagues have all been so compassionate and understanding - not just in the last 1 month, but for the last 3 years that I have been working with them, but I just don't think I'll ever be able to find the drive and passion that I used to have before, or even have the basic focus and function to do the job mediocrely.

Is this how my mind will forever be on medication?

It's not that I miss the person I was. I just miss the person I have lost.

Sadly, time spent at work was time lost with Joshua, and that can never be recovered. I do not regret or resent my career decisions in the past as I have been able to provide the best cancer care for both my parents who had no insurance, and provide my children a comfortable childhood, one that I did not have.

What am I going to do now? I don't know.

A friend shared this with me a few days ago (thank you, Elena):

Did you know there's a prayer called the "I don't know" prayer?

You just go off somewhere quiet and hidden and you walk right up to the heart of God and you say, "I don't know"

I don't know where to go from here.

I don't know what is happening.

I don't know how to process this.

I don't know what to do with these emotions.

I don't know how to handle this situation.

It covers a lot of I don't knows.

And then with whatever dusty little sand grain of faith you have, you say, "But You know."

And you leave it there.

God most certainly hears that prayer.

Photos were taken on Christmas Eve 2017 at a church play rehearsal where he played an angel, and our last Christmas Eve together in 2023 on our holiday in Beijing.

Joshua loved Christmases so much...

Our Christmases, and our lives, will never be the same again.


Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.

- Proverbs 3:5-6

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