Living Moments (Part 31) – Farewell My Friend

by Patrick Liew on July 2, 2012

Death has a way to lend poignancy to the highways and byways of our memories.

On 29, June 2012,  my former classmates and me bid goodbye to a good brother and an old friend, the late Foo Say Boon.

It was a sad day for all of us. His passing away triggered many fond memories and we discussed about them over the Net and at the funeral wake.

As most of us were about 4 years younger than Say Boon, we looked to him like a big brother. He unconsciously took on the role and did a good job with it.

Say Boon was known to be generous with his time and advice, and he helped us in many different ways. Many of us could recall a beautiful experience that we have shared with Him.

It could be as simple as a lift back to our homes or even a friendly advice.

One classmate shared about how Say Boon visited him when he was serving his National Service. His advice motivated him to complete a tough military course and he was grateful for it.

Whatever the experience was, it was etched in our minds and now in our hearts as we would never be able to see him again.

When I looked at him lying in the coffin; solemn and still, he didn’t looked like the friendly and fun-loving friend I knew. Leukemia had taken a toll on his body.

His face looked like it had suffered an intense period of pain, both physically and emotionally. For that alone, I was mentally prepared to let my friend go.

I could not bear to see my friend in constant pain.

It was only last year when we had our 34th anniversary class reunion and we had such a good time together.

At the gathering, some of us were reminiscing about the past and we were talking excitedly like kids, like we just left each other the day before.

There will not be any more chance to have another exciting time with Say Boon. The clock has ran out.

After the reunion, we went our separate ways, busy once again with the vicissitudes of life.

Say Boon dropped by my office at the beginning of the year. Little did I know that it would be the last meeting.

During lunch and while standing at the car park subsequently, Say Boon shared with me the ups and downs in his life. He shared some of his secrets with me, secrets that would be buried forever in the sands of my mind.

We shared like there were none of the usual adult inhibitions.

We confided with each other like we were still in school and we were still immersed in the idealism and innocence of youth.

I will always remember the moments when he poured out his heart to me. He did it despite the warm afternoon sun beating on our faces and on the rest of our bodies.

Now, I wished that moment did not have to come to an end.

Say Boon, there were some unfinished stories. There were new ones that, looking back now, we could have crafted together.

Why must it be too late to do it now.

During the last class gathering, Say Boon was nominated to take over from me to organise the next class reunion. At the funeral, someone mentioned tongue in cheek, “Say Boon left us without completing his job”.

My response was, “He did finish it. His passing away brought us together, both on the Net and at the funeral”.

Foo Say Boon’s death increased the urgency for us to catch up with friends and to gather together again.

It was a reminder that we have many unfinished businesses with many people. We need to close the files before time runs out on us.

There are things we need to tell them. Tell them before it is too late.

As James Dean wisely said, Dream as if you’ll live forever.  Live as if you’ll die today.


Farewell Foo Say Boon, my brother and friend.

I hope this message will find a place in your heart.

By the way, I have also recorded other reflections.

Visit my Inspiration blog at

Visit my Transformation blog at

Please read them and continue to teach me.

Life is FUNtastic!


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