(26 November 1985 - 16 March 2017)
I, Chen Jiaxi,

I was born into a Singapore on the cusp of first world modernity;

Into a lower-income family, to a couple happily married.

We were not particularly rich, nor dirt-poor;

But my family and I were happy.


To school, I went;

And I enriched myself with friends smarter than I.

That’s the least I could do.

I failed the first time round, but was given a new lease of life;

To study at a local polytechnic and earn that lucrative ticket to university.

A chance application brought me to Oxford and those were beautiful days indeed.

A failure made good.


My family was simple, and we made it a point to shower others with the embrace of our simple hearts.

All my acquaintances and friends knew that I was far from perfect but they accepted me for who I was;

Through them, I grow to be a better person each day.

In fact, my conflictions were quite a few;

My simplicity beyond complexity, my ego big beyond me.


But there they stood, my parents.

For all that my 31 years of life knew.

My last days were deary and weary;

I was tired, and remorseful;

I had too many people to thank, too many debts of gratitude to repay.

But there they stood, my parents.


Papa and Mama lifted me up, nursed me, and tucked me in.

They had little, but they give me the best;

In return, I had not much to leave behind for them.

My biggest regret that will be.


At long last, this is my legacy;

I live to write this, to read this, safe in good hands;

I lived and I die.


Through this, I hope you will contemplate your mortality;

Death is not a dying a conversation. It is a living conversation.

In life, I face death each day. In my death, I hope you see a life;

My [not-too] short life of 31 years.


I lived and now I die.

I am Chen Jiaxi, Bernard.


And my sister, I love her;

Yesterday, today and tomorrow.


Papa, mama and ah bing, Goodbye.

Friends, see you again [soon].
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