Letter to the parents who lost their children in the Sabah earthquake

By Sumati Nagrath

We may not be able to fully fathom the depth of your pain at the loss of your children, but we understand it. You don't mourn alone.

Dear parents of the children lost at Sabah,

I cannot even begin to imagine the pain, the anger, the anguish, the numbness that you must be feeling right now.

You are living out the reality of our biggest collective fear as parents. I lose sight of my child for one moment in the playground and I can barely breathe; the very idea that I may not lay my eyes on her again leaves me paralyzed. You have had your children taken from you so tragically, so suddenly. This is perhaps the darkest a parent’s life can get.

And I know that perhaps, at this moment, you are not ready for our condolences, our sympathies, our solidarity. But I want you to know that you do not mourn alone. As a mother, I weep with you for your child; I understand your pain, I understand your anger, I understand your helplessness.

I know that you will relive your decision to send them to Kota Kinabalu moment after moment. I know that you will hold yourself responsible for the loss of your child. You will ask yourself: Why did I say yes?

You said yes because you were helping them pursue their dreams, encouraging them to stretch their own limits, teaching them that they could overcome obstacles. You said yes because you were being good parents, the kind of parents that children should have.

No one could have known about what happened on the morning of 5 June 2015 at Kota Kinabalu. You could not have protected them from that. Does knowing this lessen your pain in any way? No, perhaps not.

The death of a child is the heaviest burden of a parent’s life. But you don’t have to bear it alone. I, and every other parent in this country, is with you in this moment. We are all united in our prayers for you and your families.

Yours in grief,

A parent who weeps with you

This article first appeared on The Asian Parent on 8 June 2015. It is reproduced with permission.

theAsianparent expresses its sympathies to the parents and families of the six young students and teacher who lost their lives in the earthquake that hit Kota Kinabalu on Friday, 5 June 2015. Our hearts are heavy with grief at this tragic loss of Singapore’s sons and daughters.

The whole nation mourns with them. Every single mother and father in the country is with them in this moment of intense and unbelievable loss.

Singapore will mark 8 June as a Day of National Remembrance for the six students and teacher who died in the 6.0-magnitude Sabah earthquake. State flags on all government buildings will be flown at half-mast. One minute of silence will be observed at the beginning of the day at all SEA Games venues.

The statement from the PM’s Office said, “We hope that this collective expression of sympathy and support from all Singaporeans will give solace and comfort to the families and loved ones of the victims.”

We cannot begin to imagine the grief that the families of students Peony Wee Ying Ping, Ameer Ryyan Mohd Adeed Sanjay, Emilie Giovanna Ramu, Matahom Karyl Mitzi Higuit, Rachel Ho Yann Shiuan and Sonia Jhala, of teacher Loo Jian Liang Terrence Sebastian and of guide Muhammad Daanish Amran, and the entire community at Tanjong Katong Primary School are suffering through.

We pray that missing student Navdeep Singh Jaryal and teacher Mohammad Ghazi Mohamed will be found and that the parents find the strength to overcome this very dark and difficult moment of their lives.


Tanjong Katong Primary School has my full support for the Mount Kinabalu Program

The Mount Kinabalu tragedy: what are schoolchildren doing there?

Dear teachers, thank you for all that you do for generations of students