Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Memorial Service - Eulogy by Alicia

The overall service consisted of 1) the paddle salute and song from her dragon boat team, 2) The Eulogy from Tony, 3) Eulogy by Alicia, 3) A poem read by Ella Brady, Ciara Brady and Josie Raza, 4) a word for thanks from Ms Kwek, found of the Breast Cancer Foundation in Singapore, 5) Michelle reading her final letter to Shin and reading Shin's letter to everyone, 6) the photo slideshow, 7) the balloon release.

Below is the Eulogy by Alicia:

Creating a Better World

Attribute to Shin Na by Alicia Yi

I remember the day I met Shin. Dennis and I were at some dot.com party in year 2000. Dennis and I got separated at the party and when he finally found me at the end of the night, he was all so excited about meeting this spunky Korean woman who he talked with all night…named Shin.

Since I am Korean, Dennis often gets excited about meeting other Koreans thinking he is doing me a favor in rounding up all the Koreans in Singapore on my behalf. But I thought with a name like Shin, I was pretty sure I wasn’t going to like her. I thought she would be old fashioned, conservative and boring.

Of course, when I finally met her later that night, I immediately changed my mind. She was nothing of the sort. I knew right away she was someone very special who I wanted to befriend. We have been the closest of friends ever since….a friendship that is bigger than life itself.

What I Admired the Most

Many of you already know from her blog that she is smart, articulate, witty, spunky, passionate, funny and incredibly fun-loving person. She had strong views on how we can make this world a better place.

She was passionate about educating everyone around her on how we can all make a difference. She never gave up or accepted anything she thought could be done better – no matter how big or small the issue. She was an activist – always trying to help those who are in need.

There wasn’t anything I could not talk to Shin about…openly and honestly. She never sulked or complained about her cancer. There was nothing too sacred, too personal or too painful for her to deal with, that we couldn’t talk about. She was always matter-of-fact about her reality of living with cancer, but it was always with her bright smile, optimism and hope.

I thought about qualities that I admired the most in Shin:

ß I will never forget how much she loved Tony, Josie and Toby.

ß I will never forget how wonderfully happy and cheerful she was before and during her battle with cancer

ß I will never forget all the big and small ways she celebrated human endeavors. It could be…helping save a little boy with leukemia…to cheering on a friend running a marathon to lose his weight.

ß While she would hate to be labeled in anyway, she was a humanist and she lived to the fullest.

ß I will miss her optimism. I will miss her big wide smiles. I will miss talking to her about anything and everything under the Sun.

ß She appreciated and relished the simplest things in life such as:
- a day on the beach with her kids and Tony making sandcastles,
- an evening stroll after dinner singing Louis Armstrong’s “It’s a Wonderful World”
- making up bed time stories for Toby and Josie that taught them life values
- she was always so thankful − tickled by little things Josie or Toby would do…in any given day.

ß She never stopped correcting my grammar. She never stopped educating people about cancer and the environment. She never stopped helping anyone who may be in need. She never stopped hoping for a better world. She never stopped loving. She never stopped living until her last breath.

ß She often said “I want to live until I die”…and that she did. One of the last words she said to me and Michelle were, “it’s too hard….it’s too hard to teach you guys grammar!” She was correcting our grammar to her last breath. She was making witty comments to make light of the sadness we were facing.

ß She taught me how to live. She taught me what’s really important in life. She taught me how to appreciate every aspect of life and relish every second of it.


Shin has touched so many people in so many ways. All of you here today and all those who couldn’t be here who wanted to be here from all over the world is a testament to her reach and impact she had with her short, but brilliant, life on earth.

And thru her friendship, I have met so many amazing people. Many who are here today who have and will change me in subtle and profound ways.

One of the amazing people I have come to love and admire is Tony. Your thoughtfulness and quiet strength goes beyond words. We all love you very much and I want you to know we are here for you and the kids.

I can see the cycle of love Shin has started…and I can feel it growing and multiplying in this very room. I know this would be Shin’s wish and she would be very, very happy to see all of us start loving and caring for one another to create a better world.

Thank you, Shin. I love you.


Anonymous said...

Hi Alicia, is really great to know that you will still be there for Tony, Josie and Toby which I think Tony will need esp when the kids are growing up. Thanks so much for being there.

Leighbee said...

Thank you .........

Anonymous said...

May God bless you and your family.