'I lost my wife to cancer... my life will never be complete again'
"I will share with Zachary how great and lovely Mummy was. I promise to take care and protect Zachary at all costs."
It was a comment on a post requesting mummies to tag their hubbies, that first caught our attention:
"If my dearest wife was still around, she will tag me for sure. But now I am just a sad daddy and my life will never be complete again."
We felt a bit sad and confused... What could have possibly happened in this reader's life? Curious, and hoping that all was well, we reached out to reader Jeremy Sim.
The first thing he said was, "My wife used to tag me on posts from theAsianparent... It’s been nearly two months now, and I still weep myself to sleep every night. Waking up each time hoping to see her beside me. Longing to be with her so much..."
Singapore dad Jeremy Sim first met his wife Camella Fong at work. While Jeremy was principal marine system engineer, Camella was then working as an engineer in his marine company’s automation department.
He says, "It was a couple of months after we met when I developed an interest in her. One day, we attended a security seminar that ended late in the evening. So I offered to send her home even though she lived in the opposite direction from my place."
Love soon blossomed between the two, and they got married on 27 December 2010. Things were not all rosy though. Says Jeremy, "We went through so much hardship from the day we got married. We hardly had a chance to see each other, as she was called up by her family in Malaysia to fly back and help in the family business."
"We struggled for years just to have opportunities to be with each another. I even quit my job in Singapore to work in her hometown, just to be with her for two years. And that is when we planned to have a child."
Little Zachary was born in 2015, and his doting dad says, "Zachary's birth was the start of our wonderful fairy tale. He brought joy and happiness in our lives."
Fate had something else in store though...
Jeremy recalls those sad days, "After a year, in Jul 2016, cancer stuck. Camella was diagnosed with Neuroendocrine metastasis cancer."
"We had to decide whether to do a radical hysterectomy. Having received the news, both of us broke down and cried our hearts out as we faced the reality of not being able to have a second child which we had so hoped for. She remained positive and told me that we could still adopt a child once everything was over. Surgery was performed successfully and we looked forward to living a normal life again."
Their hopes were short-lived though... The rare cancer had spread to both her lungs, liver, pelvic area and bone.
Jeremy reveals, "We tried four different ways (surgery, chemotherapy, radiotherapy and immunotherapy) to get rid of it. It still prevailed. We were heartbroken and devastated."
And then, things started spiralling out of control.
"We celebrated Mother’s day and Zachary’s 2nd birthday, which happened to be on the same day. Everything seemed ok until the next day, 15th May."
"Camella was hospitalised for fever and shortness of breath."
"Based on the CT scan, doctors told me that there was not much hope left, as majority of her lungs were already affected by the disease. They were amazed by her determination and strong will."
"My dear wife, not knowing her current condition, still went on to tell my mum and her parents that she would continue to fight. Hearing this, I ran out of the ward and cried my heart out. Day by day, her condition had started to worsen..."
Jeremy kept hoping against hope, but the future looked bleak.
"On 21st May, I whispered to her telling her that she had suffered so much pain that it teared me each time..."
"I told her, "I wish I could bear the pain with you...you did your best my dear. I love you always my dear. I will share with Zachary how great and lovely Mummy was. I promise to take care and protect Zachary at all costs.""
"And that’s when our fairy tale ended."
Jeremy recalls the final goodbye, "At her wake, Zachary helped me clean the coffin. He waved farewell while blowing kisses to his mummy at the crematorium. When I broke down and felt lost at the crematorium, he held my hand and led me to the bus."
"Our son is so much stronger than me. He really has your (Camella's) character and you will be so proud of him."
He also talks about the beautiful person Camella was, "Camella was very well liked by her ex-colleagues, friends, relatives and families. Many remember her as a wonderful person. A great mummy, the best wife and the most filial daughter."
"She was also a very charitable person. She frequently donated to the poor and contributed milk powder cans to needy families with children. She believed in giving back to society..."
"Even in death, she wished to donate her belongings to charity. But I decided to donate all my precious Star Wars collection which I have collected since young, and keep her belongings for memorial instead."
Jeremy remains heartbroken after he lost his wife to cancer. He is unable to accept that the love of his life is no more, "I have placed her mobile phone at her usual place, along with her photo. I still message her whenever I miss her, hoping to get a reply. Yes, I am foolish but I can’t help it."
"We get lost, sometimes. Days pass, and this emptiness fills our hearts. I wish I could stop time and relive all the good times we had."
"Life is going to be difficult for Zachary and me as we will be missing her so much. I celebrated my first Father’s Day without Camella by my side. I live only for our son and the promise I made to her."
"I do hope friends will continue to call us as I have isolated myself, fearing that I am imposing on them."
"You (Camella) left us with fond memories but I couldn’t let go. Without you in my arms, I feel an emptiness in my soul. I find myself searching the crowds for your face. I know it’s an impossibility, but I really cannot help myself. "
And finally, Jeremy has these words for all of us, "Those with loved ones, continue to cherish every moment and shower them with all your love. Remember, you have the chance to choose the outcome, but we didn’t have a choice at all.”
Thank you, Jeremy for sharing such a difficult part of your life. We hope and pray that Zachary and you find the strength to deal with your loss...May Camella's soul rest in peace.