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 TW: Mentions of suicide and depression
Article by Natalie Khoo on Facebook
 
 Brian Khoo, Natalie Khoo's older brother - See you again: Real life story - The Commandment Co
 
Shock. Numbness. Guilt. Pain. Loss. One after another, and all at once.
All these feelings, crashing in and out of me since four days ago, when I lost my one and only brother, Brian Khoo Yew Jin. Some of you may already know what happened, some of you have only found out bits of it. Some I've wanted to tell since the start, but either I didn't have it in me to break the news or I've been drained out trying to be there for my parents whilst sorting out the final rites without violating CMCO (2020 Malaysia Movement Control Order for Covid-19) SOPs.
 
 
Now that I've had a bit of time to grieve and process what has happened, it stills feels somewhat surreal. Yet I believe it's a story that needs to be told - not for the sake of my brother, for I am now assured and comforted that he's in God's loving hands (Romans 8:38-39 "For neither death nor life...nor anything else in all creation will be able to separate us form the love of God that is Jesus Christ our Lord) - but for the sake of any amongst you or your circle who may be struggling. Hard.
 
 
My brother had been stressed out from work in the weeks before his passing. He was a senior analyst for a global company, for context. While the nature of the job is indeed demanding, we are convinced that there was more behind this that triggered his depression. Coupled with the COVID-19 lockdowns, which have constricted the amount of physical and social interactions that most who knew him would know he adored, things escalated with his mental health quite suddenly - unbeknownst to my family.
 
 
My brother took his own life on Wednesday morning, 14th October 2020. He was 28.
 
 
As I felt those waves of emotions collide with the tears and the heartbreak, I grappled with the thought: "How do I even talk about this when people ask?" It's not an accident, it's not a physical condition. But here's the thing, it is a disease - and one that's creeping into this generation now more than ever. I've always known mental health is important. But I never thought I would experience it so personally - through the death of a dear loved one.
 
 
I plead with you today, if you are battling anxiety, depression, suicidal thoughts or any other mental illness, please seek professional help. Please tell someone, even if you think they're busy or don't care of you don't want to burden them with your pain. It is not your fault. There is no shame in asking for help. If you don't know where to start, I'm here - feel free to DM or text me.
 
 
And for the rest, please look out for your loved ones, even old friends and acquaintances. Send them a text, ask them about their day, show them they're not alone. If you can't help to bear the burden of someone struggling with mental health, connect them with someone who can. Meanwhile, educate yourself. I'm still learning and trying to do the same.
 
 
In memory of my brother,
Brian Khoo Yew Jin (1992 - 2020)
 
 
Natalie Khoo and her late older brother, Brian Khoo - See you again: Real life story - The Commandment Co
 
This photo was taken with my brother during our family trip to Boracay in 2016. We went paragliding, cliff jumping and sailing together on that trip — some of the more exhilarating things I’ve done. While we have very distinctive personalities, we shared a common thirst for adventure. And I’m grateful to have had my share of adventures alongside him on many other occasions than this.
 
Having grown up in the same church and schools for most of our lives, we also shared many mutual friends and acquaintances. Over the years and in the last few days, I’ve heard many sharing how he has touched their lives through his cheerful personality and sensitive soul; and how he always had his signature smile in those moments. I’m daunted at the huge shoes left to fill, but I’m prouder yet that those shoes are my big brother’s.
 
More importantly, we share a faith in Jesus Christ as our Lord and Saviour. As my father shared at the wake and my pastor confirmed in his message, “For it is by grace through faith that you have been saved - it is the gift of God.” (Ephesians 2:8) This is why I take heart knowing that the same God who created him is faithful and will watch over him until the Last Day.
 
So goodbye for now, gor, until I see you again. Much love from your only sister. ❤️
Natalie Khoo and her late older brother, Brian Khoo - See you again: Real life story - The Commandment Co Natalie Khoo and her late older brother, Brian Khoo - See you again: Real life story - The Commandment Co
 
For immediate assistance, call the National Care Hotline (1800-202-6868), Institute of Mental Health Hotline (6389-2222) or Samaritans of Singapore (1800-221-4444)
 
To connect with a Christian peer support community, visit www.psaltcare.com
 
To help you connect with appropriate mental health resources, visit www.mentalconnect.org
October 28, 2020 — The Commandment Co