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The end of 2013 was the end of an era for me.

I celebrated by speaking to the few people who, I believe, will have some difficulty moving on with their lives was I to die suddenly.

I thought of all the people who had wished they were around to greet 2014. My mashimoni, who said two days before she died that she wanted to attend my wedding. My chhotokaku,Β who did not get to see his only daughter earn her first salary. Like a son to my father, whose heart broke this year having to cremate his youngest brother. Younger by almost a decade.

My dearest childhood friend, Bag, who died a 24 year old virgin. My last conversation with him was the day Β before his accident when he said he was moving to Goa, because “the girls there put out”.

And didibhai. my sister who could not see her son graduate from junior school. Who had wanted to “go home” the day before her cancer claimed her just a few months ago.

This was also the year I lost, not to death but just as irretrievably, a person who I believed had a piece of my soul. A connection that neither time nor distance could erode. Not only did I lose him, but I lost with the understanding that everything he had said, all his principles, all the differences between us were because he simply did not really want me.

In 2013, I lost the bright light of kindness that shone in my husband — replaced by anger and hurt turning into steel with every passing day — when his childhood friends turned on him due a variety of reasons, the primary among which was that he had helped them when they were truly in need. And they did not want to be reminded of that by his presence.

Surrounded by the ghosts of all these people who wanted so dearly to put on a party hat and ring in the new year, and the intangibles that were irrevocably lost, I felt something cold descend upon me in the middle of a muggy Singaporean December.

I have always made friends easily, been vocal with my dislikes and my love. I have welcomed people into my heart and home, at any time, at any hour of the day. I have helped whenever asked to, saved whenever the need arose. I have never been measured in the things I do or say. 2014 will be the year when I stop.

I have never in my life made any new year resolutions. But this year, my resolution is to grow up.

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