Michelle Yim Determined to Live Life Courageously
After the death of her longtime boyfriend, Wan Chi Keung (尹志強) in 2010, Michelle Yim (米雪) cleansed her face with tears. Two years later, the traces of sadness in Michelle have completely disappeared. The past is the past, said Michelle. What is left now is only the future, and she is determined to live her life to the fullest.
Michelle and Wan Chi Keung (Wan Lo) had been together for 27 years. A professional footballer, an actor, a businessman, and a philanthropist, he was also a year younger than Michelle. It was Wan Lo’s compassion, dedication, and sunny personality that drew Michelle to him. Wan Lo loved helping others, and he would often dedicate his spare time to organize volunteer and charity events.
“Sometimes his compassion for others was too much for me to handle!” cried Michelle.
Wan Lo participated in many charity activities and organized donations for many schools in his lifetime, even opening up several elementary schools in the poor neighborhoods of mainland China. In 1992, he was diagnosed with nasopharyngeal cancer in 1992, but recovered quickly by undergoing frequent chemotherapy. Throughout the road of recovery, Wan Lo maintained an optimistic mindset, and often found the time to help others in need as well.
Michelle said, “Everyone knew Wan Lo had cancer. I had many friends who were also dealing with cancer in the family to ask him if he could give them some advice. One time, when he was in the mainland, I was about to tell one of those friends that I could help them instead because Wan Lo was busy. I also went with him to his chemotherapy sessions, so I thought I could offer some advice. Wan Lo immediately called me and said, ‘Have you been through chemotherapy before? Do you know how painful it is? Tell your friend that I will fly down immediately the next day to help her out!’” Michelle sighed and smiled sweetly. “This is why I like him so much! He enjoys helping others. It makes him really happy.”
As the saying goes, “One moment of intense happiness prolongs life by a thousand years.” Although Wan Lo recovered, his cancer came back in 2005. His conditions worsened in 2008, and on February 16, 2010 at 7:30 AM, Wan Lo fainted in his home in Lok Ma Chau. He passed away an hour later.
Ironically, Michelle was filming TVB drama, Beauty Knows No Pain <女人最痛>, on the morning Wan Lo fell. But contrary to what was expected, Michelle only requested a day off, and she was back to work the next day.
“Wan Lo and I have the same views. Regardless of what happens, we always put others before ourselves. [TVB] is a big company. Accidents happen every day. Even if someone doesn’t die today, there would still be someone at the hospital. Another colleague’s mother probably had a stroke, or yet another’s younger brother probably had a car accident. Things happen every day. If everyone only thought about taking care of their own families, then no one needs to go to work anymore!
“I could have requested up to ten days off, but filming with a production crew requires teamwork. At the time, production for Beauty Knows No Pain was near completion. I didn’t want my personal issues to affect the filming progress. That would be very troublesome for the cast and crew. All I could think of was to handle everything quickly and pull myself back together quickly. That way, not only was I helping myself, I was also helping others.”
Michelle nodded as she finished her story. “Yes… I think Wan Lo would agree with how I handled it. He would be very proud of me!”
But Michelle is not made out of titanium. There were still those tiny moments when Michelle would quietly sit in the corner at the middle of the night, crying her eyes out for the loss of her most beloved.
“Letting off one’s emotions is a normal human reaction,” Michelle justified. “Suddenly losing someone in your life is exactly like getting slapped in the face. It would definitely hurt! But what happens afterwards?”
Michelle explained that there is no point in holding onto the regrets one has made in the past when an entire future of possibilities and opportunities are waiting to be explored. “I have a friend who is already pass 60 years old, and she still feels guilty about the death of her mother. She is depressive, and constantly blaming herself for not helping her mother live her life to the fullest. I told her that she should not feel guilty, because you cannot argue with fate. If this is what happens, then it is what happens. You still have to live on!
“This is probably why I was able to pull myself back together so fast after [Wan Lo’s] death. I don’t think he would want me to be emerged in this endless state of suffering and pain. He would be so worried about me!”
Wan Lo’s death also taught Michelle to know what it really means to face death. “Wan Lo and I used to visit hospitals all the time. We’ve seen death. But do we all know what it really means to die? I’ve never died, how should I know? But once you learn how to face death, you will learn how to live. Death is just another beginning. There is no reason to be afraid of it, but living a life of loneliness and despair? That is the scariest and the most pitiful.”
Michelle will continue to follow Wan Lo’s selfless life principles. She will continue to live happily with no regrets. “Wan Lo would always say – be true to yourself and help others,” said Michelle. “Because of him, I’ve learned what it means to really cherish life. I am actually very thankful. A lot of his friends take care of me very well, such as Eric Tsang (曾志偉), Nat Chan (陳百祥), Alan Tam (譚詠麟)… I have many friends who take care of me, support me, and I am very thankful. Very, very thankful!”
Source: East Week
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