When I listen to a song for the first time, all I hear is the tune. I tend to forget they have lyrics. Only after listening to a song 50 times do I start to understand the meaning behind it. And I’d feel surprised that I hadn’t noticed it the first time. I’m not sure how I formed this habit, but there are songs which I’ve been listening to in high school that I only understand now.
Last October, while Jeremie and I were in Singapore for his big move, we discovered a new band that was playing on the radio in a bookshop called Books Actually. It was raining hard so we went inside to get out of the rain, and to see if there were books we could take home. We heard this very soothing voice singing along with a mellow tune.
Fast forward, Jeremie found the name of the band—Daughter. And there’s this one track that I like so much called Lifeforms. I’ve been listening to it for a while and after the 50th time, finally caught up with the meaning of the song. It’s a bit vague, and it might depend on how you understand the lyrics but to me, it seems like it’s about abortion.
But you, you always find another place to go
(Oh you) you always find another womb to grow 
These lines remind me of something sad but that it’s not so bad as well. Like how when you get aborted, you get reincarnated to another womb and start over the process. It’s like dying but not really dying for long.
I’ve heard of stories from people who experienced abortion twice or three times. I’m curious about what happens to babies who don’t get a chance to grow in their mother’s womb. Do they get to start a new life in someone else’s womb or do they come back to the same mother over and over until that mother is ready to have him/her? Will they ever have a chance to experience life? Or do they only have one shot at it?
Yesterday, as I was spending time with my brother Anthony and his girlfriend Rose, we talked about a lot of things. Rose shared a story about her cousin who died at the age of 8. The story goes that she was playing on the cable antenna in their house’s roof when she got electrocuted. Nobody noticed she was even up there because everyone was busy doing something else. Her skin was burnt and black, and her nose was bleeding.
It was a very tragic story to hear especially for the big brother (then 11 years old) who found his sister falling from the roof as he arrived home from school. She said the family tried to bring her to the hospital because she was still breathing, but they weren’t able to save her.
Another story from a friend whose sister lost her husband to a drive-by shooting. She and her husband were out with their child eating in a restaurant when the husband left without letting his wife and child know about it. Thinking he met up with friends, the mother and child went home only to find that the husband was involved in a shooting massacre. At his funeral, the child thought he was only sleeping and would wake up soon.
Unlike most countries, we deal with traumatic events differently. Most times, we don’t seek a professional’s help because it’s not part of our culture. I sometimes wonder what the long-term effect of this is.
Clean up the dead you leave behind
Just like insects