I don’t know why I am so affected. I don’t even know any of them.

My tears flowed steadily when I first read about it last night, before trying to get some rest in the on call room.

I cried the whole way back from work, which was about 40 minutes. I reached home, switched on the TV and cried even more.

I’m sure many of us Malaysian are affected by the lost aircraft MH370, even when we don’t know the passengers or the crews. Many of us organised prayer events for ease of searching the plane and strength of their loved ones in facing these troubled times.

Personally for me, there are many things that went through my mind.

I love traveling, and I love flying. There are times that I wish I could take flying lessons and be a pilot.

It doesn’t mean I don’t get worried everytime I fly, or when my loved ones travel.

It reminded me of all those days spent praying for the safety of my loved ones – my mom, my dad, my brothers, my dear little sister, my grandparents – whenever they travel.

Dad used to fly almost every week, doing what he did. No, he’s not a pilot but he visited Sabah and Sarawak so often those days. I used to wait at the airport whenever I could, for him to come home. It was nice to hear his stories about the flight crew, the pilots he spoke to, and now I wonder whether he knew any of the crew involved in that fateful incident. As nice as it was, I knew he must have had a few scary moments on board the airplanes he rode.

I could still remember all those moments wondering whether those were the last moments I see them. Alhamdulillah, up to this day, with His mercy and protection, they are still alive and well.

My parents (and the rest of the family) make a huge deal of goodbyes. We make sure we hug everyone before leaving, and the person who’s left behind would at least stand at the doorway and wave until we’re out of sight. Of course there are days that one of us may have left feeling angry, flustered, sad…but thankfully nothing very bad has happened so far.

May this be a lesson for us, to mend everything before we say goodbye.

I remember the days before the long distance trip I made with my little sister. All those moments praying that all will be well, making the effort to say extra prayers anytime I could. I remember the anxiously-happy (if that is even possible) feeling when we step on board Etihad Airways, knowing that anything could happen, also knowing that the risks are rather low. Yes, our prayers were answered, with His Mercy, the trip went very well, and we escaped a horrible storm by a few days.

I remember my grandmother’s final wave at us, longing and sad at the same time, when we left to meet our parents in Kuching. That was the last time we saw her alive, as she passed away suddenly a few days after.

I am lucky that I started flying so early in my life that I can’t remember when my first flight was, but there are flights more prominent than the others in my memory. Like the first time flying alone (with some strangers supposed to be my classmates) to Ireland.

Then I wondered whether any of those passengers were first timers. Imagine the excitement, the anxiety, the expectations; packing for stuff hoping that you don’t miss anything, planning to get souvenirs for the family, plans to spend more time with loved ones after the trip, wondering about the weather there at that foreign country, hoping for a better future at a new work place, wishing for more recognition in another country, dreaming for a more peaceful life…I could only imagine what the loved ones are feeling right now.

I remember the time when almost all of my family flew to Miri for a wedding last year, and I was left behind for a few hours because of work commitment. I was extremely worried, should anything happen to them all in Miri, i would have been devastated. There must be at least 20 of them and they were my pillars of strength, they still are. I flew in to Miri and we spent one of the best weekends of my life there. 20 of us flew back in one flight and that was probably the most beautiful, the happiest flight I’ve ever been in.

I was brought back to the same period of time five years ago, waiting alone, being in the dark, uncertain of my future, dizzy and drowsy all lumped together, receiving news from people whom I don’t know whether I could really trust them, and finding out they could not be trusted, sadness and anger and confusion all playing in mind….only to find that hopes are crushed and sweet memories are gone.

But none of those could compare to what the loved ones are feeling right now.

Therefore, I pray so that the loved ones of the crews and passengers of flight MH370 will stay strong in facing this life.