Day after son dies, he solemnises a couple's marriage
Pastor Sim solemnises couple's wedding a day after son's death
He was keen to improve his time for the 2.4km run during PE on Tuesday morning.
Before he collapsed, Benjamin Sim, a Secondary 4 student at Chong Boon Secondary School, was still talking to his teacher about re-doing his run.
That was how much the 16-year-old wanted to excel in sport, said his father, Pastor Davy Sim.
"The teacher told me that (Benjamin) still said, 'Oh, it's not so good. Maybe later I want to run again'.
"He walked a few steps to the water cooler, then he collapsed," Mr Sim, 55, said yesterday.
He was speaking to The New Paper at the wake at Singapore Bible Baptist Church.
After he collapsed, Benjamin was taken to Tan Tock Seng Hospital, where he was pronounced dead at 11.44am.
Mr Sim said his son had no medical condition and was fit.
"He got a place in Anderson Junior College through DSA (Direct School Admissions) for volleyball.
"He was average in his studies compared to others, but was determined to excel in sports. We are very proud of him as parents," he said.
Despite his grief, Mr Sim solemnised a couple's marriage yesterday morning.
The bride, who wanted to be known only as Cassandra, said she knew nothing about his loss.
"I'm really thankful to Pastor that in spite of his grieving, he still came to solemnise my marriage," she said.
Mr Sim explained that he did it out of duty.
"My son is now in heaven and I must do my job. Although I'm grieving in my heart, I can't show it to them because it's a happy moment and everyone was around to witness the wedding," he said.
Mr Sim, who is a grief counsellor, has tried to ease the pain of a number of people suffering from loss by talking to them about the stages of grieving.
"I lecture people about Stage 1, Stage 2 and now it's my turn... Because this is my flesh and blood, I grieve inside.
"It teaches me about loss. Now I can tell people I actually lost a son and it's too much to bear," said Mr Sim, breaking into tears.
"I'd rather die, I'd rather be in that casket. Every parent wants to go first."
Faith helps the father of two look at Benjamin's death in a positive light.
Even when talking about his coping mechanism - running alone at Upper and Lower Pierce Reservoirs - he slipped in a joke.
"Maybe I'll go there to yell. It's a good outlet for me, but I will be civil and gracious so that I don't scare the others," he said, with a slight smile.
Benjamin will be cremated tomorrow and Mr Sim added: "My son didn't suffer, he just went up to heaven. It's a blessing. Some say it's a tragedy but, to me, God took him home."