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TOO DISTRAUGHT TO READ VERSES

Mr Rommy Reyes' brave front belies a father's unbearable grief.

Since his daughter died last Saturday, Mr Reyes, 67, has been trying to be calm and strong.

But behind closed doors, the father-of-two conceded that he lets his grief take over.

Recalling the night former MediaCorp radio deejay Kate Reyes succumbed to cancer, the architect said: "I was very, very down that night (when she died). The feeling was very unbearable."

He added that he declined the pastor's request for him to read some verses at his daughter's funeral mass.

"I was afraid I would not be able to control my emotions," he explained.

As he shared about his daughter's life in her younger years, Mr Reyes listed her achievements like a proud father.

Not only did the deejay have the gift of the gab, but she also excelled in other areas like ballet.

She was a protégé of local ballerina and doyen Goh Soo Khim, and almost took on a scholarship to become a ballerina.

Mr Reyes and his wife told their daughter to keep her options open and try other things.

"If she became a ballerina, what would happen when she got old? It's a short career lifespan for ballerinas," he said.

Reyes went on to become a deejay - a decision that surprised Mr Reyes - and made it her career for 14 years.

During her stints at different stations, like Gold 90.5FM and, more recently, Lush99.5FM, Mr Reyes made it a point to tune in to her shows.

"She really enjoyed her job," he said.

PAINFUL

Although the family was mentally prepared for Reyes' deteriorating health and eventual death, it was painful to watch her slip away.

Mr Reyes made it a point to visit his daughter every day at her home.

"It was draining, both physically and emotionally, to see her turn from a bubbly person to a patient," he said.

"It pained me. It's a great pity that she's taken away at a very young age."

Reyes leaves behind her husband, two children, her parents and brother Andre, 39.

"It was draining, both physically and emotionally, to see her turn from bubbly person to a patient."

- Mr Rommy Reyes