I remember 23 March 2022 as if it were yesterday. “They were unable to revive her,” my youth leader told me over the phone. “She passed away this morning.”

Though I had lost my grandfather to old age and my history teacher to cancer, and had seen countless news articles of the deaths of many strangers, death always felt like a distant concept to me.

When I lost Kai Sheann to a cardiac arrest, however, death never felt closer or more real.

The night before her death, we had been on Zoom laughing and talking. The morning of her passing, she had even messaged me on WhatsApp. I hadn’t replied to her in time.

Kai Sheann was only 15 years old. She was my cell group member, mentee, a precious friend and sister.

The night before her death, we had been on Zoom laughing and talking. The morning of her passing, she had even messaged me on WhatsApp. I hadn’t replied to her in time.

The days following her death were when I cried most bitterly. She was going to be a mentor soon. She had wanted to receive the Holy Spirit baptism. Her first day serving in the multimedia ministry was that very Friday.

It all felt too soon, too sudden.

But God is near to the broken-hearted (Psalm 34:18).

The evening of 23 March, the sky was the most beautiful I’d seen. The orange hues against the grey sky almost looked like a hand waving farewell.

Skies have always meant a lot to me. I’ve always found peace in simply sitting and watching the sun set and clouds drift.

God gave us such a masterpiece that day, and I couldn’t help but see it as His comfort and assurance to us — that He is present and He loves us.

Upon seeing it, I felt immense supernatural peace. I knew then that I was truly not alone, that God was with me in the grief and pain.

Never Walk Alone by Hillsong Worship is a song that I heard many times at her wake, almost as if it were God’s own words for me. It goes:

“Your heart is for me
Your ear is listening
I’m safe in Your love
Your army of angels
Watch over me

You’re always present
You’re always with me
For all of my life
Your favour has followed
You’re my covering

I have never walked alone
I’ve never been abandoned
You are my inheritance
You are my strength and shield
And I have confidence
You go before me
You’re my deliverer
I know I never walk alone”

God comforted me through the strength and love of Kai Sheann’s parents and brother, who greatly and selflessly supported my cell group.

The loss undoubtedly hit them hardest. Yet during the wake, they were the ones offering tissues and kind words of support and reassurance to others.

Beyond the sorrow, they remembered God as they shared about His goodness during her eulogy, and the joy that came with knowing that she is in His good hands.

God also blessed me with a community who supported and grieved with me. These were my church leaders, family, friends and my cell group especially.

Going through everything with people who not only understood but also pointed me back to God helped significantly.

Funnily enough, Never Walk Alone became a song that I avoided after Kai Sheann’s passing.

It was much too associated with the sorrowful initial days of losing her, and brought me to tears every time I heard even the first four notes of the song.

Jesus knows our pain and loss; He is nearer than we think.

Despite the hope and joy that came with knowing that Kai Sheann left us to be with God, the ache of losing a dear friend remained.

On a night when I felt the wave of grief wash over me again, I was reminded of John 11:35 which reads “Jesus wept.”

Jesus, too, grieved for the death of Lazarus, His dear friend — and this was despite knowing that he would be raised to life mere moments later.

Jesus knows our pain and loss; He is nearer than we think.

A dear brother also helped me realise that grief “may not see an end”, and that’s okay.

Months after she passed, I still find myself breaking down at the thought of her sometimes, and it makes me wonder if I’ve healed at all.

But this brother told me that waves of uncontrollable emotion at being reminded of those we’ve lost are perfectly normal.

At times like these, we need to hold on to Jesus. He is the only reason why we can still be “okay” and why we can have Solid Hope.

Kai Sheann’s passing sparked a roaring fire of revival in both the hearts of those who had grown weary in their walks, and those who have yet to know Jesus personally.

Her death convicted me to surrender my life once more to God and rediscover His goodness and faithfulness.

I was forced to reconsider my faith, the weight of eternity, and subsequently, the fleeting nature of my life on earth.

Even with such an intense wake-up call, God is gentle and compassionate. He has never left my side amidst my grieving, nor has He ever stopped loving me.

For that, I am immensely grateful.

I miss Kai Sheann dearly, but I don’t cry when I listen to Never Walk Alone anymore – and that is one way I know that God is healing me as I surrender my grief to Him.

A reflection I had one night continues to be something I look back upon for comfort and peace:

“I simply need to surrender [my feelings] to You and let go of the reins; simply ask for Your healing, and You listen.

I know that You love me, and I know that You are healing me as I grieve. You grieved for Lazarus too, Lord. You wept too. Thank You for the restorative, healing work that only You can do.”

The hope of the Cross is what grounds me, and what allows me to grieve with hope and mourn with joy.

  1. When was the last time you experienced loss?
  2. Take a moment to reflect: Where can you trace God’s hand in those moments?
  3. What are some of God’s promises you can stand on when times are difficult?