READ: Henry Sy Jr.’s message of hope and love for daughter’s untimely passing

Published March 21, 2021, 3:23 PM

by Jane Kingsu-Cheng

Henry Sy Jr. (left) and daughter Jan Catherine Sy

Losing a child can never be easy. Facing the reality of this and acknowledging it is even harder.

SM Investments Corporation vice chairman Henry Sy Jr. lost his eldest daughter Jan Catherine Sy last March 18, Thursday, to septic shock. One cannot imagine how the past few days have been for the family whom she has left behind, but Henry “Big Boy” Sy Jr. was able to compose a letter in memory of her beloved daughter. Here are some of the highlights.

He started by thanking everyone for their love, support, and prayers. “Many of you responded to the timely need for transfusions over and over. For this, we are deeply touched and grateful.”

Life with Jan
He also shared anecdotes of how life was with his eldest daughter for the past year that the country has been on lockdown, and saw this chapter in their lives as a gift. “She took care of us her parents as most young people do especially of our health and wellbeing, our IT needs, driving for us whenever needed, and making sure we exercised as she skated beside us on our daily walks. She bought us bikes and helmets, encouraged us to swim, herself being such a disciplined health buff and athlete. She nagged us to eat healthy and sleep early.”

Jan was a loving and dutiful daughter, making the most of her “lockdown” time with her family before she was supposed to get married this April 2021. The father described her as joyful, kind, and patient who “made life so pleasant under the circumstances we all now face because of the pandemic.” He continued, “She was the most wonderful to be around especially in the past few months even as she prepared for her wedding to Jack.”

The father revealed that Jan, ever since she was a child, would always remind him to go to church with her. “By God’s grace and compassion, He allowed us to speak to Jan moments before she was intubated and she said she was ready to meet Jesus, giving a double thumbs up and then pointing to the sky saying ‘with Jesus.'”

Letting go
Like any parent, Jan’s father still finds it hard to comprehend why she had to leave this world at such a young age. “I cannot begin to explain the extraordinary turn of events that struck my family. All i can say is, it has broken me.”

“The pain of separation, as sudden and frightening as it was, is real and unbearable,” he says. “But God’s message to me these past few days is clear—to trust Him with all my heart and not to lean on my own understanding, but in everything and all my ways, to acknowledge Him.”

Trust the Lord
He added that his daughter was a beautiful gift from God, albeit just for 29 years, “We are comforted by the knowledge that she is rejoicing now and safe in His presence in heaven. She had this confidence and assurance from the very start.” For Henry Sy, Jr., his daughter lives on and will never die. “Her physical body may have died but her soul and spirit now live safely in her new home in heaven where there are no more tears. In this I and my family rejoice, take comfort and strength, and look forward with expectation to celebrating Jesus together with her someday in His perfect and appointed time.”

With their hearts assured that his eldest daughter is now with the Lord, he quoted the bible verse John 11:25-26), “I am the Resurrection and the Life. He who believes in Me shall live, even if he dies. And everyone who lives and believes in Me shall never die.” He ends his message by expressing his gratitude to those who have reached out to him and his family for the past few days. “May we give all glory and praise to our good God and Heavenly Father. May He reminds us truly to number our days and grant us a heart of wisdom. Cherish His blessings of family and loved ones.”