In Loving Memory of Christina Grimmie

Christina Grimmie...This is an extremely hard topic to approach. I don't even know where and how to start but I'm just drumming my fingers on my keyboard having her song "With Love" on replay. 

Pardon my grammar, because back then when I had to write about Michael Jackson, I always messed up all the past and present tense...It just doesn't make sense using past tense while talking about someone's legacy. The saying goes by "the legend lives on" or "legacy never dies", right?! This is the same for Christina too.

After the tragedy, I stopped blogging because I knew that I HAVE TO write about how much Christina means to me but I just never had the courage to face the reality. Many of her fans drew portraits of her, did videos in memory of her but I don't have the capability to do any of those, so blog it is - this is the only thing I'm relatively good at (I guess?!). I can't get through her songs without bawling my eyes out, let alone taking a path down the memory lane. I kept on avoiding this space, I even stopped listening to her music for a week after crying non-stop for a few days. I was zombified. I was lost. It's just like a big part of my heart had been dug out and it's now hollow. Everything felt wrong. That's why I couldn't find any reason to blog about other things unless I have this done in one sitting.

Not that I know Christina Grimmie in person, but I have been a fan of hers for a really really long time. Nearly all my friends know how much Christina Grimmie means to me, especially my high school friends. I was the one who introduced the name "Christina Grimmie" to them. It seems like once-upon-a-time as I say this, but having to deal with her passing, this time seems ridiculously short. I was just starting out with guitar after I completely ditched piano and music 6 years ago - this was back in 2009 or 2010. I attempted to learn the chords to Taylor Swift's "Love Story" through Tiffany Alvord's covers. Out of no where, I stumbled upon Tiffany's collaboration video with Christina Grimmie. 

This was the first time I saw Christina Grimmie. I loved her style so much. Yes, creepy to say but it's definitely something like girl crush on first sight! I went to Christina's channel and watched nearly all of her videos in one shot. 

I was madly in love with her cover of Michael Jackson's "Beat It". Being a hardcore Michael Jackson fan, I had this thinking of "only MJ can sing MJ; not others". That changed completely when I saw Christina's cover. Purely piano without autotune. She gave that song a very personal touch and totally RAWWKED it! This girl blew my mind. I remember forcing my mom to sit at the computer table to watch this video on replay with me! It was that serious. 

Not a lot of my friends understood my obsession with Christina Grimmie back then. When I talked about this amazing Youtuber whom I had discovered online. At that time, Christina had less than 50 000 subscribers (still a lot to be honest, but comparing to her current over 3 million Team Grimmie subbies that's really insignificant). I kept on spamming my friends with her videos trying to brainwash them into watching her videos with me. [Well, happiness is having your best buds loving the same idol and music as you!!!] During that time, it was as if preaching Christina's music religiously was my life mission! I guess I did succeed in that to some extent.

Many friends then start checking her out and I finally had friends who started liking Christina because of my endless pestering. From there, we became really good friends and all we could talk about was Christina, Christina, Christina and more Christina!!! Then, from there, they introduced Christina's music to their friends. Later, "Just A Dream" came by and her name was known everywhere. I remember that we even played that song during our Girl Scout campfire event. I was also the guitarist for a friend's performance of this cover. I'd like to secretly think that to some extent Christina's popularity was because of my hardselling skills :P

In amidst of this fandom, I also returned to my piano after dumping it for such a long time. I never liked piano at all but Christina changed my mind rather revolutionary. I downloaded her videos to my guitar teacher and told him to teach me piano after my guitar lessons and he introduced me to a Korg electronic keyboard. A few months later, my mom bought me my first ever keyboard. [Old photo taken with my Nokia phone - my first ever cell phone]

Like Christina, I demanded the keyboard to be put in my bedroom instead of the study room! HAHA I had a serious disagreement with my mom on that. Since Christina had her Sonic and Zelda posters behind her keyboard, I put Michael Jackson and Orianthi's logos instead :p

Of course, I had a little corner of my room that was dedicated to Christina as well right beside my bed!

The envy issue's so real! Delyn and I got close in high school because of Christina. Our friendship still remains up till this day although we are both in different parts of the world.

Back then when I first printed out this set of photos I gave a few pieces to Delyn (after showing off my Grimmie corner) and she thought that I had a crush on her because I was being overly nice to her!!! [Sorry to burst your bubble girl, my girl crush is only for Christina Grimmie! HAHA #memories] 

Fast forward to the days when I started doing vlogs for this blog, unconsciously, I'd do/say things that make my friends tell me "Hey that's Christina Grimmie's sign!"

Years and years of watching Christina, I couldn't stop myself from picking up some little bits and pieces here and there :P Not trying to upstage her or being a Grimmie wannabe by any means, but I don't know...that just came to me #GrimmieInfluence

 As you read this, you might think that I'm another nonsensical fangirl but trust me, as I watched this girl who's exactly one month younger than me, I have always felt that she's like a friend or even a sister to me and needless to say I look up to her A LOT! Not only did she made me realise the magic in music and how one's passion is the key to success, I was dying to steal her style in her makeup, fashion and hair! I used to have a same green Panasonic headphone as Christina which I bought merely because of her - then I had to stomach a sad fact as that headphone only looks superb on Christina and it made me look like a frog! ><

I graduated from high school, embarked on my own journey as I moved to Australia alone for my studies and career while Christina skyrocketed to fame from Youtube, went onto The Voice, releasing her albums, having concerts etc. It's just like we grew up together in one way or another. She's just like a girl next door who gives you a sense of familiarity with indefinite optimism and goofiness.

I never stopped watching her Youtube covers and I definitely did not miss out on her performances on "The Voice". I remember skipping lectures just to stream her live performances. I cried when I watched her perform "Wrecking Ball" on The Voice. I was so so so so proud of her!!! She did not let Team Grimmie down! I had always knew she would be a star and standing there on the stage, she's definitely shining like one!!! Up till this day, whenever I watch that performance I'd still cry tears of happiness for her, without fail.

The day...

The day that I would never ever imagine. I'd imagined zombie apocalypse but definitely not THIS...

I was helping out at a friend's florist while the news hit me. My god sister Lara and my best friend Wan Fen were the first one who broke the news to me.

I remember that I was still struggling to handle some dried flowers with the fear of destroying them with my clumsy hands and my phone was just vibrating away at the back pocket of my jeans.

When I swiped to unlock it, I was shocked. The news of Christina being shot by a gun?! I couldn't believe it AT ALL. My mind went blank. I didn't know what to do, what to think and how to react AT ALL. I wanted to just run out of that place and dumping all my work behind me but I couldn't. Wan Fen was telling me "Whatever you are doing, drop it! This is real!" I was completely lost. It's as if my soul had just detached itself from my body and my brain had just evaporated into thin air.

When I finally calmed myself down and started praying for Christina to be saved, the most tragic news arrived. If I wasn't mistaken, I think it was Wan Fen who was keeping me on constant update. My phone was at the brink of bursting because I received SO many messages from my friends regarding this tragic news. I kept my cool as best as I could while I finished up all my errands in the florist and right when I got off the place, I called up my housemate. She just woke up from her nap and was in major shock when I broke the news to her.

As I walked down the dark road in the cold evening, my first tear dropped, for Christina.

It's so devastatingly surreal. She's my age! That very morning I was just watching her Snapchat telling her fans to meet her at her concert at Orlando. I was just admiring how perfect she was and thinking "when do I get to meet her?!". I believed that one day she would evolve as an internationally famous singer like Taylor Swift and Beyonce and rocked Grammy Awards etc etc etc etc... In a blink of eye, everything just vanished...

It took me quite a while to finally digest what exactly happened as I laid in bed with my iPad. Just like that, I stayed in bed and cried my heart out till 3.30am. The next day I continued to stay in bed, watched all of her videos and cried and repeat the same cycle over and over again for 4 continuous days.

My eyes were constantly swollen throughout those days. I did my long gone black eye makeup which was heavily inspired by Christina which was from my amateur makeup days - merely for the sake of going to do my part-time job. Oh man...this really is a walk down memory lane. I can vividly remember the days when I go around cosmetic shops asking shop assistants to introduce me products that could allow me to create Christina's eye makeup and spending hours trying to get the exact same look. Let's just eliminate the story about how I overbuilt my eyeliner and eyeshadow and turn myself into a pathetic panda bear!

I didn't want to go into the world. I didn't want to accept the fact that the world is still revolving when something so horrible had happened to our dearest Christina. Whenever I saw people laughing and rushing errands on the street, I felt so angry. Why nobody seemed to give a shit...?! I guess, the real reason deep down was because I was in a major denial that she's no longer here. I entered a somewhat "bipolar" stage. I mean...She's there, you know. When I turn on my laptop, she's there, singing, goofing around, playing the piano and looking perfect at every single second. Just like how she always does. Why does it have to feel different now? I have to accept the fact that there will no longer be new updates on her Facebook and Twitter, no more waking up to her Snapchat stories, no more stalking her on Instagram thinking #goals for every photo, no more anticipating for new Youtube videos, no more having the chance to attend her concerts, no more getting to meet her, no more...everything just comes to an end...NO MORE... </3

In amidst of this...I entered a blaming and confused mode. I blamed the society, America's gun law (which is apparently something that HAS TO BE BLAMED), God, the retarded killer and his retarded friends who provoked him that catalysed his anger and jealousy. EVERYTHING IS JUST WRONG.

I just don't understand. Christina's nothing but a nice person with a big heart. Why would someone do such cruel thing to her? If God does exist like how Christina faithfully believed to be why would she have to be the one to go through things like that? People say "chase your dreams" but Christina died when pursuing her dream - then what? Why do we have to live our lives walking on egg shells? Singers risk their lives at concerts, concert goers risk their lives at concerts? Corporate people had their lives taken away while working in famous buildings like the World Trade Centre...

What's wrong with this fucking world?!

People should live their lives in happiness and in peace and not go around destroying others.

I'm lost. I have a tonne of question marks in my brain which nobody will ever be able to give me satisfying answers in correspond to them.

While I cry my heart out, I can't help imagining how much sorrow her family and her friends have to go through at this moment. Their loss is unimaginable and for sure incalculable.

Marcus, Christina's big brother, her player #1. Having to witness his own baby sister to be shot in front of him, that pain is totally beyond anyone's imagination </3 Yet, his bravery saved everyone else who might became potential victim of that idiotic gunman. Unfortunately, his sister sacrificed. I have had Marcus as my Facebook friend for several years and since the day of Christina's tragedy, my Facebook wall has been flooded with posts, photos and videos of people sending their thoughts and prayers to him and his family...Every morning, I'd cry reading those heartfelt comments.

Sarah, her very best friend. Oh gosh...Sarah...How I loved watching Christina and her in their "All Above That Is Random" series. Erica and I used to imitate their videos and she'd play Sarah while I'd be Christina...She and Christina are legit #friendshipgoals.

Lauren, who prompted Christina to start her Youtube channel. If it wasn't for her, we wouldn't be privileged enough to have Christina's music in this world.

Tina, Christina's mom. I remember how Christina said that she thought her mother wouldn't be able to survive breast cancer to witness her performing as a legit singer. Her mother survived cancer but now Christina's gone...In one of her Q&A videos, Christina mentioned that her mother was against her uploading song covers onto Youtube and was like "You need to get off the Internet before some creepy man comes and, like, tries to track you down." OH GOD...I can't believe how her mom's feeling right now T__T </3 Would she be blaming herself for not stopping Christina from doing Youtube back then so everything could be prevented? Would she be happy that Christina had lived her life to the fullest doing something she really liked and inspired thousands of people across the globe?

Bud, Christina's dad. He kept on telling everyone that "God's plan is definitely better than mine", I just cannot imagine how much faith and courage he has to have to be able to say that after having to lose his angelic daughter at such a young age in such a devastating way.

The entire Team Grimmie. Every Grimmie frand from every corner of the world. I bet everyone of them has been going through a hard time as me. I guess it will be a gazillion times harder for people who have met Christina in real life, typically those fans at her very last concert.

As I typed till this part of the passage, I'm already in my 3rd sitting. Now the song playing is "I Bet You Don't Curse God". I really need this song to write this blog post. I respect Christina to be able to have so much faith in God to the extent that she could write this song and sing it in such an emotional way. I really do hope that right now she is in a better place in God.

The other day my friend Delyn texted me, "Not feel like crying now but pissed. For the first time I want God to be real. I'm scared that idk she'll be up there and find that there's no one or he doesn't exist and all her faith was for nothing and she's gone". Frankly speaking, Delyn hit a question mark that I had in me, bulls eye.

Growing up, I'm not a religious person. I suppose Delyn's the same as me. However, at that instance, I replied her message with tears dancing in my eyes, "I think she will always have faith. She is Grimmie".

Then Delyn said "Yeah but she's there now. So what if he's not there and she realises the truth. I mean I wish he was there and he really picked her so she's happy".

"I mean I believe that God exists in the ones who believe in him", I replied. She is Christina Grimmie. She believes in God. She puts God before her. I believe that God will shower her with his love and from now onwards she is in a better place.

Actually, looking back, I guess to some extent, it's as if God had legitimately chosen Christina to teach people lessons in this world.

She brought happiness to her fans through her music, her contagious smile and laughter.

She set up a good role model for people who look up to her to follow.

She spread love to everyone and even animals.

She proved to the world to believe in oneself and keep striving for what you want to pursue.

She remained her original self without being contaminated by all the fame and glory.

She inspired people, she changed people's lives without herself knowing as she just carried on with whatever she did best and whatever she enjoyed.

That's what made her special. Of course, there are TONNES of positive traits of her that I can continue this blog post with to the thickness of a dictionary if you were to print it out but these are the facts that made Christina the angel of my eye, at least the ones that I can remember on the top of my confused mind. I'm positive that I will always have something that I will like to add to this list in the future.

An imaginary hammer hit me and made me realize that life slips away really easily and not to take any day or anyone for granted seeing that Christina's been taken away at such a young age. She's an uprising star with a bright future who is going to touch more hearts...

That night, I was sitting on the floor of my room crying, I emailed my close friends and my mom telling how much I love them and how much they mean to me.

It's my very first time doing such things as I'm not actually a very expressive type of person. I do say "I love you" in a playful type of way but not in a deep-down-from-my-heart-approach. I don't know but it's just really hard and awkward for me. Nevertheless, I did it that way. Christina's passing taught me that waking up to another day is a major blessing, let alone having people who love you for who you are and have always been there with you. I had never once acknowledged how perfectly complete my life has been until now...

I even contacted a used-to-be close friend in high school who's also part of Team Grimmie. We had some past stories of our own which I had already decided to let go off but I just didn't know how to approach that friend after so long. Not only had I gone through a series of dramas and learnt a lot through painful mistakes, but also Christina's passing made me realise that no matter what it is, as long as you are alive, there is nothing that can't be repaired, nothing that can't be forgotten, nothing that can't be forgiven, nothing that can't be left in the past to welcome the future...(Of course logically speaking, not every single thing can be let go off this easily but I know deep down, this issue can be)

Just like Leenda (a Youtuber) wrote on her Instagram, "as long as you are physically okay, everything is okay". That's so god damn true.

For the first time in my life, I have to deal with the passing of someone I love. It's incredibly hard. My mom then told me "Time will cure everything. Cliche but true. Soon when you look back the pain won't be THIS bad anymore". Due to this, I also realised that my mom had become such a tough cookie because she had gone through the death of my dad and successfully raised me up on her own, supported the entire family and made a great career out of her own.

That statement of hers had a certain degree of accuracy to it although I couldn't really see it at that very instance of receiving that message. Sitting here, it's been more than 2 weeks since Christina passed away. I still cry from time to time while watching her performances or listening to her songs, but at the same time, I do not forget to appreciate every bit of legacy that she had left for us with all my heart.

Sarah summed everything up on her Instagram (as below):

To every member of my darling Team Grimmie....💞 Christina deeply cared about each of you. She was ALWAYS thankful and DEEPLY moved to the core by how earthshaking and constant your sweet support has always been. You truly are a STRONG team! One of which I am so blessed and proud and honored to be a part of...To stand with, especially in this time. .

Y O U , dear friends, are a part of her legacy.....

Words can't begin to describe the confusion and pain the last days have brought for us here as her family and loved ones, and I am sure for all of you, as you were so dear and kind to her you were like family... .

So, what are we holding onto in this? In the words of Mr. Grimmie, who called me up last night from FL, "it's painful....more than anything I've ever had to bear....but we're clinging to these 3 things: We WILL see her again, she is doing waaaayy better now than she ever was here, and Jesus' plan is greater than our own." .

What would Christina want you to know in all this? She would want you to remember how much she LOVES you, and is thankful for you. Yo, remember how many computer servers Team Grimmie has crashed for different voting things over the years!? Haha that's freakin awesome!!

She would want you to remember that each and every one of you is UNIQUE, beautiful, quirky, weird, and SO SO SO PRECIOUS and SPECIAL- in who's eyes? GOD'S eyes. .

Right now, I have the full assurance that my sweet kindred spirit of 18 years on earth is seeing our Jesus standing VICTORIOUSLY in heaven. Not only that, but she is praising Him for all the marvelous things He has done for us. We don't understand why He calls us home when He does- we may never get a reason- but if it was simply for ONE of YOU to know that there IS indeed a MIGHTY God, the One true and LIVING God who can pour wells of Living water into your thirsty soul, an INTIMATE God who knows our every need, our every burden, and tells us to cast them all on Him, because He cares for us.

Christina would want you to know that. Oh friends, she desperately wants you to know that Jesus loves you. And He satisfies EVERY need.

I love you all so much, Team Grimmie. 

Thank you Christina for everything  You are very loved and will be missed dearly 

Just like how Michael Jackson said, "If you come into this world knowing you are loved and you leave this world knowing the same, then everything that happens in between can be dealt with".

Rest in peace and continue singing and laughing in heaven. Till the day I finally get to meet you and attend your concert on the other side 
I Love You, Christina Grimmie

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