Till We Meet Again

In 2022, Hong Kong people experienced a long goodbye. The sadness of parting has been around us these years. Mass exodus since 2019 anti-extradition bill movement, bidding farewell is a new normal in Hong Kong. Covid-19 takes away more than 9000 people lives, the bereaved felt especially anxious and regretful for not being able to bid farewell to their loved ones.Lam Chun and Pasu, these two Hongkongers choose to stay on during the hard times.

Lam Chun, a former district councillor decided to resign in 2021 because he refused to take the oath of allegiance. After his resignation, he hoped to connect with like-minded people and eventually started a moving company. No longer a district councillor, he is now a mover. Starting a business amid a mass exodus, Lam’s moving company handles 50 to 60 clients planning to leave Hong Kong every month. Since Lam was a kid, he thought “emigration” is a negative thing, he can’t understand why people are leaving their root. After gone through a lot in the past few years, Lam’s mind and thoughts have changed. He said people are not simply moving out of the city, they’re fleeing Hong Kong .As a mover, he is grateful he have the capacity to help Hongkongers get through tough times.

According to the figures from Hong Kong Census and Statistics Department, net outflow of Hong Kong residents from 2019 to 2021 is over 130,000. Under the fifth wave of the pandemic, the net outflow of population has reached 140,000 in the first quarter of 2022.

Pasu has been in the funeral business for 18 years. He said that since he joined the industry, he has never handled such a large number of bodies under such short period of time and even the supply of coffins was not enough. The toughest challenge is that when the body is to be cremated, Pasu found that something went wrong with the refrigeration of the body. Some of the bodies had decayed, some not only decayed, but unrecognizable. It is sad for the family to face the death of a loved one and seeing such changes in a loved one’s body, it can be devastating and traumatic.

The devastating COVID-19 pandemic has taught Hong Kong people the impermanence of life

It’s easier to accept the fact that if only one or two friends or loved ones pass away or leave us. But as the number grows, it’s heart-breaking. It’s important to learn saying goodbye and saying it well.