Tan Kee Yun
The New Paper
Aug 18, 2015
It has been more than two months since the sudden and shocking death of her boyfriend, actor Ashmi Roslan, who died from a heart attack.
But local Suria actress Syirah Jusni still feels the pain every day. The heartache of losing her beau of two years has manifested itself in physical ailments.
"I come down with fever every night," the 26-year-old told The New Paper yesterday. She described herself as being in the process of "healing emotionally and bringing my health back".
With tears welling up in her eyes, Syirah said:
"As days go by, it gets easier. At the end of the day, no matter how devastated I am, life goes on."
It used to be worse. A week after the death of Ashmi, who would have turned 34 on Aug 11, Syirah suffered a panic attack.
"It was very bad," she recalled.
"I was supposed to turn up for a magazine cover shoot the next day, but I just couldn't do it." Ashmi, a popular Suria personality, died on June 10.
Syirah and his family members reportedly found him lying unconscious in a pool of blood on the bathroom floor at his aunt's place.
He was rushed to Khoo Teck Puat Hospital, where he was pronounced dead at 10.50pm.
This year's Ramadan and Hari Raya Puasa weekend was "by far, the hardest" for Syirah.
"I did not celebrate," she said, adding that she "had a good cry" on Ashmi's birthday.
"I was waiting for the clock to strike midnight. When it did and I knew it was Aug 11, the tears flowed.
"I needed the moment to make myself better."
On Aug 11, Syirah posted on Instagram:
"Sometimes, it feels as though you're still here, generously spreading your smile to everyone & I hope too that soon enough, it will be my turn to do the same, continuing that wonderful infectious light of yours...Today & the days after, I can no longer hand you gifts, so I present your name in my prayers, everyday & always, especially today."
Thankfully, for the rest of the day, she was kept busy with the filming for Channel 5 drama Tanglin, which was a welcome distraction for her.
On the show, which airs on weeknights at 8.30pm and is also available on Toggle.sg, Syirah plays Norleena, the bubbly, youngest daughter in the Rahman family.
HELPING HER COPE
Fauzie Laily plays Norleena's husband, Mastura Ahmad plays her mother and Elfaeza Ul Haqplays her older sister.
Syirah credits her close-knit Tanglin co-stars and on-screen family for helping her cope.
"Loss is when you feel it weighing heavily on you," she said.
"It's been a very hard time for me. But when I go to work and meet all these crazy people, it keeps my mind off a lot of things.
"Whenever I come onto set, they'd have something up their sleeves to make me laugh."
She was also extremely touched by how supportive the Tanglin crew were.
"I was given two weeks' urgent leave (after Ashmi's funeral) and during my absence, I was aware that the script had to be tweaked. Everyone was really understanding of my situation," she said.
Returning to work was tough.
"The first few days when I got back on the Tanglin set, I couldn't be alone," she said.
"My younger brother accompanied me and when he couldn't make it, my cousin came with me.
"Mentally, I'm a very strong, independent person. No matter what, I have to stay strong for my family."
The couple had been talking about tying the knot next year, so it is no surprise that Syirah still keeps in touch with Ashmi's family.
"This year was supposed to be a memorable one for both of us, as Ashmi and I had planned for our two families to meet," she said.
"He's a family-oriented guy. I still visit his parents, brothers and aunties very often."
Voice choking with emotion, Syirah added:
"Helping his immediate family members makes me feel better and I feel his presence when I'm with them."
This article was first published on August 18, 2015.
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