Kevin Ariken

My friend Kevin Ariken passed away on Thursday, 3rd Februay 2005. I delivered this eulogy at his service today.

Kevin was a friend of mine

Every single one of us here will share that sentiment. He was a friend to each of us in an individually meaningful way and in unimagineable ways which we will struggle to appreciate now that he is no longer with us. It is impossible to capture who Kevin was and what he meant to us in a short eulogy, or in simple words, but the presence of all of you here gives the clearest indication of the measure of the man and his impact on our lives. As a son, husband, father, relation, friend and work colleague, and active member of this community, Kevin touched different aspects of our lives. When I met him for lunch on Wednesday, I told him how much I respected him, of how how he had grown from the cheeky, mischief-making schoolboy I met at 16, to become the the responsible father of two so wonderful children and loving husband to Pilar. That family was his universe, around which he devoted his time and energies. He was also a central member of his working environment, diligent and attentive and much appreciated for his contributions. His activities with the Church and at cathechisim classes also left an indelible mark on the people around him, both young and old. Despite his many duties and responsibilities, and the superhuman efforts these required, Kevin always made time for much else, for friends and strangers alike: to lend a helping hand, an understanding ear, a consoling shoulder, offer words of advice and encouragement. With each of his social circles, with his ex-SJI schoolmates, friends from JC and University, his hockey team-mates, the group of altar boys, Kevin was constantly striving to bring and keep people together. He was our centre, each of the groups' heartbeat. In that sense, his generousity and sincerity conquered the limitations of time and the common expectations of the world. That was Kevin's secret: he knew this was an imperfect world, sometimes unjust and cruel. Unlike others who would shy away from challenges and retreat into the sanctuary of solitude, Kevin's recognition of the world's incompleteness drove him to challenge and mend fissures as best he could, tirelessly, and never discouraged if his efforts failed. That Kevin, the Kevin that we know now is a reflection of the love he felt for us. The Kevin we know is also a testatment to the loving family that raised him. Philip and Nancy, you did an outstanding job, giving him all the opportunities in life that anyone could wish for. Your tremendous and selfless efforts resulted in an upright, decent and caring man in the truest sense of the word: strong, principled, devoted and loyal, a man of faith. To Mel, he was the typical older brother - sometimes over-bearing and over-protective but ultimately the perfect sibling to share a life with. If it is any consolation, we share your loss. The passion with which Kevin engaged with life is also seen in the passion and love he felt for Pilar. Once he met Pilar, his friends knew that he had met his match, his soul-mate. Their's was a relationship that crossed continents and cultures and learning a new language was no obstacle for him. With Ale and Maria, we see the very best of this coupling. In an ideal world, Kevin would see Ale and Maria grow to be the outstanding people they will no doubt become. In that ideal world, he would be my best-man, we would grow old together and share pictures of our grand children. In that world, Kevin would be here to deliver my eulogy. But we don't live in that perfect world. And as we struggle to come to terms with the loss of our friend, as we struggle to make sense of this senselessness, it would be wise to recall how Kevin conducted his life and how he would have responded. He would not have been dispirited, he would not have grown bitter or kept a rancourous flame. Let us follow his example, then, and face this in the way that he taught us how thru his examplary living. That would be the rightful way to remember our friend, Kevin Philip Ariken.
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17 Comments

  1. B
    Posted 9th February 2005 at 01:00 | Permalink

    You make me wish I’d known him too.
    Yours, with watery eyes.

  2. Granny D'Souza
    Posted 26th February 2005 at 16:43 | Permalink

    Hey Tommy

    Jeff and I have been sharing a lot of stories on email which is our way of coping and remembering our dear ‘pug’ as we used to call him. We should really send some to you so that we can remember him in different contexts since 1986. Believe it or not, am still coming to terms. I pass by the kerb he bashed into everyday and wish I’d see some apparition of him at his most mischievous. BTW, he was born 6th November 1969, not 11th. He was cremated exactly 3 mths after his birthday.

    Lets meet soon mate. Was thinking of organizing a get together, a sort of tribute to him. Friends can share old stories about him. Is your palace available? I will help organize.

  3. Anonymous
    Posted 7th March 2005 at 08:06 | Permalink

    life is so unpredictable its scary…

  4. Claudine Michael
    Posted 5th April 2005 at 00:46 | Permalink

    I was born just 3 months after Kevin & he, Mel & I grew up together. He was the worst bully of a cousin imaginable but he grew into such a fantastic adult, very loving & generous with his time & advice, why he even gave me valuable tips on breastfeeding (his daughter Maria being born 6 months before my son Jude)! His cheeky grin is something about him that has never changed & a feature that I’ll always remember best about him. “Good night, sweet prince and flights of angels sing thee to thy rest.”
    – Claudine Michael

  5. Kathryn
    Posted 3rd December 2005 at 12:05 | Permalink

    I, too, knew Kevin. We shared a house in Melbourne more than 10 years ago and I am still in Australia. I didn’t know that he had died and have been shattered since reading your site. Is there any way I can contact you?
    Kathryn McNess

  6. Tempest
    Posted 1st June 2007 at 00:44 | Permalink

    Knew him in college … its been 20 years since I last heard about Kevin. It saddens me that of all the news I had to be updated with this one.
    To his wife & daughters, may the lord keep you strong & be with you always. Am sure Kevin is watching over you too.

  7. Posted 5th June 2007 at 00:43 | Permalink

    To Tempest: I’m sorry that you had to find out in this way. Sometimes there is no right way to learn about the sadder parts of life.

    His friends – like Granville, Rueben – are still around in Singapore, and I know they also reminisce often and loudly. There was another friend of Kevin’s – I think his name is Jeffrey? – who could do the bestest impersonation of Kevin. Absolutely perfect impersonations. I remember one occasion when we had a drink with Kevin and a bunch of the guys at Himiko Court and Jeffrey had us in stitches laughing at poor Keveeeen.

    Pilar is living in Singapore (where she teaches) with Ale and Maria. Ale was the page boy responsible for our rings and Maria was one of the flower girls. They are so, so beautiful.

  8. Praveena
    Posted 23rd June 2007 at 18:51 | Permalink

    So sad to hear that. I used to work with him about 9-10 years ago. We were on a project together in Bangkok when he was working for Magnus. He was such a nice guy. He was a really good and enjoyable friend. He had made more friends in Bangkok in 6 months comparing to myself who was born in Thailand. He was a good guitar player. He would always have friends or cousins visiting him during his stay in Bangkok. I lost touch with him for a few years. I had a plan to come to Singapore for a day meeting and I thought of him. I thought of a good friend I have in Singapore and was trying to search for his contacts to give him a ring. And I found your Blog. Hope Pilar and the kids are doing well. What a sad news.

  9. Durai
    Posted 21st December 2007 at 04:56 | Permalink

    Hi,
    I was in my consultation room seeing a patient with a familiar surname Ariken. This triggerred a memory…. I remembered a friend from 1992 when I was studying at taylor’s college in Melbourne Australia. My memory stretched back to a generous, brave and playful soul I had met. Knowing the Eurasian community to be close knit, I asked my patienet if she knew of my long lost friend Kevin…I was so saddened and shocked to hear of his passing away… I can’t believe he is gone. My deepest condolences to His family

    Durai

  10. Bimal
    Posted 4th January 2008 at 21:53 | Permalink

    HI,
    Since Kevin passed away I always think of him with the coming of each New Year.

    We met at ante-natal and it was so funny meeting someone with a warped sense of humour to match mine.

    I remember him making little Maria practise sit-ups… when she was only a few months old. I still miss him, and do feel for Pilar, Maria and Ale.

  11. Chris Lee
    Posted 12th May 2008 at 18:03 | Permalink

    I was cleaning my Yahoo messenger account when I saw Kevin’s name.. I started to wonder where he is, since I have not heard from him for a few years now. I googled his name and found this, I am extremely sad to hear of this news. I worked with him in Thailand together with Praveena(her message was listed above). He is a very nice guy, outgoing, likes to go out and meet people. I vividly remember him talking about Pilar even before they got married.
    He was my rommmate in Thailand, this is an extremely sad Day.
    -Chris

  12. Posted 12th May 2008 at 23:14 | Permalink

    I just found out about this! I first met him on a project for Magnus Bangkok back in 2000. I remember he toured me around Singapore while I was there waiting for a Thailand work visa and he showed me his favorite place for hainanese chicken. I also remembered how a good host he was when I was alone in Bangkok for the first time.

    I met Pilar before they got married. I don’t know if she remembers me, but I hope she and the kids are doing fine.

  13. Posted 4th June 2008 at 15:24 | Permalink

    Could someone please give me some more information about Kevin. I used to know a Kevin Ariken. We were in Barcelona together for a year in 1997. I was searching the net for old friends and came across this site. I am shocked since so many details match what I know about him. Was he from Singapore? Did he study in the UK and Barcelona next?
    Please let me know, we used to be very close.

  14. Patrick Yap
    Posted 23rd March 2009 at 19:21 | Permalink

    hi all,

    i was searching for a kevin ariken that i used to know from coventry university. and i came across this entry. the reason i am writing is because he also married a pilar from spain and i fear that this is the very same kevin that i am looking for.

    my wife would like to get in touch with pilar as we all studied together in uk. appreciate if someone here can provide me with her contact. thanks.

    pat

  15. Nancy Ariken
    Posted 2nd April 2009 at 16:50 | Permalink

    Dearest friends of Kevin,

    I did not know why I suddenly looked for information on Kevin when he was my son, and I know all about him. But I am glad I did. I now know all the beautiful things that his friends said about him. Thank you all for being Kevin’s friends , and for loving him.

    Thank you Tom for that beautiful eulogy. You know Kevin so well.
    I need not say anything more about Kevin. You said it all for us

    Although its been 4 years since Kevin passed away, we grieve for him everyday. I don’t think we will ever stop grieving for him.

    Kevin left a wonderful family behind, and I printed all thats been written about him, to show the kids when they are older , what a wonderful dad he was , and what wonderful and loving friends he had.

    May God bless you all
    Kevin’s mum

  16. Suryani Said-Piracci
    Posted 18th April 2009 at 03:27 | Permalink

    I must hold back the tears…

    Tom, a million thanks for sharing!

    I googled “kevin ariken singapore” & found this 1st. Raj Kumar, a 3rd YJC councillor, updated me on this & we (some 5 of us who were Kevin’s council kakis had met for a mini reunion) were deeply saddened.

    Kevin & Pilar were at my wedding 5 years ago & she had a video cam to interview my yankee husband on his experience of a lifetime 😉 How could we forget that moment!! How special they have made our day 🙂

    Pilar… you all are in our thoughts & prayers. I hope I’d get lucky & find you before I leave Singapore (for Dubai) again.

    Mr & Mrs Ariken and family… know that we all have only fond memories of Kevin. YJC’s 3rd Student Council respect & love him. I knew him then & have had the good luck of catching up with him again on several occasions aft his marriage & he always had something funny yet profound to share. I do miss him so & pray that you all are doing well. I know Kevin is watching us from a very special place.

    Peace + Love,
    God bless
    Sue

  17. Posted 17th October 2015 at 20:21 | Permalink

    Hi Tom,

    Like all other a, I googled the name Kevin Ariken and found this. I heard about his passing from my friend, Luanne, when we met in 2012. We were from CHIJ St Theresa’s Convent and the SJI boys used to join us for trainings and friendly matches on our school ground. I can never forget his sweet yet cheeky smile.

    Rest in peace, dear friend.

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