The sudden, shocking death of a dear friend, Khun Thoomma

You can make all those plans and dream the dreams, in a year’s time, in five years, next Christmas. We’ll pay off the mortgage, go travelling, change jobs, move out of the big smoke. My close friend in Thailand dreamed the dream too. Khun Thoomma, 47-years-old, so creative she could carve flowers out of fruit, cook exotic dishes, name all the towering trees at the wonderful Rayavadee where she’d worked for 18 years, and speak to all the guests in their native tongue no matter where they came from. One of the longest serving staff members, living on the property with her little 6-year-old boy, Stephan, Khun Thoomma was a legend. Maybe she would have moved on when she hit the grand 20-year-mark at Rayavadee, maybe not. But she never got the chance to find out. This fantastically vibrant, life-embracing woman woke up last Sunday morning and developed a headache and chest pains. She walked into the hospital and died of a heart attack half-an-hour later, at 10.20 am. Khun Thoomma’s life snuffed out. How can I believe this ? Just 8 weeks ago we spent a part of every day together laughing, she always joked about my oh so annoying habits, taught me how to laugh at troubles, enjoy every moment, names the trees I was so in awe of, and drink down that last glug of wine. What a woman, what a great friend, what a lovely mother to Stephan and her older daughter and son. Where have you suddenly gone so unannounced, leaving everyone behind to gasp and pale in disbelief. I’d be walking to breakfast in the early morning with the sound of hornbills, monkeys in the trees, a distant longtail boat and then that booming voice coming down the path, Chun Rak khun, Khun Sharon. I love you Sharon. I’d look round and she’d be smiling, tall white chef’s hat on, and her pressed apron, all ready for her cooking class with the guests who’d booked her up. I’ll miss you dear friend, I miss you already, am so shocked to have lost you, and have been crying for you overnight, and will for many more nights. Thank you for what you taught me Khun Thoomma and thank you for the time we spent together. I am only grateful that you didn’t suffer and have no knowledge of how much suffering there is now without you.

12 Responses to “The sudden, shocking death of a dear friend, Khun Thoomma”

  1. MarshaNo Gravatar Says:

    Beautiful Sharon. So well written & sad. Wish you well.

  2. Margaret CliffeNo Gravatar Says:

    May Khun Thoomma rest in peace knowing she has such a wonderful friend who writes such meaningful thoughts.

  3. HarryNo Gravatar Says:

    abrubt departures are always shocking; life is always too short, especially while enjoyed and “lived”; kind generous people live much longer, after departure, in other’s souls; that Kuhn Thoomma made you grow and express such feelings is a proof of her wonderness and part of her ever living spirit. God(s) bless you Sharon and rest her soul forever.

  4. Monty LasovskyNo Gravatar Says:

    You will not get over this loss for a long while yet. The memories you created together will always be with you and you will recall those memories over a life time with joy and sadness. These will be cherised memories 30 years from now or as long as life itself. I know. I had a close friend who chose suicide over a lost love nearly 50 years ago. Certain music, certain places,people and odd things revive these memories which are bitter sweet memories bringing a wry smile or the odd tear, but they are revived and remain with you in the private recesses of your mind forever.It is wonderful to have had a close friend that helped you create these memory recalls. That’s what life is all about.

  5. Sharon FeinsteinNo Gravatar Says:

    Monty that is a beautiful comment you have left. Thank you, and thank you for the comfort it brings me. I am sorry about your own loss albeit half a century ago. With best wishes

  6. Sarah PearsonNo Gravatar Says:

    So lovely that you have put this together, Sharon !!! Thooma was one of the first thai friends I met when I first went to Railay in 1993 ! We danced together alot and had a joke I was her “Madonna” she was my “Janet Jackson” ! Always a smile…
    She willed be missed by many many people all around the world. Goodbye my friend !

  7. BrittanieNo Gravatar Says:

    Well done describing the The sudden, shocking death of a dear friend, Khun Thoomma | Sharon Feinstein. I’ve read many posts prior to now few hours about it topic and yours shines. Keep doing what you are doing, it’s undoubtedly working.

  8. Solai LukeNo Gravatar Says:

    This is a actually engaging article! Thank you for this! With sincerely Luke aka couchgool.

  9. Laura WatkinsNo Gravatar Says:

    You have my sympathy for your loss.
    When a friend dies, untimely, unexpected, it is a wound that doesn’t go away.
    You will be turning around to tell her things for decades.
    Take care of yourself, and remember.

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  11. EberhardNo Gravatar Says:

    Tomorrow, 30.03.12, we will leave Germany to travel once again to Rayavadee.
    As usual, like very, I searched today the net for any news about (like changing from Brian to Khun Vee) and had to find your tragical news about Khun Thooma.
    Our 11 years old female twins “grow up up” over serveral year together with Thooma.
    Now I had to deliver this horrible new to them. We couldn´t stop them crying, because they didn´t went to Rayavadee – they went to Kun Thooma (and grabbed every year – with Thoomas help – the golden egg during easter hunting…)
    Anyway – we are very happy, we could stay some time together with Thooma – and we will never her pleasant, happy and friendly character.
    We packed a candle and will light it in the next days in the Grotto.
    God speed Kun Thooma
    yours
    Eberhard and family

  12. TomNo Gravatar Says:

    Khun Thomma told me once:
    “Everything that has a beginning has an ending. Make your peace with that and all will be well”(buddhist saying)

    I used to work @rayavadee back in 1997-99, and it was during this time she became a very good friend and thought me about Thai culture.
    We have the same birthdate, May 28th, and every time when i returned back to Thailand for holiday, we met at Ao namao for a belated b’day party.

    I was working in the state of Qatar when i got an email from a friend saying Khun Thomma passed away.
    I just came back to Thaliand in March 2012 and was lucky to meet her 6 year old son Stephan, and met also her 30 year old daughter.
    Your memory lives on in our hearts,Khun Thoomma.

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