Every now and then, eight-year-old Luca Choi would read his little sister her favourite bedtime stories.
On other occasions, he would sit in a corner quietly looking at pictures and videos of her on his iPad.
He misses Zoe. If she were alive, she would have been five years old. She died together with her father Choi Chi Man, 48, and 160 other people on AirAsia Flight QZ8501 which crashed into the Java sea on Dec 28, 2014.
The body of Mr Choi – a British citizen who was director of an energy company – was not found until more than a month later, while the remains of Zoe – the sole Singaporean on board – were never recovered.
Losing her husband and daughter caused Ms Wee Mei-Yi unimaginable grief. But the 45-year-old marketing and business communications specialist was also determined to do whatever it took to show her remaining child Luca that his world had not collapsed.
Luca is today a healthy, sporty and friendly boy doing well in school. Until recently the deputy director of philanthropy and marketing at the Asian Civilisations Museum, Ms Wee is also pleased with the progress of her own recovery.
For a long time, she says, she couldn’t see beyond a day.
“But I’m determined to make mojitos from the lemons I’ve been given and I’ll continue to work on that,” she says. “I’m amazed at how far I’ve come.”
That realisation has prompted her to speak, for the first time, about her loss and how she is picking up the pieces. She hopes her story will help others cope with grief and tragedy.
“It’s about giving back to the community, in the light of what’s been happening in the world,” she says, referring to recent events like the Manchester and London terror attacks which claimed victims including children and parents.
Poised and articulate, Ms Wee has a quiet dignity and strength.
Her voice rings with love, affection and, sometimes, merriment when she talks about her late husband and Zoe, showing that the darkness that ensued after their deaths had lifted.
But remembering them also brings on tears, a hint that their premature departures have left a void which perhaps will never be filled.
Life was kind to her before her tragic loss.
Friends and family reckoned that she was cut out for legal studies, given her excellent command of English and her ability to express herself clearly and cogently.
Ms Wee opted to read English literature and anthropology at the University of Western Australia instead. She went on to carve out a successful career in marketing and business communications, working for the likes of Gemini Consulting, Deloitte Singapore, ABN-Amro Bank and the Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS).
At one point, she was RBS’ head of change management and business communications for 15 markets across Asia.
Next page: How she met her husband