Keith Ong, the bereaved father of the 19-year-old NUS student who passed away in a tragic accident at the Clementi Rd last week, has taken to Facebook to express his grief and revealed that his daughter wrote a reflection on her own funeral, prior to her untimely passing.
Writing to his daughter Kathy, an only child, Keith recalled that he felt it was such an “inauspicious” thing for a teenager to write such a reflection but added that he is now thankful she wrote the piece which he says symbolises her last words to him. He wrote on Facebook:
“Baby, when you wrote about your own death, Daddy felt it was so weird and inauspicious for a 19 year old to write such stuff…now, looking at you…I am thankful you wrote it. Its the closest i can get to hearing you cos i never had the chance to have a last word with you. i am glad i sent you fruits on Tue evening and we hugged each other tightly as that was the last time i got to hug you dearly in my arms. i know there are a lot more you have to tell daddy and mummy. i dont know how but i hope i get to see, hear and feel you soon…”
Kathy’s reflection was featured prominently at her wake. She had written:
“Today is my funeral. A water hyacinth woven coffin (they’re sustainable and biodegradable — I hurt the environment enough while alive) lies in the centre, at the front of a white, glassy wall. There are carefully arranged flowers colouring the place, a warmer, softer hue from good-willed acquaintances of the bereaved, my loved ones.
“People talk in hushed, respectful, comforting voices, conscious of my absence, but they will come to terms with this funeral and relax in abit, and normal conversation will resume in the presence of others they might not have seen in awhile. A funeral serves as a rather efficient gathering. My parents stand close by; they are my biggest sorrow, but I will not get to that. Time is merciless, they think, not at all fair, let alone too fair the way their daughter had lamented, because how could enough be given to them yet so little to their only child, such that they lived to watch her die? If one, however were to believe in destiny, that one’s entitled time was predetermined from the beginning, then maybe there is fairness in that every moment of time felt longer to me than it did for them, or some other reasons related to perception of time.
“Everything in this hall has a time limit — the blooming of the flowers, my physical body, people’s presence, and their memory of me. But, me, I am no longer bound by time. Now isolated from the rest of my community, does time still have a purpose for me? From this point on, whether or not I do not know, but I know not time the way I used to before.
“I had to take a break before writing this part; though short, writing my own funeral was quite an out-of-body experience, emotionally rather draining. There were a lot of pauses before I wrote, a lot of images in my head, such that those short paragraphs — now that I look at the clock — took me 2 hours to write. And I’ve missed my friend’s request for lunch.”
Baby, when you wrote about your own death, Daddy felt it was so weird and inauspicious for a 19 year old to write such…