9.Happy Father’s Day (Sunday, Sunday, 16 June 2019) – Story #9: My Father’s Death

by Patrick Liew on August 20, 2019

9.Happy Father’s Day (Sunday, Sunday, 16 June 2019) – Story #9: My Father’s Death

On 17 March 1990, Papa passed away suddenly.

He had a heart attack after a short holiday overseas.

He collapsed while queuing up to stamp his passport at the Singapore Customs.

At that point, our family was in shock and deeply saddened.

It took us a long time to recover from the grief.

Looking back, I feel it was a beautiful way to go.

He had no prolonged illness.

No medical bills.

And he left no financial burden to loved ones or anyone.

Papa left us with a smile on his face and an uplifted spirit from the vacation.

We placed a small advertisement in the obituary column and planned to have a short funeral wake.

It was hard to believe the response we got from even acquaintances.

The HDB void deck was literally packed with people.

Many rushed to the funeral to see Papa for the last time.

Some had tears in their eyes and came with a message from their heart.

There was a man with a swarthy face, probably in the 60s, who came very close to me.

He held my hands and with glistening eyes, he shared words that touch my heart deeply, “I’m a retired policeman. I’ve met your dad for only a short period of time.

“Somehow, he made a strong impression on me and brightened up my life. When I saw his photo in the newspaper, I told myself I have to come and see him off.”

There were many others who shared with me how they treasured Papa’s friendship and valued the time they spent together.

They came from many corners of the country and different walks of life.

Papa’s funeral awakened me to an important value.

A good way to measure success is the number of friends who will show up at my funeral – people who will be thankful for my life and who will miss me when I am gone.

I do not want to go through what Thomas Hardy called the “second death” in his poem, ‘The To-Be-Forgotten.’

“They bide as quite forgot;
They are as men who have existed not;
Theirs is a loss past loss of fitful breath;
It is the second death.”

I thought to myself, “Isn’t it tragic that if you die, no one will remember you or worst, want to remember you.”

You can take nothing away with you at the end of your life.

However you can leave behind something of value to others.

The highest value you can leave behind will be your love for our Creator and the people and environment around you.

If you live for this noble aspiration, you would have lived a good life.

“Thank you Papa for the lesson.”


I hope this message will find a place in your heart.

By the way, I have also recorded other reflections.

Please ‘Like’ me on https://m.facebook.com/patrickliewsg

Please visit my website, http://www.patrickliew.net

Follow me on:

Visit my Inspiration blog at https://liewinspiration.wordpress.com/

For my opinions on social affairs, please visit my Transformation blog at http://hsrpatrickliew.wordpress.com/

Let’s connect on instagram.com/patrickliewsg
– via @patrickliewsg

https: //twitter.com/patrickliew77
– via @patrickliew77

My LinkedIn

My Quora https://www.quora.com/profile/Patrick-Liew-5?share=24abf3c1&srid=uL2Gz

Please read my reflections and continue to teach me.

Life is FUNtastic!


Powered by Facebook Comments

Comments on this entry are closed.

Previous post:

Next post: