Growing old together as a couple is a beautiful life experience, but when one partner passes on, the loneliness and grief can be overwhelming for the living one. Thankfully, there is support in the community to help those grieving the loss of a loved one come to terms.

We share with you a real story of one of our beneficiaries from Yishun Family Service @ Children’s Society who is going through the pain of losing a life-long loved one. This is the first in our latest series ‘Journey With Our Beneficiaries’, which spotlights our beneficiaries’ life experiences and our journey together with them to overcome their challenges.

As a simple and happy-go-lucky person, Mdm Tan was someone who showed her care and concern through simple greetings to the people around her. “你吃饱了吗?” (Have you eaten?) was something Mdm Tan would often say.

Whenever she visited her husband at the hospital, she always ensured he had enough food to eat. She cherished the hours spent keeping him company by his bedside.

While keeping a cheerful and positive front, Mdm Tan couldn’t hide her fears about her husband’s health condition. She was constantly worried that the day would come when he would leave her.

Our social workers from Yishun Family Service would frequently check in on her, comfort her and affirm her efforts and love for her husband. The Medical Social Worker (MSW) in the hospital took the time and patience to communicate to her on her husband’s situation. This was to ensure Mdm Tan stayed updated amidst her emotional chaos and worries.

The day she had been fearing finally came and her husband passed away a few months later. Her world came crashing down, as her husband was a constant in her life and a pillar of support.

Sensing the situation, our social workers made sure to check in on Mdm Tan more frequently to ensure that she would not feel lonely and depressed. She opened up about her feelings of grief, her worries of being left alone, her doubts of her ability to meet her basic needs, and her concern for his well-being in the afterlife. All these feelings were valid and real to Mdm Tan. The social workers also helped to expand Mdm Tan’s emotional and social support network and sought out ways to increase her financial support as well.

The love shared between Mdm Tan and her husband will always be immeasurable. The journey of grieving and finding peace is still ongoing for Mdm Tan, but she is aware that she is not alone. Our social workers are constantly in touch with her to ensure that she is able to get back on her feet and carry on with life.

“Mdm Tan still grieves over her husband’s death and often expresses how she misses him. The journey of grieving is an ongoing one and it may come in different forms and intensities for different people. Sometimes all it takes is to journey through with the client and let them know that they are not alone in this.”

– Kwai Hoong Yong, Yishun Family Service Social Worker

#Didyouknow Yishun Family Service @ Children’s Society promotes stable family life through various services and programmes, with the primary focus of serving families and individuals. This can include children, parents and the elderly within the family. Through casework and counselling, group work, community work and outreach services, we build their resilience and empower them to manage or resolve their differences and challenges.

Click here to read the story in Chinese.

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