Friday, January 20, 2006

A Good Soul Deserves Another

Last night, as I was picking up my mail from my mailbox on the groundfloor, there was a funeral wake. It was normal and I did not pay much attention until one lady, whom we met often in the lift, told me that the person died alone.

This man who had just passed away lived alone in the "senior citizen flat" along Upper Cross St. From what I understand from the people at the Wake, he was under social welfare. Inspite of all the hardship, he helped to deliver food and things to the other elderly people in the block, the people who are not able to move easily. He was an important connector in this community of elderly people.

He died alone without any relatives (at least at the Wake, no one was aware). The neighbours in the "community" took it upon themselves (with some volunteers like this lady and her husband who are living in my block, which across from that block) to give him a decent burial. They even arranged for Buddhist funeral rituals to be conducted.

At the Wake, the elderly neighbours who could walk were there to help out, such as folding the necessary joss-papers and burning candles/joss sticks. They tried collecting "white gold" (contributions to a funeral is known as white gold in Chinese) from the community. There was one donor who happened to be at the block to give ang-pows away to the senior citizen (these are the low profile philanthropists), who upon hearing of this case, gave S$1000 contribution. The community spirit is still alive.


Lam Chun See said...

Thanks for the simple yet touching story. Hope it can inspire some of us to get off our butts and do something.

chinatownboy said...

Thanks! Yes, it is frightening to know what it would be when we are without relations and friends. Community spirit is important for our well being. (^^)

frannxis said...

If we know of elderly singles staying in our blocks, perhaps we should try to visit them or engage them, even just to say hello, once in a while.

chinatownboy said...

Yes! Yes! That's what I am doing, at least along the same corridor to my house on daily basis. (^^)