Friday, October 3, 2008

Tell Me About You

I'd like to hear from those of you who lost your mothers when you were young. I need some insight into what Toby and Josie might be facing in the years ahead and what I can do now to help them.

Can you tell me what you remember about your mother's death and the days or weeks leading up to it? Can you tell me how you were told that your mother had died? Were you allowed to go see her? How old were you? How did you feel?

Tell me what you remember about your mother - what images, events, smells stand out in your mind.

Tell me what you'd most like to say to her or do with her now if she could come back to life for a brief moment.

Tell me anything you can that might help me, Josie, and Toby.

If you don't feel comfortable commenting publicly on this blog, please send your stories to By the way, if you comment on my blog as "Anonymous", even I can't see who you are. So feel free to post your comment as "Anonymous", since your stories and advice might be helpful to other cancer patients as well as to me.

Thanks so much.


Anonymous said...

There is a book called THE LOSS THAT IS FOREVER with stories in it from people who lost a parent before the age of 18. My father died when I was 14 and I read the book when I was in my 50s and found it very validating about some of my life experiences. It also helped me understand the differences in my brothers who did not have the benefit of their father through their adolescence. You might find it helpful.

Anonymous said...

Hi Shin,
Your post makes me cry.
When mama pass away, all I want is the assurance that she is fine and she is in GOD's hands. I will see her again!

Perhaps, you can leave this assurance with Josie and Toby.

Shin said...


Thanks for that book recommendation. I'll put it at the top of my reading list.

Do you have any special memories of your father that you cherish? Do you remember his death and the events leading to his death? Is there anything you wish you could change or do differently?

ALI KATI said...

Shin, I think you should turn your blog into a book with your blog entries and queries, your journey interlaced with stories about who you are. I think anyone who's ever lost someone or has to face the loss of someone, including their own life, would be so greatly heartened by your honest search.

Shin said...

Ali Kati,

Thanks for that tremendous compliment. Several other people have suggested turning my blog into a book, and I'm really honored.

But from an ex-editor's point-of-view, I have to say I'm not so sure this blog would draw a wide enough audience to make it worthwhile for a publisher.

There are plenty of books out there by cancer survivors, many of them pretty uninteresting, but I'm sure the authors' family and friends thought they were great stories to tell.

Anyway, if somebody decides to publish my blog after I'm dead, that would be fine with me. And if that happens and there is any profit made from the sale of the book, I'd like the proceeds to go to a charity that supports educational programs for disadvantaged children. Just for the record... ; )

Shin said...

Anonymous re: in God's hands.

Thanks for sharing your thoughts with me. I'd like Toby and Josie to imagine me in heaven watching over them, and in their hearts, always with them.

How old were you when your mother died? How did you find out your mother had died? Is there anything you wish your mother had done or left behind for you?

Cindy said...

if anything like that happened, i'd want to know that no matter how horrible i'd been and how many hurtful things i'd said in anger, my mum knew up to the very end that i loved her.

Anonymous said...

My father's work schedule was such that for a few years before he died when I was 14, I hadn't spent much time with him. I remember thinking after he died "who would pay the rent" and "who would teach me how to go to work" because my mother had not worked up to that time. She started to work when I was in 11th grade and I actually developed my work ethic watching her go to work ev day. The difference I noticed in my brothers is that the one who had his father thru his adol had very definite work skills as a result of my father's influence in getting him into training in his adol. My other brothers who were younger when dad died, flounder in the world of work. When a parent dies for a child, there is a sense of disconnect between before and after Mom/Dad died. My father died suddenly in the era before statins and had a sudden, massive stroke and died instantly. I remember my mother being in a daze and sleeping a lot for a time but it wasn't that long before she went to work.
I'm a little surprised that as I write this, my eyes are filling with tears. Take care.

Anonymous said...

An addition to my earlier comments re father's death at 14. I always have imagined him in heaven knowing all that I do and that my mother joined him in that when she died much later.

Anonymous said...

My mum died when I was 16. She had a massive heart attack and my dad and I were in the living room with her watching TV when this happened, it was nearly 30 years ago and I remember it like it was yesterday. I have 5 younger siblings the youngest was 9 at the time and you prompted me to ask my brother what he remembered about her death for the very first time because it was never talked about. He remembers every detail of that night which was very different for him as he was sleeping. I remember her being taken away by the ambulance, my aunts being at our house and my dad returning home from the hospital without her. I think I just knew she was dead, don't remember anyone telling me. We had a huge extended family so funerals were not new to me but it was extremely sad. She came home, had an open casket and I remember going up and touching her face not realising she would be cold, I got a huge shock. Closing of the casket was another very hard thing to cope with. I believe in an open mourning where anyone can come to say goood bye to their loves ones. You laugh, you cry, you tell stories it all helps. Those who don't want to see the body don't have to but they can still be close because its not for everyone but I personally believe it helps with the grieving process.

My dad past away from cancer when I was in my early 30's. I was living in a different country and used to fly back often to see him. I remember like it was yesterday, the day I said goodbye to him. We both knew we would never see each other alive again. He was sitting in his chair, I kissed him goodbye, I always said I'll see you again soon dad and I turned back and he had his eyes closed - (the tears are flowing still as I remember but its fine) but where it bought me grief and pain before the memory is now a comfort to me.
What I remember most about both my parents is their smells, my mum's was a perfume called "Tweed" and my dad's was a cologne 4711 he used to always have some on his hankies in his pocket. My dad loved nature, so when I'm at the beach or see a beautiful tree, or the mountains he's with me.

I think as kids we adjust and get on with things. That's not to say we don't hurt because we do and we all have different ways of coping with our grief. But in my time you just sucked it up and got on with it. There was no counseling for us, no-one talked about it. I am glad it's not like that today.

I missed my mum all the time, it hurt like hell. In my late twenties after I had my kids I remember hanging out the washing one day, and just breaking down crying "why did you leave me?"

I remember - I was very PISSED OFF with God being Catholic and all, didn't see why it had to be my mum, why couldn't it have been someone else. It took me many years to realise the answer to that one.

I missed my mum more as I got older. When I saw young women with their mums. When parents/grandparent used to visit. When friends complained about their mums sometimes I would remind them at least they had them around to complain about. She wasn't at the birth of my boys (but my dad was) she wasn't at my wedding, I couldn't go visit, I don't know what she would look like as she got older, I don't know who I look like!

I think what you are doing now for your children will mean so much to them Shin when they are adults. I would love to be able to read a letter my mum had written to me/ for me at different stages of my life. Or most importantly to look back and see what I was like as a child in my mums eyes.

I believe my parents are with me, around me.

I like the idea of balloons for kids, and with your writings they may want to write too and send you letters and notes, the balloons will carry them to you. Let them know you will always be in their hearts and watching over them.

Your family and friends will keep your spirit alive Shin. From what I have read here on your blog there will be many stories for them to hear from many different sources I believe this will be a comfort to them in the years ahead.

ps from an earlier blog.
There is no benefit in kids playing the "dead mother" card. Unless you have been through it, you don't understand it, and if you have been through it you have nothing to complain about. As time goes by you toughen up I guess.

I hope my experience with my mums death can help you with your kids. My heart goes out to you all.

There is NO greater love than a parents for their children.

Hugs ML x

Shin said...


Thank you, thank you, thank you so much for sharing your experience with me. I appreciate it so much. I will read and reread your comment over and over again in the days to come. That was the most helpful comment I've had to my post and I'm so grateful to you for sharing such a personal experience with me.

About your memories of your parents' smells. Apparently, the sense of smell has the longest memory, but I don't wear perfume. I've been trying to find a scent to start wearing now so that I can leave behind that memory of me with Toby and Josie. I'm still working on it.

Thank you again for giving me your perspective. I think your input will benefit my kids someday.

Anonymous said...


Shin said...


Thanks very much for your feedback and for reading my blog. I truly appreciate it.

I hope some of your tears are "happy tears". I don't cry much about sad things, but I'm hopeless when it comes to sappy things like stories of strangers being kind to each other.

My kids and I call these "happy tears".

Leighbee said...

I don't know that it needs to be a "chemical smell"? I still keep the clothes Harriet wore the day before she died (I couldn't keep those that she actually died in). I kept them in a plastic box to keep them "sealed" and still some 6.5 years later they smell of her! I love to take them out sometimes....touch them remembering how they looked on her....feel them remembering how she felt when I hugged her and most important smell them remembering her own personal smell. The smell we ALL omit as humans.

Shin said...


I agree. I don't like perfumes or aftershave or other artificial, synthetic smells. Most perfumes and scents make me gag, which is why I've never worn perfume and am having a very hard time finding something now for my kids to remember me by.

I've always loved the smell of fresh linen, baby powder, lemon, and lemongrass. I'm trying to find these smells to put on my clothes so the kids can smell them on me and remember me by them.

Scott said...

It's Sunday morning and tears fall from my eyes.

They are tears, I should add, of appreciation, because the photos of your family are wondrous and joyful. They have made me feel warm, wistful for my own childhood, and thankful that you found such happiness... And that you give such happiness to them. Nothing else matters, Shin.

Anonymous said...

For a scent, perhaps try rosewater.

Anonymous said...

Dear Shin,
Thumbs up for your latest entry.I enjoyed reading the comments -ML's brought tears to my eyes.I have never experienced death of a close reading the comments gave me shivers.May we all have strenght to deal with the loss of a dear one.

Sx said...

My husband lost his mother to cancer when he was 10. Your blog is amazing. I feel inspired by you; I cry for your children; and your journey and the way you document it resonates with me and a difficult (but unrelated) period in my life. And reading the things you write make me wonder about my mother-in-law whom I never met. Nic says that one thing he now realises is that as a child you perceive your mother as 'mummy' - your whole world. But as an adult, you start to see your parents more as people, and you get to know their characters and personalities in a very different and far deeper way than a child can ever do. He wishes he knew what his mother was like as a person. What did she like to do - what was her tipple; who did she hang out with - what music did she listen to; what made her laugh - and cry... His mother made videos, which he loves, especially the ones when you can hear her voice, and she made fabulous baby books and photo albums, but he now he wishes he could get to know her as a friend. This year marks the year that she would have been 60, and my husband is now older (35) than she ever was. That's a weird milestone. My children ask about her - but I can't really tell them much, and nor can he.
Praying for you Sx

simon said...

I was 11 years old and my brother was 4 years old when our mother passed away. This was 25 years ago, my mother died from rheumatic heart disease which did not allow her to be excited, stressed or upset. I knew she had had a heart attack in February 1981 and was really sad because of this. I felt very helpless and prayed a lot that my mother would be ok. I was also thinking what would happen to my brother and I. After 2 weeks she came home from the hospital and the doctor advised her to rest and be relaxed. My father was committed go and work abroad. On the eve of his departure my mother had a fatal heart attack. On that day before she died she was the happiest women i had seen and she was telling me of her dreams and wishes for me and my brother. She also asked me to look after my brother always. That day after lunch she had the fatal heart attack. I was with her and could not wake her up and we knew that she had passed. What i remember is that she was a really loving and caring mother who taught me good moral lessons which i passed to my brother. When you ask my brother where is our mother, he will answer that she is in heaven watching us. I am really reminded of her when i smell moisturiser. I do not need my mother to come back, because my when my daughter was born I saw her on my bed and she was there smiling and waving at me. One of the things i missed was when i was growing into a woman, i had a lot of questions which i could not speak to my grandmother about. Even though that mum is no longer here i treasure all the values of life that she imprinted on me, which i passed to my brother and my children. There is not a day when i do not think of her and she is with me always in my heart. With Love Nora

Anonymous said...

i really hate talking about this so please excuse me for being very brief.

i was 14 when my life changed suddenly, and forever.

suddenly one day i realised that i'd forgotten what my mother's voice sounded like.

that day it hit me, i was so sad. i was more sad on the day that i realised i couldn't remember what my mum's voice sounded like, than on the day when i lost her.

and that's all i really want to say about that.

Shin said...


Thanks for your comment. Tears of appreciation fall under the "happy tears" category so I'm glad to know that. I'm very thankful for my family. I wonder every day how I got so lucky.

Shin said...


Thanks so much for your kind words and for reading my blog. It means a lot to me.

You bring up a very interesting perspective - that when kids grow up, they might want to know what their mother was like as a person rather than just a mommy.

That's prompted me to consider leaving behind some notes or videos about some mundane things about me. I've already compiled a list of my favorite songs, books, and movies. I'll carry on along those lines.

Thanks so much for your feedback.

Shin said...


Thanks, Nora, for sharing your experience with me. It sounds like you're at peace with your mother's death and the part she still plays in your life. I can only hope that the same can be true for Toby and Josie.

Shin said...

Anonymous re: mother's voice,

Thanks for sharing your thoughts with me, especially since you don't like talking about it.

For some reason, your comment really got to me. I've thought about the guilt Josie and Toby might feel someday if they realize they're starting to forget me - the way I looked, the sound of my voice - especially if Tony remarries and they have a new mother.

I've written to them in their journals about that. I hope they never feel bad if they start to forget me. But I know they never will forget me even if they DO forget my face or the sound of my voice. I know they'll never forget me in their hearts. I just know that, I don't know why.

Anonymous said...

Shin, it makes me feel good the way you talk about your kids and how they will remember you, cos of course they will! No doubt!
It makes me sad that maybe they won't experience you, which is different. But I still feel like you'll be around for a while. Instinct. You will. Love, you will.

We'll be discussing mundane things like lunches even next year. Just you wait and see.

E xx

Anonymous said...

If I were going to die of cancer, I'd think you were a pretty amazing Mum to do all the things to keep me in touch with you. If I were your son or daughter I'd be delighted that your legacy kept on, even despite your death. Josie & Toby are probably already amazing kids and if they read this blog when they are older, it will be nice for them to know that their mum is pretty cool!!Shin, you are only human but your coolness has surpassed other things. Wow!

Sx said...

hi there
there is something else my husband observes as an adult. That is that it is mostly from your mother that you learn how to parent your own children. He often feels a little (actually a lot if the truth be known!) inept in areas of his fathering. I think he is an amazing father, and it's true that much of parenting is instinctual. However, as a father, he would love to know his mother's feelings on being a mother - how she felt when she knew he was coming - her views and ideas on various aspects of parenting based on her own experiences with him and his brothers. Your children will always know and feel your love - that is clear from your writing, but perhaps some advice on being a mum...?

Hettylebrazier said...

Hi Shin

It's Hugh's Mum. I read your blog every day. Love the photos.

I empathise with the person who could no longer hear her mother's voice. After Sarah, Hugh's sister, died I longed to hear her voice. I had no tapes or videos but even now (15 years on)when I play a tape of children's songs I can almost hear her singing along and see her doing zany actions.

Much love to you and the family. Elizabeth

Shin said...

Sx re: advice on being a mother.

I've been reluctant to leave behind advice to my kids about marriage and kids because I worry how they'll feel if they don't ever get married or have kids. Or if they decide to be in a same-sex relationship. Or if they can't have kids for some reason. Will they feel inadequate?

But those scenarios are not that likely so I should go ahead and leave behind some words of wisdom on being a mother. I'm not sure I have that much to pass on, though. Everyone's different and parenting fads change with the times. But you're right. I should say something about my thoughts on being a mother. I will. Thanks for your advice.

Shin said...


Thanks for your feedback and for reading my blog.

I find it quite interesting that so many people's memories of their loved ones are those of the simple senses - voices and smells - rather than complex, deep, psychological or emotional memories.

I can understand that. I love to hold Toby and Josie, hear their voices, smell their smell, feel their skin against mine. Simple senses. These are the things that make a person feel alive.

Arlen said...

Hi Shin,

I think you're amazing. Just for the record. :)

My father died,... 4, 5 years ago? I'm 17 now, and yet I have to take a while to think about what happened.

I didn't realise what happened for a long time - he taught me how to program (computers), and sometimes even today when I do something I think is cool, I subconsciously go to tell him about it, to want him to be proud.

I'm not sure how it might differ from mothers and fathers being lost. The things I remember are very arbitrary, with no underlying theme - the days out when he would take me and my brother out for a bike ride; a mental photograph of him by his bedroom door; the times he's appeared in my dreams after his death - sometimes they feel even more real than the times when we lived together.

One thing about having kids who may lose their parent - photos are good, especially together. I have very few photos of my father, and even fewer of us together, and they are something I want very badly. One photo of our whole family on an outing together is enough to bring back dozens and dozens of memories.

You're great, and I like your reasoning about religion too.


Shin said...


Thanks for your feedback and for your kind words.

When I read about the kinds of random memories you have of your father, I pictured them and found them very ordinary, comforting, reassuring.

I wonder how the human brain decides which images to keep and which to discard? Why do you have that image of your father by his bedroom door and not something else?

I've thought about manipulating my kids' memories a bit by pushing certain things I'd like them to remember on them. I might take Toby's head in my hands, look him straight in the eyes and say, "I will always love you. Don't ever forget that." And I hope that image will be embedded in his brain forever. But you never know. Maybe he'll forget that and just remember me standing by my bedroom door... ; )

ing said...

Hi Shin,

I read your blog two days ago as my friend told me about your blog.

I think you are a strong woman and I am sure your children will remember that.

I lost my mum when I was 9 years old and I am 36 now. It is almost 30 years ago.

My mum was sick since I was born. She was so sick that she can't take care of me and I have to stay with my aunt. When I was 7 years, I came back to stay with her. But I have only have 2 wonderful years with her and she was really sick again. She spent her last one and a half year of life in hospital.

I am sure your children will remember you when they grow up as I remember my mum even I have spent just so little time with her.

When I was staying with my aunt, my mum came and visit me during the weekend. It was a one and a half hour journey.. And we always go to the seaside near my aunt's house. It is really strange that I can still feel or remember the beach, the wind and the tree as it was just yesterday..

My mum was very careful about what she ate as she suffered from very bad gastric problem. I can still remember those things that she would never touched.

And I remember the last day that my mum was at home. It was the Christmas Eve and we had a wonderful dinner although we were not christian at that time. The second day, she was hospitalized as she has eaten something that she cannot eat. And I still remember it was the black fungus.

My mum has spend one year in the hospital and although she was so sick and underwent so many operations, she never thought she will die. She insisted that she has to and want to see us grow up..

This is really an big encouragement for me in my earlier years as I always don't think my mum has abandoned us. I always think that my mum is a strong mum. She loves us so much and she wants to fight with death.. although she lost but her love remains.

I remember vividly my mum standing at the hospital's window. It is an old hospital in Melaka, Malaysia.. When we visited her and left, she would always stand there and saw us going to bus stop. When I face any difficulties when I was young, I always think of this picture and I feel that my mum was watching me.. This is a great comfort to me..although it is a sad picture.

In her last day, we was at her bed. But she didn't want to let go.. although she was so sick and cannot talk anymore. So my uncle asked my aunt to take us away.. He told her he will take care of us and just let go.. then she died.

My uncle told us my mum is dead.
I remember her funeral and wake.

Although it is sad.. but I don't feel that my mum has left us. I think she will always be with us as she was standing at the window.. watching us..

My mum have written down something about me and my elder sister in a small book. It is actually some letters draft with her sister in Singapore.. But this few drafts told us about everything.. how she choose our name? what are we look like in her eye and how does she feel about us? the small clothing or toys she bought for us.. all these daily little things that I am really appreciated..

If i see my mum in the heaven, I will tell her how much I love her and miss her.

So I am sure your chidlren will remember you as I remember my mum. I am sure that they can feel your love..

God bless and take care.

Shin said...


Thanks for sharing your very touching and personal story with me. It felt beautiful and reassuring. I truly hope my kids have such feelings when they think about me. I'd like their hearts to feel calm and peaceful, as yours seems to when thinking about your mother.

Petrina Kow said...

Hi Shin,

Don't know if you remember me Petrina (Alison's friend?) but I've been following your blog and always wondering how you are.

When I lost my mom 3 years ago also to cancer, I remember her strength whilst fighting it. Her courage, her positive can-do spirit, quite like you really. And I tell you that's been the single most inspiring thing in my life so far. Children really do learn by example, and YOU my dear, are a SHIN-ING! example! I have no doubt that they'll have a wonderful life and will do you proud.

However it also occured to me the other day that I forgot what her voice sounds like. After mom was diagnosed and had her operation she suffered a stroke and it affected her speech, so she wasn't able to express her inner most feelings to us at that crucial point in time. It was painful not knowing and how I longed to hear her last words but it also seemed like a blessing in that so much didn't need to be said.

It would be good with the techonology available today to record your voice down as little diary entries or audio blogs. Coz even though a blog is great and can be re-read over again, there's nothing like hearing the emotions from your own voice. I have a great tape recorder and would love to come by and help you record if you like.

Let me know. my email is
Love you and thinking of you.


Shin said...


Of course I remember you! I had a baby gift for Oliver for over a year but somehow we both got so busy that we never got together after he was born. I don't even remember what happened to it now. But I'm sure Oliver won't fit into it anymore anyway.

The last time I saw you, we met for tea and you told me about your mother's fight with cancer.

I've been recording some video of me talking to the kids but not enough. The more feedback I get from readers who have lost their mothers, the more encouraged I am to do more of them. I'm going to make that a priority now, so that I can make these videos before I get too weak and sick to sound like me.

Thanks so much for your suggestion and for reading my blog.

Anonymous said...

Hi Shin,

I just stumbled on your blog today and felt so inspired by your strong will and your love for your kids.

On your topic about memories, I had read about a mother who had left behind notes for the child's milestones e.g. graduation, wedding, birth of first child etc. and these were delivered by someone else on these special occasions. So it actually seemed like her mother was actually there during these important times. Could be advice, could be just thoughts about her own experiences, or just loving thoughts etc.

I read about this and thought it really special.

Hope this is of some use to you. Press on!


Rick said...

Hi Shin,

You asked on your blog for feedback from people who lost their mothers when they were young. It so happens that my mother died of cancer of the adrenal glands when I was 6 years old. Back then (1955) there was little they could do for cancer. My mother went into the hospital for surgery to remove her spleen and when they opened her up they found cancer and simply closed her up. She died 3 days later. Back then children weren't allowed to visit at the hospital. She left to go to the hospital and I never saw her again.

What can I share with you that is helpful. First of all I have almost no memories of my mother. My father remarried a year later and my step mother tried to make me forget my mother and accept her as my mother. I was forbidden to refer to my step mother as "step mother" and I had to call her Mom. Back then there was no video, or even tape recorders to record messages. Because of the suddenness of my mother's unexpected death there was no opportunity for her to prepare us.

What do I recommend to you: Record videos of you with the kids. Do a videobiography of your life going all the way back to your first memories. Have a special video where you sing their favorite songs to the kids, tell them what they mean to you and express your hopes and wishes for them. Clearly express to them how you wished you could be with them through more of their lives and the reasons you may not be able to be there.

Probably the most significant impact upon me is a fear of abandonment and need for nurturance. I went to therapy in my 20's to work out some very intense feelings related to my mother leaving me. I feel sad just writing about it. I am confident that you have been taking the steps I recommend already, but I thought I would share them anyway, maybe there is a different idea, if not it always helps to have what you have been doing validated.

I hope this message finds you having a good day.


Shin said...


Thanks for your feedback. I dread the stepmother scenario. But I'm pretty sure that Tony wouldn't marry a woman who'd want Toby and Josie to forget me. And I'm positive that my close friends would never allow another woman to push me out of my kids' memories. I don't mind if Josie and Toby call another woman "mom", if that's what they need to do, but that doesn't mean they have to forget me in the process.

Great idea to video me singing songs to the kids. There are a few songs I used to sing to them every night when they were babies. And there are a few I made up just for them. I will definitely record those for Toby and Josie. Thanks so much for giving me that idea.

Anonymous said...

Hi Shin

You're indeed a strong woman. Your blog entries touched my heart.

I lost my Mom when I was 12. She ended her life through suicide (her third time).

It was really tough for me and my family. At the age of 12, most kids would be preparing for their PSLE. Back then, I was crying almost every night.

I was the last person to see her. We walked passed each other along the corridor. She left for dinner while I was heading back home. I wanted to accomany her but she left without waiting for me. Yes, that was the last time I saw her. Often, I would blame myself for not running after her. If i did, she would have been alive now.

She was found at the hdb block behind us(till now, i dare not walk pass that place).I was so scared to go near her cold & still body.

Till now, i've been coping on how to reply people when they ask anything related to my Mom. I just dislike that feeling somehow.

It's been 9 long years. I still remember all the tiny things we did together. Whenever i think of her, my hurt aches. I'll always look at the photos we took when i miss her. For me, photos help me remember my Mom.

I've always been a bubbly girl even though I'm always feeling sad inside.

I hope this helps. God Bless and stay strong for yourself and your family.


Shin said...


Thanks for sharing your story with me. It's hard enough to lose a parent, but losing a parent to suicide must be especially hard.

I'm reading a book entitled, "Still Here With Me" by Suzanne Sjoqvist. It's a compilation of stories by people who lost a parent at a young age.

Several of the parents lost were by suicide. One thing that struck me was that none of these children seemed angry at the parent who committed suicide. They still remembered the parent with love and fond images.

Jacqueline said...

Dear Shin,

I am a very lucky person to have both my parents with me till now. I love this song tittle, Angels, Roses and Rain. I do not know who the original singer is, but there is a Chinese singer by the name of Chiyi who sang it beutifully. The lyrics were very meaningful and I happen to findout from the internet that it is actually a story which has received an award for Winner of Sensue Award for Childhood Trauma. I think this can help Tony and the children to cope when you are not around. I have attached herewith the web address. Hope you will find it useful.

I find that you are a woman of courage and strength and truly admire and respect you for that. I feel here for you and your family and pray for your happiness always.


Shin said...


Thanks for telling me about this story. I'll have a look at it soon. I looked for the song on You Tube but couldn't find it.

Francis Lim said...

Dear Shin

I lost both my parents to cancer and it does not make me feel any better to think I once helped in the investigation and testing on the very disease that claimed my parents' lives

Many times I felt so guilt ridden for not vagilant enough to recognise it and to make matter worst , there were no symptoms , no warning and when it came, the prognosis was already a bit gloomy

Shin , I understand you perfectly , I understand those tests' results that you've posted and I understand what you are going thru right now

I just want to let you know that you are not alone , not abandoned , the words that you've written in your blog are very important to many who read it daily

I am inspired by your life as a loving wife , a wonderful mother and above all , a beautiful human being with a beautiful soul

Francis Lim

Jacqie said...

Dear Shin,

Managed to find the song on the Internet from the original singer.

Mommy of Laetitia said...

I am mommy to an 11-month-old baby girl as well as daughter to a mother who has stage 4 breast cancer.

I find myself reading your blog with lots of tears and smiles. I admire your courage and I salute all cancer fighters, including my own mother, who choose to enrich their lives and the lives of others instead of surrendering to suffering.

My mother's illness gave me some radical ideas. I actually wrote advanced letters to my baby daughter, so if one day I pass on suddenly without a chance to say goodbye, my letters could help me do the job. And my daughter would still feel my presence even though I was long gone.

If you are interested, you can take a look at the samples of letters, which I posted on my blog.

Take care!

Mommy of Laetitia

Anonymous said...

Hi Shin.

It's nice reading about all the things you are doing for your kids to remember you by when they are older. I have a suggestion, though - you may want to involve your kids, especially Josie. I am not sure if she is able to write, but you could ask her to start writing a little journal (or even drawing) about the little things (even the small mundane things) you do with her everyday, like taking a walk together, smelling the flowers, etc. and her feelings. You can help her along. And write down the date on each of these writings or drawings. Or do some art and craft together with her, e.g., make prints of both of your hands/feet on paper together. I am sure she will find them very precious in years to come, especially those items which she had a hand in doing together with you.

Shin said...


Fantastic ideas! I'll do some of that. Thanks!

A new follower said...

Hi Shin.

I'm a new follower of your blog after I saw the Tuesday feature on TV : )

I don't qualify as a young child who lost a parent. I'm 28 and I lost my father to cancer last year.

Like you, he loved his children very much. I'm sure till his last days, he was still somewhat worried about his children, wife, and mother.

When I lost my uncle to cancer several years back, I wondered what would happen. Sounds crazy but I really couldn't imagine life without him, especially for his young son. I soon realized life would go on for the rest of us.

I am touched by your efforts to help your children along when they lose their mother.

Do give yourself a pat on the back for the wonderful job so far. I'm sure your love for them and their upbringing will help them a long way.

Have confidence and tremendous faith in your kids and their father. They will remember your love for them and they will be fine : )

Thank you for being such an inspiration to myself and so many out there.

-A new follower