My late husband fought two years of cancer and departed in 2006, leaving behind two daughters aged 6 years and 8 years. I was 34 years old. Immediately after his burial, it did not rain but storm. Heaps of execution tasks, followed by mobile phone corroded, computer crashed, gate broke, plumbing system overhauled, washing machine and refrigerator spoilt – all took place at no mercy. I was deeply distressed and paralysed by the demands.
I received my first comfort from Wicare’s flyer, when I read that agitation and anger was normal and is part of grief process.
When I was first introduced to a group of young widows, I was taken aback to see them. I thought to myself, I would never know this side of the world existed had I still been married.
Joan took time to journey with me patiently through the initial years. Her ability to see long term has motivated me to see things positively by and by.
Joyce motivated me by her insights many times. She turned my life around when she taught us a truth about it takes just one person in the family to change, and everyone in it would be fine.
Poh Hong taught me unforgettable skills, to be able to see through our children’s eyes how they look at us.
Wicare continues to organise many professional talks and I benefited from many. One of which had made a turning point in my life was by clinical psychologist Mr Danny Ng whom he taught us to bond with my young children now rather than later.
The firefly tour in JB gave me courage to travel with my girls for the first time after the loss.
After 3 years, at New Chapter Weekend, I received immeasurable benefits – not only a series of let goes finally took place in my life, I learnt serenity, sorrow is not a bad thing but to be endured and sweetened by and many other positive truths. At the end of the two days, I was enlightened that God can piece up our broken pieces into a rainbow. I was rejuvenated with hopes again.
Wicare had witnessed and helped every stage of my grief process till acceptance. Today, no doubt my struggle as a solo mum remains ever present with busy schedule and financialchallenge, I am strengthened to move on because I know there are many others in the same boat who will journey alongside to spur each other on.
“Two weeks after my husband passed on, a colleague brought Susan to visit me at home. I was encouraged by her sharing and how Wicare had helped her.
At Susan’s invitation, I started to attend activities organized by Wicare. At the first session, I met widows of different ages and family situations. Some were recently widowed (like me) while others had walked the path for many years. I was deeply encouraged by the hope and joy exhibited by many. Through the widows I met that day, I found renewed hope in life. I told myself; “if these ladies can do it, so can I”.
I went home from the event with a new found hope that I can find joy in life again. I also started to feel less alone, seeing that there were others in the same situation as me. Many lost their husbands under very tragic circumstances and it helped me to realize that I should not indulge in self-pity.
I continued attending Wicare sessions and benefitted from the practical advice given by other widows who were also single-handedly raising their young children.
Wicare helped me to find hope in life again, gave me practical advice for daily challenges, and most importantly, I made many lifelong friends in the process.
I thank God for leading Susan to me and Wicare. ”
It’s been four years since I was bereaved at age 31 with two children aged four years and two months. I can’t help but wonder how I have managed to come this far.
As memories start to flow into my mind, I can only thank God for how He has pulled me through the darkest period of my life.
Through a mutual friend, I met Joyce (founder of Wicare) for the first time at the Wicare office about two months after my husband’s passing. All I remembered about the meeting was I was crying and crying as I narrated my loss to her.
During the meeting, Joyce showed me pictures of other young widows who were fellowshipping together. I told myself that I wanted and needed to meet them. I had so many questions for them. I needed to know how they managed to move on, how they coped with the loss, how they continued their lives without their spouses. To me, all these were impossible situations.
To my delight, Joyce told me that the ladies were meeting on Christmas Eve for a celebration. I readily agreed to join them. I brought my four year old son along with me. As I stepped into the function room, I saw many unfamiliar faces. These faces glowed with joy and there was happiness in the room.
I could not understand. These women had lost their husbands and the children had lost their fathers, how could they still laugh and make merry? How could they still enjoy life? How did they overcome their grief?
I had so many questions for them.
After dinner, all of us sat together in a big circle, while the children went to the playground.
My son followed the older brothers and sisters. They helped to take care of him while I sat with the mummies.
I asked “When will I feel happy again?”
At that time, I really, really could not see myself smile or be happy again.
I felt that there was no way or no reason for me to be happy ever again.
I had lost all hope in life; I had lost a confidante, a soul-mate, a loving husband.
He was everything I had and everything I needed.
How can I continue my life without him?
How can I bring up my children without him?
Who can I rely on now?
As each of them started to share their own loss, I began to realise that all of us were in the same boat. For some, many years had passed yet the memories were still painful as they started to recall their losses. I felt very grateful to the ladies for sharing their stories to encourage me.
Although it was painful for them, they shared their loss with me, so that through their experiences, I can find hope and strength. At the end of the teary but therapeutic sharing session, I found hope and courage, and knew that one day I would be like them too.
I continued to join the gatherings and activities from then on. I found much joy in those sessions as I felt comfortable in their company. I did not need to fret about my identity as a widow nor worry about conversations concerning the bereavement.
I learnt so much from the ladies. They taught me how to deal with my emotions, handle daily struggles and gave me many practical parenting tips.
As times passed, I started to paint new pictures for my life and build new beginnings with my children. I started to move on and live out my life to the fullest.
While there are still moments of sadness especially on occasions like the children’s birthdays or school functions, I can gladly say I can now laugh wholeheartedly and be happy for who God has made me to be.
I thank God for His faithfulness and bringing Wicare and so many friends into my life.
Hazel Seak, A widow without children
I am very thankful to Wicare for supporting me after my husband passed on two years ago.
Through attending the Circle Time sessions, I have come to realize that the emotions of ups and downs that I experienced were normal. I made many new friends, took part in the activities and learnt that I am not alone. Many other ladies of diverse ages and backgrounds share the same situation as me and I can count on them for support. I also learnt that there is no need to rush and that I can live life at my own pace. I am very grateful to Wicare for showing me the importance of taking care of myself and that I can be strong and life can move on with hope.
Mdm Sia, a 31-year old widow
When I got married in 2006, my husband and I lived with his brother and his wife in a 3-storey bungalow since I’m a Malaysian PR and both of us work for his brother at his furniture factory in Sungei Kadut. After two years I got pregnant in 2008.
In 2012, my husband discovered he got 3rd stage throat cancer, he was 56 years old. He went through surgery and after 1 year 2 months he stayed at the Assissi Hospice.
When my husband passed on at the hospital, I was asked to leave my brother-in-law’s household by my sister-in-law. As I was working as an upholstery sewer at their factory, they suggested that I stay at the wooden shed in the factory compound. My daughter’s and my belongings were brought to the hut and we had to pay $300-$500 for PUB per month. My take-home pay became $450 and I had to pay $288.30 for my daughter’s child care centre at Chao Chu Kang.
During the 6 months stay at the windowless wooden shed, my 3-year old daughter was constantly bitten by mosquitoes and pests, suffered from flu and was sickly. I came to know of Wicare in a Min Pao article so I called the telephone and 3 ladies from Wicare came to visit me at the shed.
I was totally lost and did not have hope to live. I was suicidal but the thoughts of my young 3-year old daughter stopped me. Wicare Support Group came alongside with me to appeal to the MP for a rental flat, to HDB and even to Immigration Department to get a citizenship application form. I gave up the HDB application with my late husband to buy a flat so that I could get a rental flat with immediate effect with the MP’s help.
Thanks to Wicare’s hand-holding, I have gained confidence and hope to live on, realizing that there many other young widows. I made friends at Wicare especially at their monthly events and gatherings, from all walks of life: professionals to ladies who are worst off then me and I’m so encouraged knowing I am not alone. They gave me a voice, helping me to write letters to MPs, HDB and even phone-calls on my behalf.
Now I am attending an English course and got a subsidy for my daughter’s childcare centre too. I am very grateful to the Singapore government and the financial support Wicare has given to me and my young daughter. Most of all I am most appreciative to Wicare for supporting me emotionally by being my friend and I can always call them on the phone as and when I need advice or a listening ear.
Testimony of Madam Sia
我是一名新加坡永久居民，2006年和新加坡藉的丈夫结婚后，就和丈夫住在他弟弟及小婶的三层楼洋房里。我们同时也在他弟弟经营的家私工厂位于Sungei Kadut 里工作。婚后两年我怀了孕并生下了一个女儿。
而就在那个时候,,在新明日报上看到有关孀妇爱心协会的报导,我毅然地打电话去询问,没想到后来协会的副会长TanPohHong, 经理 Susan及 Sharon 三人一起前来工厂里拜访我,当她们目睹我住在工厂如此不卫生，并且恶劣的环境中时,Susan 和 Poh Hong 回去后不久，马上替我写信向国会议员及建屋发展局申请租赁组屋。由于我不是新加坡公民,放弃了之前所申请购买的组屋,因此,在国会议员,建屋发展局及孀妇协会的帮助之下,很快我便申请到一房半厅的租赁组屋。协会经理Susan更热心，积极地帮助我向公民局申请公民权。