62 year-old Vincent P Carthigasu lost his beloved wife of 34 years, Selina, in 2021. Selina battled with a rare cancer for two years, and was admitted to Assisi Hospice in early March. She passed on after a month.
Vincent felt that his life had been shattered. Well-intentioned “advice” from friends telling him to “move on” were jarring to his ears. He said, “I didn’t want to move on. I wanted things to stay as they were.”
He would visit the venue of her wake. He would even message her and reply to himself using her phone, just to see her name appear. He was on the verge of breaking down.
Our Bereavement Care Team supported Vincent with regular counselling. When he came to Assisi for the counselling sessions every week, he would feel the urge to revisit the room that Selina used to stay in, even though she was not there anymore. He said, “The counsellor was very gentle. She just asked me why I wanted to do that. She did not ask me to ‘move on’.”
Vincent shared that the counselling sessions had helped him to put things in perspective, and prevented him from going into a downward spiral. He learned to live life while embracing the continuing bond he had with Selina.
He said, “I continue with life, but I don’t discard my wife and the past. Now I can say that yes, Selina has passed away, she’s no longer here, she’s physically not here anymore, but she’s always been a part of me, and she’s still a part of me, and she’s still in the children. When I see my daughters smile, I see Selina.”