74 year-old Rosalind Wee and her husband, Dennis Leong, were married for 48 years. They had a loving marriage, bonded by their common Catholic faith and love for music. In April 2019, Dennis was diagnosed with stage 4 lung cancer. His condition deteriorated gradually, and he expressed his wish to pass on at home. Rosalind fulfilled his wish and took care of him at home in the final three weeks of his life, supported by Assisi Hospice Home Care team. He passed on peacefully on 29 June 2021.
Rosalind said, “I was very depressed after he passed on. I missed his presence, and cried a lot. I also lost a lot of weight, about 7kg.”
Even though she had children, it was not easy for her to share her emotions with them as they were grieving too. In December 2021, our counsellor from the Bereavement Care team started individual bereavement counselling with her.
She said, “She (the counsellor) is very kind and has empathy. I felt free to share my memories and love for my husband. She was concerned about my health and also gave me good advice.”
When the bereavement support group started in July 2022, she participated in the sessions. It was a valuable experience to meet up with fellow widows and widowers, who were going through the same pain.
She said, “There were art and craft and music sessions, and we shared how we felt. When someone shared and cried, we cried along with them, as we could empathise. We learned to accept the situation, and know that we must journey on and look after ourselves. It was very good for growth and I felt healed.”
Even after the support group sessions ended after three months, they are keeping in touch through a Whatsapp group. They would share and encourage one another.
She shared, “We draw strength from one another. This, my community and my faith and trust in God gives me hope and strength to journey on towards the eternal kingdom.”