Speaking of those who’ve gone before us

When someone has passed away, there’s always some tidying up to do. Let’s talk about three aspects, from the personal to the social, from the timeless — speaking meaningfully of the departed — to restless technology. Full essay.

7 Responses to “Speaking of those who’ve gone before us”


  1. 1 Michael Ng 21 June 2009 at 01:01

    As for online sites that specialise in hosting death notices, there are a few such as
    http://www.alwaysmemory.com/
    http://www.globalnetobituary.com/ and
    http://www.obituarysingapore.com/
    However i do think that all these site are out to make money as they provide more services than posting on the newspapers such as sending email to notify the deceased family regarding the death anniversary and whatsoever. And also, internet is more convenience and much hassle free due to the development of technologies throughout the years.

  2. 2 Michael Ng 21 June 2009 at 02:05

    Cheer up, I’m sure they will always be in your heart.

    When i was in secondary 2, I went to school one day to find out that one of my classmate had died due to some unnatural dieases. He complained about heart pain while and was playing scoccer and fainted after. He was sent to the hospital and was pronouced dead shortly after.

    Although i’m not close to him, it certainly left great impact on me as we were just joking the day before and he was gone just like that. All these happen too sudden for me to accept so it took me quite awhile to get over it. Till now i can still remember him.

    We will just have to treasure what we have now and not take it for granted. As we will not be able to know what lies ahead of us. So we can only live our life to the fullest.

  3. 3 FYI 21 June 2009 at 03:24

    I read your article. I am sorry to hear the loss of your two friends, from lymphoma. I did find it strange, that they had succumbed to this particular type of cancer. I had to check.

    With lymphoma, the whole system is part of the body’s immune system, patients with a weakened immune system, such as from HIV infection or from certain drugs or medication, also have a higher incidence of lymphoma.

    About reading the obits? it’s just like watching trainwrecks and bad news around the world?

  4. 4 Z 21 June 2009 at 03:52

    🙂 Funnily enough, you have one of those people that semi-religiously read the obituaries in the Straits Times amongst your readership–me. And, my demographic will be surprising too: I’m in my early twenties and have been fascinated by the obituaries for as long as I can remember.

    While I enjoy reading obituaries in the style of the Economist and other European broadsheets, there’s just something about the Straits Times’ sort that draws me to it more. It’s not about scanning the pages for familiar faces that have passed on; for me it’s about recreating small snippets of lives with the scanty pieces of information that the classified-style provides. Choices of names for children (some of which can be linked to religious conversion too, as they are often arranged according to age)…number of wives…whether their maid’s names are included…the quote (if any) that accompanies it. Tiny details that reflect so little, but tantalisingly so.

    And the best thing about these obituaries is that they are the obituaries of ordinary people, unlike those of the Economist. Lives that are normally completely nondescript that catch my attention for a few minutes each day on their passing.

  5. 5 Larry 21 June 2009 at 08:02

    Here in the States many of the newspapers have web sites with an obit/death notice section. Some are sophisticated and allow readers to post comments for up to a year after the death. For a fee the newspaper will generate a little booklet with all the comments before taking down the notice. I had read in a school newsletter that an old school mate of mine had died, but there were no details. I found his death notice on a newspaper’s site, contacted someone who had left a comment and learned the cause of his death.

  6. 6 The 24 June 2009 at 18:20

    Alex, I thought you have been doing a great job trying to “normalize” gays and lesbians. So, why the sudden coyness in using the lymphoma euphemism? You should try to de-stigmatize this so-called gay disease. Just like Goh Choo San and a whole host of gays dying of “complications from pneumonia”. If they die of AIDS, just said so. Don’t try to hide or obfuscate.

    • 7 yawningbread 24 June 2009 at 22:55

      I don’t understand what you’re thinking of, but when I said they died of lymphoma, I meant that they died of lymphoma. No more, no less. Are you suggesting that they died of Aids? What on earth made you think that?


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