Around the world, death is often considered a taboo topic - but it shouldn't be. Terms like "cancer" and "terminal illness" will only become more familiar in the years to come. It is important that we are equipped with the practical and emotional resources to deal with it.
Before Beyond endeavours to empower Singaporeans to navigate mortality-related issues confidently, be a source of comfort and guidance for people who are grieving, and inspire people to live better.
We seek to provide relevant and up to date information on the practical issues concerning death, comprehensive advice on how to cope with challenging emotions, and fresh ideas on how to build a good end-of-life.
We also aim to bring people from various walks of life together to work towards common goals - such as fulfilling the wishes of a person with terminal illness - and to unpack topics that are traditionally seen as "taboo".
I always had a passion for living life to the fullest for as long as I can remember.
My life changed drastically when I was 25 years old. I had just started work as a medical officer when my mother was diagnosed with stage 2 cancer. She underwent a major surgery and completed several months of chemotherapy. Unfortunately, it was less than a year before her symptoms recurred. The cancer had returned and spread. Cure was no longer possible.
After receiving the bad news, my mother remained calm and told me "Do not cry. I have led a good life." She gave me instructions on what to do upon her death: the type of funeral she wanted, how to distribute her belongings, and how to look after my family members.
In the following months, we had many heartfelt conversations - thank you, I'm sorry, and I love you. There were many dark and painful moments, but they were interspersed with dear memories. Love always guided our actions and it filled our days with meaning.
As a healthcare professional, I've been well acquainted with death and diseases. But my medical knowledge only equipped me with the skills to understand her condition and treatment, and not the life and the struggles that came with it.
Her forward thinking and openness to discussing her imminent death made it possible for us to fulfil her wishes at every step of the way. But even with clear directions, the financial, emotional, and physical challenges were not easily met. The kindness, understanding and support we received from the people around us gave us the strength we needed to power through.
I created this website to share my experiences and what I've learned. I hope that the content will be relevant and useful to everyone and that those grieving the loss of a loved one can find solace here.
Death is the universal ending to all life on this Earth. It is up to us to decide what we want to make of our lives.