Thursday, 26 June 2008


Warning: Extremely negative post so you may want to skip this post altogether and come back another time. This is really not meant for most people. Don’t let your curiosity kill your mood. Darling, you should seriously not read this too because I know for a fact that you will not like it. I know you will be curious but seriously I know you will not be able to handle it.

I’m writing this post with a rather heavy heart because I just learnt that a friend of mine was diagnosed with stage 3 breast cancer only yesterday. Needless to say she and her husband (also a friend) are in a state of shock right now.

She is so young (around 30, I think) and they have a son who is turning 1 in a few months time.

I am feeling so sad now not only because they’re my friends but also because I can relate to a certain extend. We’re all about the same age and had just started a family so I imagine myself being hit with such news I know my world will come crumbling down.

It was only a few weeks back that they were consulting me on their plans to purchase a certain condo and who could have thought then that they will now have to face with arguably the biggest challenge thrown at them thus far.

As I am typing this post they are at the hospital doing all sorts of scans and tests and discussing with the good Doctor on their options and how best to tackle this cancer. There must a million and one things going through their minds right now and I imagine the one thing that she must be thinking of the most right now must surely be “why me?”.

I cannot say that I am at all familiar with cancer, breast cancer or other kinds because thankfully unlike the people around me, I have never had an immediate friend diagnosed with cancer before. That is until now so my experience in this is really nonexistence. Could this also be the reason why I am feeling the way I am now? Because they’re my first?

What is stage 3? How many stages are there? What can be done? How did this happen? Can it be completely removed? What are the options available? Imagine me, a friend and I already have so many questions then what about them?

On one hand I really would like to be with them to show them support and encouragement but at the same time I’m afraid it will be awkward as I do not know what to say. I guess they will probably not appreciate anymore unwanted attention so I’ll let them have their own space for now but will make a conscious effort to check back with her husband regularly.

I am not saying or suggesting that her stage 3 cancer will surely lead to death and of course I am keeping my fingers crossed for them, those of you who are religious do include this friend of mine in your prayers, but as I type away I cannot help but to include the topic on Death that I had wanted to blog about for the longest time so I included it here in the second half of this rather long post.

Darling, this is your final warning before you hit the point of no return!

Recently I understood that people who are most afraid or death are really people with a lot to lose. I have not given it much thought in the past but after I have Isaac I quickly discovered that there is so much more to live for. His first day in school, his fights, his girlfriends and breakups; his first job; his promotion; his wedding and I have not even come to my grandchild yet.

If I were to die tomorrow, there are probably 2 big regrets for me. Firstly, I did not keep up my end of the bargain that I must outlive the Mrs. She has specifically requested for this because she knows that the “luckier” one will get to go first.

Secondly, I will not be able to see Isaac grow up and be involved in the process of his growing up. I cannot see his expressions when he learns that his dad kept a blog on his conception right up to his birth. I would like to see his amazed look when he sees the video capture of him in the Mrs’s tummy. I planned to do this when he is much older and can fully understand the whole picture of course. Or the embarrassments he will get when I show his wife-to-be pictures and videos of him drooling and spitting.

I know the Mrs is not ready to touch on topic like this because she will get all teary every time without fail. I remembered once I told her a few years ago that I had not pledged to donate my organs but this is my wish so in case I die suddenly then she should carry out my wish. I even told her that although she is the sole beneficiary for my insurance payout, she should give some of the money to my parents.

I even went as far as to tell her what I want for my funeral. I think I got this idea from the movie Philadelphia, you know the one that Tom Hanks won Best Actor for portraying a dying man with Aids, that instead of mourning for my death, I want everyone to celebrate my life. Instead of wearing black and dull clothes and being so solemn I prefer for everyone to wear bright and colourful clothes. Play music that I like (although this will be tough since I do not have a distinct preference) and maybe even show montage of my happy pictures with also reference to this blog. Click here to know what I mean.

The Mrs refused to listen and entertain to all that I had to say so she told me to tell someone else. She said I was “crazy” but I know that that was her way of avoiding the subject. So guess what?! I called my sis immediately and told her all my wants and wishes. Well now that this is documented here, guess someone will be able to come back and refer in the (hopefully) not too near future.


Anonymous said...

Yah lah! After telling yr wife about this (or the unsuccessful attempt at telling her), called me and tell me about your funeral plans. Wah lau... And yes, I remember - play loud music, wear colours, eulogy must be about how you celebrated life, not lament about the end of your journey...

I think this is an interesting post for me to comment on due to 2 things:

1) I have a phobia of death (no sh!t)
2) With me baking away now, in the midst of bringing a life to this world, it really is a paradox.

Let's tackle (1) first.
I have a phobia of death not because I have a fear of a lot of things to lose (perhaps not at the moment since beanie is still baking away) but really, I do love life. Despite all cr@p that I have gone through, I am thankful for being alive, for me able to see and experience things around me everyday. To suddenly have the lights switched out on me, man, that is scary because I will never have the chance to laugh, touch, feel, taste and hear all that is around me. I will simply cease to exist.

My heart heart goes out to the couple friends of yours. It must be so scary to have death confronting you in the face just like that. No warning, no nothing. Just with a snap of fingers, they are tagged. I will add them to my prayers.

2) With me being a MTB, your post made me think a bit about beanie and my new role. It is almost a paradox to be bringing life to this world where I know that the surest thing in life is that it will end in death. Having faith and belief, I think do help me out here simply because at the end of the day, I will see God, the Father, Creator and my Maker. And I am a bit curious to see how he is like. Perhaps I will meet you all at the Pearly Gates along with St. Michael. Peace be with you all.

pilgrimparent said...

Hello A Husband, thanks for visiting my blog! I thought this was a very thoughtful post. It's good to think about death once in a while. I gives perspective to life. Someone even advocated making all of life's major decisions sitting in a cemetery!

My thoughts are with your friend and her family. Take care!

Trina said...

I've not gone around to telling my hb abt what I want for my funeral, cos that's not important (i won't be ard to see it anyway). But i have thought about death. What I wonder is whether I'll feel anything (pain, etc), what would the journey to heaven be like, will I still remember my loved ones left behind... Once in a while I'd read a news article where kids lost their parents (suicide, accident), and my heart pained when I saw how they cried for their parents. I wouldn't want my kid to go through that, not until he's old enough for me to explain the concept of death to him, so that he's prepared when I do go, be it expectedly or unexpectedly.

will be praying for your friend and her family.

A Husband's Voice said...


I'm glad you remembered what I want for my funeral. In case you forget then you know where to find it. Should be easy too since the title is Death.

I believe deep down everyone is afraid of death to a certain extend but that is mainly due to the fear of the unknown.

If someone can guarantee that there is a place waiting for you and you will be happy then it will be easier. Hence so many people are into religion.

About your point 2, didn't you hear that there are only 2 certainties in life and that is paying of taxes and death.

About meeting you at the Pearly Gate, I don’t think it will happen lor. At least to a few Christians because it seems like it is either their way or the highway to hell. Since I'm no Christian so I guess it is the highway for me then.

Anonymous said...

I didn't read your entire post, just a quick look coz I'm taking a break from proofreading something tedious and have to return to it soon.

But the topic definitely is something close to my heart, because yes, I do fear death and I've not conquered that fear. But I think for me now, it really boils down to two reasons, first, because I would miss out on the chance to watch my little girl grow. Second, as your sister mentioned, the possibility of being reduced to nothing is scary. I do believe in God and the afterlife, but whether I'm good enough for that remains to be seen.

Frankly, I think no-one is indispensable. People get over death, and they move on with life. I guess that leaves me with one less fear, because I don't worry that the people I care about will not be able to cope without me.

A Husband's Voice said...

Hi Pilgrim Mum,

I like your blog because it offers things that are different. I enjoyed the SuperMum and SuperDad posts as well as the JK Rowling amongst others.

Thank you for returning the favour by dropping by here as well. Do drop by often.

Guess you'll know where to find me the next time I need to make life's major decision.

Thanks for your well wishes and prayers on behalf of my friends.

Anonymous said...

Forgot to mention, your funeral plans, revolving around the celebration of your life, made me think of Heath Ledger's funeral, where everyone took a dip in the ocean and made a toast to him.

I think more funerals should be done that way. But just as it's hard to break from tradition for weddings, an unconventional funeral could ruffle even more feathers.

no man's land said...

hi hi, often to those who were plagued with illnesses (and to their families), death is a form of relief when it finally comes. to me, death is just that. the end to everything for me. it could, however, be the beginning of something good and positive for my family and friends? i fear the long-drawn pain and suffering, the helplessness and hopelessness before that more than anything. when the time comes for me to go, i would prefer it to be quick.

A Husband's Voice said...

Hi Trina,

Actually what I want for my funeral is not really for me. Like you said, I won’t be around to see anyway but I just want the people who attend to be happy and celebrate the fact that they know me instead of being sad.

Think you are a religious person so you should not too bothered by Death, unlike me. Not religious at all. Not even sure if there is a place for me in Heaven.

Good point on not wanting the kid to go through losing a parent at a young age. It will be hard on the child as well as the remaining parent too.

Anyway on behalf of my friends, many thanks for your prayer.

A Husband's Voice said...

Hi Evelyn,

Well, I'm honoured that you chose to read my blog while taking some time off from your work.

Personally I don't think we can conquer the fear of death unless your faith in your God and Heaven is very strong then you at least know that you're going off to a better place. So on that thought maybe only God's servants will truly not fear death.

I'm sure one of the greatest fear or regret for parents is to miss out on watching your child grows so we are not alone here.

I agree with you that as cruel as it sounds, life goes on and no one is indispensible. Life will find a way to go back to normal even for the hardest hit. So I guess we should not have to worry too much when it is our time.

People who know me will know that I'm not afraid of ruffling a few feathers here and there, now and then. A few will call it being stubborn but once I have decided on something that I want for myself or Isaac then few can change my mind. So what if it is unconventional.

A Husband's Voice said...

Good Morning Roanne,

Guess your doing your rounds in checking the blogs in your favourites list before starting the day huh.

While I agree that it is a form of relief for everyone if the deceased is plagued with illness. But I do not agree that it is the start of something good and positive for friends and family. Although we all move on but ultimately it is still a loss and one that most will rather not have.

As morbid as it sounds sometimes I do wonder if I will be strong enough to fight on should I be diagnosed with cancer. I like to believe I am but unfortunately it involves more than just me. Should I choose to fight on does it mean that I am prolonging the suffering for the family as well?

I always feel that the best way to go is suddenly and in your sleep. This may be the hardest for the family as it is often too sudden but on the selfish end, there is little to no suffering and you wouldn’t know the difference anyway.

Anonymous said...


We share about the same thoughts right about the same time. My heart truely goes out to your couple friend, really.

Although my thoughts on death has been a collection of thoughts from god-knows-when, it aches alot more now then when I was a young crazy teenager (i was very, ok?) and I really wonder out loud how i could have been so err reckless? Cigs, drinks, and living sucha "i dun love life" type of life.

With what I have on my plate now, my husband and pending plans to have a baby, build a wonderful, most beautiful future etc. Death is like a huge barrier, an anti climax to everything.

Quite honestly, being born in a christian home, growing up going to church and all.. has implanted an END which I have learnt since young; it's- you believe, therefore you live- but quite honestly along my life's path, I dun exactly know the meaning of that anymore. I mean what is the drawing point where I might not even have what I want. And dun people in religion also want something in the end for themselves? Isn't that in its own accord not being selfless?

Nevertheless, death is a thought I can't wipe off my mind now.. I am like your wife, whenever G talks about death.. I will not get teary eye, I WILL CRY LIKE A BABY.

It's inevitable, that's the thing that bugs me.. And you know what's the scary part? EVERYBODY WILL DIE, that includes our parents, uncles, aunties,

Oh sh@t, i am not helping right? HAHA, to think you beat me to sucha post.. I was contemplating a post like this too..LOL


A Husband's Voice said...

Hi Jolin,

Thanks for your concerns for my friends. I'll keep you all posted on her progress. I hope in the future I can post only good news on them here.

We all thought we were invincible when we were young weren't we?

I never quite see death as the anti-climax to all things beautiful. But I do agree with you on that.

Religion is something that I am not good at but I do see your point about being selfish for wanting something after one's passing.

For the record, the Mrs cried quite badly too after reading this post (despite all the warning) but part of it was due to this friend's condition too. She really felt for her.

Well, I hope you will still work on your post on death (hmmm..... sounds a little morbid huh?! us encouraging each other to think and post about death?) cause I'm sure it will be an interesting read.

I believe years down the road when we look back at this type of posts we will have a whole different feelings and perspective towards it.

Ya, it is your longest comment ever but that only goes to show how close to heart this topic is.

Anonymous said...

hi there,
reading yr post on yr friend, reminds me of the days leading up to my grandma's death and funeral,
she passed on 17th of march last yr.
She had 3rd stage of stomach cancer and passed 9 mths later. Yes she was 73 yr old, but the seeing my aunties and uncles and parents prepare for her funeral when she was around, was a very unpleasent feeling, they were gathering names, on standby 24 hrs a day during the last 2 weeks. Worst, she was leaving final instructions to all her children. As we are a very close knit family, we made it a point to be by her side everynight before she passed, all 20 over of us.
On the hindsight, she had a fufilling life, and her funeral was celebrated marking the end of her suffering , we had about 200 garland of flowers,making it a beautiful garden in the middle of st Therea's church ( she got baptised as a christian 2 weeks before she passed) showed pictures of her and us together, her travelling, spoke of the wonderful and happy times we had with her... speaking about the wonderful woman and role model she has been and will be for us... each of her 16 grand children, wrote about her on a power point slide...
Even during the days of the funeral, us cousins, would gather and remember the wonderful things and person she was... we cried, we laughed, we remembered.
If u had seen the obituary on 18 of march.... or 19 march last yr... u would see the special lay out we had for her... the things my cousin wrote for her...
As I delivered the euology , everyone agreeded with my final statement that "she was an angel on loan from heaven to us "
The point is, looking at her life, i aspire to live my life like her, living each day such that even if i leave this world the next, i would have no regrets , knowing i did the best i could esp for those i love. Yes, i want my life to be celebrated like her .

A Husband's Voice said...

Hi Jas,

The last time you left a comment you were hoping to conceive this year and maybe start a blog on the journey too. Any luck on both ends yet? Do share your blog in case you have already started one.

I'm sorry about your loss and your Grandma sounds like a wonderful person. I wish I can have such a big family celebrating my life when I passed on too but I believe it is very unlikely.

Unfortunately I do not have the habit of looking at the obituary (a tad too young still I think) so I would not have seen the special all of you had done for her.

I'm sure with such a good role model you will do just fine!

Take care and do visit again.

Anonymous said...

nope i have not started a blog, we are currently embarking on IVF, but hubby has to finish his jabs for 6-9 mths to ensure we can proceed with IVF, it would likely be nov /dec... maybe when i am pregant, i will start a blog. thanks for your kind words on grandma... :) it is still wonderful to read about yr boy... and he is reallly really cute

Anonymous said...

ahh and it was st theresa's church... goodness.. my spelling still stinks. sorry bout that

no man's land said...

Hi Dylan, I guess what I meant by the 'beginning of something good and positive' is made in the context of the family or friends letting go of the pain and trauma of losing a loved one...especially when the loved one has been ill for a long time before passing on. When death happens, it becomes a form of closure for all. As family and friends begin the healing process by grieving and learning to let go, they begin to live and embrace life once again. That was what I meant I guess.

My Mom was also ill for a long time before she passed on in 04 (I struggled for a while before I finally got the year - was it that long ago? Felt just like yesterday.) We took care of her ourselves 24/7 for the last few months when the doctors declared nothing could be done. While the illness was painful for her, the entire process and period of caring for her was also draining for the family - physically, and more importantly, emotionally. We also had a lot of time 'preparing' for the inevitable end.

Much as we were very reluctant to let her go, in a way, we were glad her sufferings had come to an end. I was glad for the closure, and for my Dad and brother, and for myself to start picking up the shattered pieces of our family, and to begin rebuilding it again. I see this as the beginning of something positive after death has come calling.

Just to share lah.

missmoon said...

this post got me thinking hard about it. before this, everytime this thought pops up, i mentally block it out. talk about denial! big time!

i shudder to think, yep, i'm cheeeeken. no matter how much in denial i'm in, it's not far away from my mind. how not to worry when i still have so many things to do, watch my son grow up. it will be something that i can't accept, even if it is the inevitable.

thanks for putting things in perspective. time to take stock.

Anonymous said...

Hmmm... not wanting to get involved in any religious discussion here but being baptised does not necessary grant you a passport / Visa thru the pearly gates. It is about how you lead your life too... So maybe, maybe I may meet you there! Or at least we should strive to! :p

A Husband's Voice said...

Hi Jas,

Good Luck with your IVF! So hoping for twins and triplets?!

Actually if you asked me, I feel you should start your blog now to document the process of the IVF for both you and your husband. It will be educational for others and it will also allow you kids to understand how much pain and trouble you two had to go through to conceive them. Just my thoughts.

Don't worry about your spelling. Yours is only a comment. Mine is the entire post and sometimes you can find spelling and grammatical error there.

A Husband's Voice said...

Hi Roanne,

I'm sorry for your loss and I do understand that death in such cases can be seen as a closure and everyone else can move on and lead their life to the fullest hence it is seen as something positive in that context.

Frankly I'm surprised that this post has generated this much interest. I was really expecting no one to comment since it is such a negative post.

Thanks for sharing your view and also about your mom.

A Husband's Voice said...

Hi Cynthia,

Thanks for responding to such a negative post. I was seriously not expecting anyone to comment as most people are not comfortable with such topic. The title alone may have put off many people.

I guess deep down we are all chicken when it comes to death. To me it is mainly the fear of the unknown. But being the more scientific than religious guy that I am, I tend to see that we just become nothing. We can only leave behind a legacy with our children and live through them.

Ok, this is clearly not helping. Hahaha

Since we do not know when it will be our turn so I guess you are right about taking stock now.

Take Care!

A Husband's Voice said...

Hi Sis,

Not wanting to touch too much on religion here too but the way I see it, Christians and Catholics are all issued a passport for direct access into Heaven to join your creator. It is your responsibility to keep and not lose the passport by doing good.

However for a non Christian and Catholic like myself even if I do a whole lifetime of good, I still lack the passport to enter.

mummy yio said...

Hi Dylan,
I have been following your blog for quite awhile already since when i dun remember but it was definately while your mrs is still preggy with Issac :) I am very impressed with this blog that you kept :) My hubby also mentioned that he wanted to start a blog for my baby but till now no sound no pics... Hahaha... Well, he's just busy lah.

Anyway, just want to let you know that Issac is really very very cute :) Can't help it but sometimes when i need abit of laugther i will check back here to watch his videos :)

JChin said...

Things like death and cancer hit when most unexpected. I lost my niece when she was 9. We lost her within 3 months to a rare brain cancer. It's been 3 years but I still cannot believe it happened to my family. Sometimes it feels like she's still playing at home, and I'll want to go back and give her a big hug. It's not easy to see a loved one go..even more so to see them dying. My heart goes out to your friends and I'll keep them in my prayers. She may just be the lucky one to have God's healing. In times like this, have faith. It can be tough, cos there may be so much anger, wondering "WHY ME?" and worse when people come forward and keep telling you "God works in miraculous ways".
I've since learned not to take things for granted, especially the loved ones around you. Life's short, love and play hard.

A Husband's Voice said...

Hi Quek,

Thanks for following this blog and I'm happy that you finally leave a comment although I have to say, to comment on Isaac on this post is ump..... a little weird, no? Hahaha I'm just teasing!

So I gathered that you are pregnant now? Congratulations!! Maybe your husband lacks the inspiration to start but when it hits him you may find that he spends too much time updating the blog. Hahaha

I know Isaac's video is quite addictive hence we're always trying to capture more so we can share with all of you.

Do keep reading and commenting ya?!

Take great care and good luck!

A Husband's Voice said...

Hi Jarrett's mum,

So you're finally back and did you grab yourself a few Prada and Gucci??

On a more serious note I'm sorry for your loss and also for reminding you with this post. I guess there is never a good age to lose anyone but it must be really tough when she was only 9!!

Thanks for your prayers for my friends and like you said, maybe God does work in miraculous ways.

You said it! Don't take things for granted so love and play hard! Yeah! Oh and don't forget the insurance. Hee Hee

Mother to Aidan Monster said...

It is a sombre post. Puts things in perspective once in a while. Since the birth of my baby boy Aidan, I have stopped thinking too much into negativity. Just like my husband said, "Why not focus on happy stuff with Aidan?" Incidentally, the thought of accidental death did cross me and I finally did up my Will. Hah! My hubby wanted a lively colourful entertainment for his funeral too!

A Husband's Voice said...

Hi Aidan's Mum,

Thanks for reading and dropping your comment.

Actually I have always been a realist hence the way I look at my own death and funeral.

Your husband is wise on 2 accounts: 1) It is good to focus on the positive things with Aidan. 2) He wants a colourful and entertaining funeral. Hahaha

I have not actually drawn up my will yet but it is definitely something that I intend to do. Maybe wait till we moved and baby #2 and #3 are out. Otherwise have to change the will again and again. Hahaha

P.S. I thought Aidan is way bigger than Isaac even with the 2 months between them. Keep up the good work!

Anonymous said...

hi again,
yup maybe i should start a blog now.. with all the med's jabs and stuff.. and i can blackmail my babies with that.. i think i can only manage 2 babies . 3 .. erm i think not, anyway due to my age... doc will not advise 3 i think.. he says i am too young hahaha... 26

The Bimbo said...

My friend just showed me your blog and as I read... I remember the time when my Love was going away on a long business trip and he wrote a lot of instructions, sealed them in an envelope and told me where he put it. He told me if anything ever happened to him, I must go and retrieve it and read it. He didn't tell anyone else but me. Tears came to my eyes then, but he told me that I had to be strong for our sake. And I held back the tears.

Men are a lot more objective ba. But women... though we seem weak about such things... but we still survive. Didn't you hear? Mortality rate among men is higher so plenty of mourning women ard who still manage their families and get on with lives.

Darn you. Now I rem P.S I Love You, the movie and want to start crying all over. :P

A Husband's Voice said...

Hi Jas,

I honestly think that it is an excellent idea to start documenting the process now.

Blackmailing the kids in the future is one thing but personally I feel that this is a good way to record everything for looking back in the future.

Only 26?!?!?!?! I have to agree with the good Doctor that there is no need to implant so many in you.

A Husband's Voice said...

Hi there Bimbo,

Welcome to my humble blog and do help me thank your friend for the introduction.

How very true about higher mortality rate for men. I think it is due to us not expressing ourselves enough. So from now on I will not hold back the emotions and tears!! I'll let it all flow out!!! LOL!!

Hey, I did warn you about reading this post right from the beginning so can't blame me for wanting to cry again.

P.S. I love you?!?! Can't say I watched the movie before.

Anonymous said...

enough death, let's talk about LIFE~~~~!!!!

Mrs Chew

A Husband's Voice said...


I would like to change the topic too but I'm a little tied up these days to do another post.

F A I T H said...

Hi there!
If I ever know when I'll be "called home to the Lord", I'd love to have my funeral before I'm gone. What's the point of singing & reading a poem in rememberance of me when I'm all cold and lying in a box??? Do it for me when I'm alive and kicking! That sounds like something worth looking forward to? Hee...
FYI, I've aleady chosen the songs to sing at my wake. My hubby & sister informed some years back. Every other year, I'll get my hubby (whose hobby is photography) to take a nice close-up shot of me. Just so I'll have a nice photo to display at the front of the lorry (or van in most cases now) if I were to be "called home" unexpectedly. Kekeke...

The Bimbo said...

"P.S I Love You" the movie is now available on DVD in VideoEzy and all major Video stores.

Get it today. haha