A Prayer for Spring

A Prayer for Spring

Like springtime, let me unfold

And grow, fresh and new,

From this cocoon of grief

That has been spun around me.

Help me to face the harsh reality of

Sunshine and renewed life,

As my bones still creak from

The winter of my grief

Life has dared to go on around me

And as I recover from

The insult of life's continuance,

I readjust my focus to

Include recovery and growth

As a possibility in my future.

Give me strength to break out of

The cocoon of my grief.

But may I never forget it as

The place where I grew my wings,

Becoming a new person

Because of my loss.

- Janis Heil

Winter came to an end last week. Flowers has begun to bloom as the weather turns wet. The people welcome the transition to Spring with their customary flu, cough and hay fever. The deathly bleak of Winter continues to cast a shadow over me. I am no poet and have no class whatsoever to savour the intricacies of a good one yet today I couldn't help stopping to for a sombre read. One had to admire how appropriate the contents resonate with someone who just went through what we did. Whoever did that for King Edward Hospital deserves a big pat on the back.

The poem was found at the back of a brochure introducing a service provided by the hospital to help patients manage their grief and move on with life. It was called a Ritual of Remembrance, a gathering that "aims to acknowledge those whom there will be no gravesite to visit, no grave to decorate and no headstone or plague to remind us of their existence." 

I don't know how you feel about that. Though I will not be attending this ritual, I am extremely grateful that the hospital made the effort for such a kind gesture. A thoughtful arrangement such as this Ritual of Remembrance is not something a hospital have to do for their patients. That's the whole point I'm driving at. If anything, King Edward Hospital shows that they are willing to heal beyond physical pain instead of just being a bandage application machine. I am referring my experiences with different Singapore public hospitals, where they did nothing else other than what they were expected of. Nothing more, sometimes less. I believe I need not offer elaboration on this, especially for Singaporeans who had their brushes with Singapore public hospitals. If you want an illustration how incredulous the level of medical profiteering has become:

I am glad King Edward didn't make me pay
an extra $15 to guarantee they will  remove
the correct ovary for my wife
On top of Ritual of Remembrance, we were given two more brochures. One provided us information about the surgery Jen had and what to expect after surgery. The other one provided different channels of help we might want to seek if something was to go amiss. Last but not least, a tiny 'goodie bag' made from a simple piece of recycled paper. That was probably a sponsored gift by a clever enterprise but their sincerity to touch could be felt through their message of honesty and simplicity. 

One new migrant to Perth who got in touch with me recently kindly sent me a short message of condolence and even offered to lend me $700! That cracked me up in my otherwise gloomy morning. I believe this post will explain why we chose to be transferred to King Edward Hospital. Life is not all about money. We simply wanted a place which we knew would heal better.

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