Dr Alvin Pang
For My Daughter After I Am Gone
May there be fewer days when you reach
for my absent hand as for a banister in a
house of sway, and may the years we have
made echo like worn bells or the distant
throats of cranes you cannot name, and may
your heart, broken by that first love lost, his
golden fur still nuzzling your dreams, lead
you to new thunder, and may what is undone
become so much wet grass. The long drives
we took through those neighbourhoods
of unspent time, snacking on distraction.
May they have taught you more than silence
and may all the words I left unsaid be yours
to forget. And may there be little to forgive.
When my grandmother was admitted as a patient at Dover Park Hospice, I happened by coincidence to have been assigned there on a working attachment. This meant that I could visit her frequently, during my breaks and after office hours. I remember her telling everyone within earshot that I was her grandson and that I visited her every day. She passed away proud and delighted to have been afford such attention in her peaceful final days. And I experienced for myself the good work done by the palliative care sector to give our seniors comfort and dignity in the closing chapters of their lives.