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.