On 17 May, my grandfather passed on at about 5am. 

Everything happened in a flash. At 3am, we received a call from my grandmother that my grandfather had fallen down. This shocked us because my grandfather had just been discharged from the hospital for an earlier fall. 

After my mum called an ambulance, my granduncle called to inform us that my grandfather had blood in his stool and also coughed out a big amount of blood. 

When my mum learnt about this, she told me: “We need to be mentally prepared. It’s not looking too good.”

She shared that the doctors had previously warned about the possibility of my grandfather’s blood vessels bursting because of his liver condition.

By the looks of things, my mum was worried that grandfather’s blood vessels had burst, resulting in an internal bleeding. Sadly, she was right. 

My mum and I tried to catch some sleep while waiting for updates from my grandmother. We tossed and turned in bed for hours until the news came in that my grandfather had passed on.

Since the wake for my grandfather was held during the circuit breaker period, it was kept small. As handfuls of people streamed in and out of the wake, I found I had the personal space to reflect.

So, in honour of my grandfather, I’d like to share some of these reflections on his passing.


Though my grandfather’s health started to take a turn for the worse, we didn’t get to visit him much during his last days because of the circuit breaker restrictions.

But here’s my thanksgiving: that we had cherished the time before and visited him rather frequently in the months before the circuit breaker was announced.

As I look back on all the times before my grandfather’s passing, I can’t help but feel that life is so short. After all, an internal bleeding took him away from us in only a matter of a few hours.  

Realising that life is fleeting has empowered me to be much more intentional in affirming my love for my family members. 

Each time someone heads out of the house, I’ll make it a point to say a loving goodbye even if we had just squabbled. Each time we head to bed, I ensure that I say goodnight even if I’m mad at the person. 

And every morning, I wake up and thank God for a brand new day that I get to open my eyes and take a new breath. 

So even as you read this, I hope that you’re encouraged to treasure every single moment that you have with a loved one. 


At the crematorium, when I saw my grandfather’s casket enter the cremator, I was reminded of Ecclesiastes 3:20: “All go to the same place; all come from dust, and to dust all return.”

Truly, we came from dust and to dust we will return. 

Strangely, if I were to give an analogy for this, it would have something to do with the K-drama My Love from the Star

In this show, the protagonist is an alien who has landed on Earth. After a good 400 years here, his physical body eventually departs from Earth to his safe haven – the planet he belongs to. 

In a sense, we mortals are like aliens who have landed on Earth. But after our physical death on Earth, we can have a safe haven for our souls to return to in Jesus Christ.

Do we know the purpose for our time on Earth – are we living life to the full? 

What also stood out to me was how the protagonist of the K-drama didn’t have a clear purpose on Earth. So he lived a rather aimless life, especially in his last three months on Earth.

It was not until he experienced love from the female protagonist that he found his purpose on Earth – to love and protect her. This newfound purpose changed his life to the point that he was even willing to sacrifice everything to fulfil it. 

Thinking about life and the drama, I wondered if we are just getting through our lives. Or do we know the purpose for our time on Earth – are we living life to the full? 


As we sent my grandfather off, the song that played was Amazing Grace

Amazing Grace, how sweet the sound.
That saved a wretch like me.  
I once was lost, but now I’m found.

When I heard these lyrics, I couldn’t help but tear. It was as if I had an epiphany and finally understood the weight that these lyrics carried.

And as I recalled my grandfather, I realised how these lyrics had so accurately captured the essence of God’s grace in his life – one that saves even the unrighteous. 

Because my grandfather had been a non-Christian almost all his life, it felt so surreal to realise that he was saved in the last few weeks of his time on Earth. 

Because of Christ’s victory over death, we can have this hope in an eternal life with God. 

He spent a long time in the wilderness because he was cut off from God for a good 82 years of his life. But in his last few weeks, he repented of his sin and accepted Christ as his personal Lord and Saviour. 

And after he believed, my grandfather was found by his Creator, who had always known him even from the beginning of time. 

Such grace just leaves me speechless. Because of Christ’s victory over death, we can have this hope in an eternal life with God. 

So even though death still brings sadness here on Earth, I’m glad that I can look forward to reuniting with my grandfather in the presence of the Lord.

  1. What does death mean to you?
  2. What does the Bible say about death?
  3. What does the Bible say about Christ’s resurrection and the resurrection of believers?
  4. Know someone who’s grieving? Reach out to them this week and ask if you can bless them in a practical way.