• A gift from my parents

    Posted by Posted by Chandran on Date Aug 6, 2014 on Date Aug 6, 2014


    The photo I submitted for this story means a lot to me. It was taken on a boat on the Mississippi River and the first time I ever brought my parents on a holiday. Being fans of country music, it was always their dream to visit the South in the USA.


    Growing up in an Asian society, death seemed like a taboo topic. In my family it was very rare for anybody to bring it up. Even when there was a death in the family, we only talked about the afterlife. What happened before that - like how this person struggled at the end or whether he had any last wishes – these were things our elders never mentioned to us.

    I wanted to talk to my parents about some of the decisions we might have to make for them if something suddenly happened to them, but didn’t know how to do it. It wasn’t too long ago when I finally convinced them to get insurance and I was definitely worried that they might misunderstand me if I asked them now to plan for their future health care. When I finally found the courage to speak to them one day, their response really caught me by surprise. They told me “Dying is natural. It is not as if it won’t happen just because we don’t talk about it!” I was really moved that they had even taken the trouble to ask their GP about an Advance Medical Directive.

    I think sometimes, as children, we worry too much and we think the older generation isn’t ready for such conversations. My advice to others would be to just be brave and trust that your parents will know that you have only good intentions. You may be in for a nice surprise like me.

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