Clementi crash victim had imagined her own funeral

A photo taken at Miss Kathy Ong's wake at the Church of St Teresa in Kampong Bahru which was shared on Facebook by her father Keith Ong. In his post, Mr Ong shared how his daughter had written about her own death.
A photo taken at Miss Kathy Ong's wake at the Church of St Teresa in Kampong Bahru which was shared on Facebook by her father Keith Ong. In his post, Mr Ong shared how his daughter had written about her own death.PHOTO: FACEBOOK/ KEITH ONG

At 19, Miss Kathy Ong had reflected on death and written about how she imagined her funeral to be.

The National University of Singapore undergraduate had pictured a water hyacinth-woven coffin in front of a white, glossy wall and carefully arranged flowers bringing a warm, soft hue to the place, among other things.

On Monday, her father Keith Ong shared two photos on Facebook that were taken at her wake at the Church of St Teresa in Kampong Bahru, one of which was of a poster printed with her reflections.

Miss Ong was a rear-seat passenger in a taxi with three other friends when it was involved in a collision with a car at the intersection of Clementi Road and Commonwealth Avenue West last Thursday.

Both drivers and the four students were taken to the National University Hospital, where Miss Ong, an only child, died.

Hundreds turned up at her wake to pay their last respects.

In Mr Ong's Facebook post, he said he initially felt it was "so weird and inauspicious" when he learnt that his daughter had written about her own death. "Now, looking at you... I am thankful you wrote it. It's the closest I can get to hearing you because I never had the chance to have a last word with you."

He added that the last time he saw his daughter was last Tuesday evening when he took fruits to her and they hugged.

In Miss Ong's piece, she talked about her parents standing close by at her wake and said they were her "biggest sorrow".

She said: "Time is merciless, they think, not at all fair, let alone too fair the way their daughter had lamented, because how could enough be given to them yet so little to their child, such that they lived to watch her die?"

However, she added that if one believes in destiny, then maybe there could be fairness, as every moment of time had felt longer to her than it did for them. "Everything in this hall has a time limit - the blooming of the flowers, my physical body, people's presence and their memory of me."

There was an outpouring of condolences on Mr Ong's Facebook post, which has received more than 15,000 likes and 7,700 shares.

An earlier Facebook post, in which he shared photos of a scrapbook Miss Ong had created for his 43rd birthday, drew more than 2,100 likes.

He said: "Baby, remember this little notebook that you did for daddy's birthday, nothing expensive but filled with so much love and hearts... I miss you... Love you dearly my sweetie."

President Halimah Yacob was among those who expressed their condolences. In a Facebook post on Sunday, she said she met Miss Ong and her friends a fortnight ago at a Tembusu College dinner. "The group was so full of hopes and aspirations. It is so unfortunate that an accident took that away from them."

Miss Ong was cremated on Monday.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on April 25, 2018, with the headline 'Clementi crash victim had imagined her own funeral'. Print Edition | Subscribe